You’re experiencing one of those sweltering days of summer where the temperature is hot, the sun is beaming, and sweat is a fixture on your brow. As day turns toward evening, you find yourself thinking, "I sure could drink a cold one." But wait, you’re not talking about beer, are you? You’re thinking a cold glass of German Riesling wine, right?

By the time August rolls around, most people have begun to tire of the same old light beer. Yet they don’t know what other relaxing and refreshing beverages they can turn to. Let’s see why a Riesling may be the perfect alternative.

Germany has a long tradition of producing outstanding Rieslings. The Moselle Saar River region produces wines that are soft, fruity, and semi-sweet. More importantly, on a hot summer evening you’ll find them to be light in body, making them easy to drink in the heat of summer. These aren’t the cloyingly sweet Rieslings of your youth, but a sophisticated, refreshing glass of wine.

The Moselle Saar Rieslings also nicely complement the cheeses and fruits you may serve as an appetizer. You’ll also find the hints of pear, apricot, and honeydew melon flavors accentuate the sweetness of pastries or other light desserts. When looking for a Moselle Saar River Riesling, be sure to ask for these delicious wines: Hoffman-Simon Piesporter Kabinett ’02, Gran-Fassian "Catherina" ’02, and Gran-Fassian Victoria-G ’02.

If you’re looking for a slightly drier Riesling and one that pairs better with meats and saltier foods, I recommend you try a wine from the Rheingau. This region produces a crisper, more full-bodied Riesling that’s somewhat dryer than its Moselle counterpart. The Rheingau Rieslings I recommend are: Allendorf WS Riesling ’02, Gebruder Kissel Spatlese, and Allendorf Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Kabinett.

So you now have an alternative "cold one." I bet you and your guests will be pleasantly surprised with how much you enjoy these fine German Rieslings. Who knows? They may even find their way to your dinner table. AA!