Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Red Newt Cellars Riesling #WinePW

Red Newt Cellars Rieslings waiting for the salmon to finish

Sweet and Spicy Salmon and Riesling
Riesling is a natural for both sweet dishes and spicy ones, so why not combine all three? Today we’re trying a couple of New York Finger Lakes Rieslings with a cedar plank grilled salmon from our blogging friends at Vindulge.

New York Finger Lakes and Red Newt Cellars
Red Newt Bistro and Cellars has been a successful winery and bistro in the New York Finger Lakes region since 1998. With close association with multiple growers, the winery first focussed on showcasing Riesling, especially showing the unique individual vineyards where the grapes were grown. Over time, they expanded their offerings to include a wide variety of both white and red varieties, all of which thrive in the cool climate of the region.

Disclosure: wines for this post were provided as samples, no other compensation was involved. All opinions expressed are mine.

Red Newt Cellars “Circle” Riesling

Red Newt Cellars “Circle” Riesling  Finger Lakes 2017 (sample, $15 SRP or online here) 10.5% abv
Red Newt Cellars uses the International Riesling Foundation sweetness scale, this wine is marked “Medium Sweet” on the back label RS 3.1% TA 7.5 g/l, pH 3.1
Eye: Clear, pale lemon.
Nose: Clean, medium intensity aromas of gardenia, lemon, fresh tarragon with just a hint of the petrol Riesling note – a bit like drinking from the garden hose (you did drink from the garden hose as a kid, right?)
Mouth: Medium-sweet with medium intensity flavors, high acidity, medium body, low alcohol, medium finish. The finish lingers sweet. Flavors of gardenia, lemon, tarragon and that Riesling petrol note are present on the palate.
Conclusions: A nice wine especially for a person with a preference for lightly sweet wines. While sweet, the wine is still very much appropriate for the dinner table, as it is very well balanced by acidity.

Red Newt Cellars Tango Oaks Vineyard Riesling

Red Newt Cellars Riesling “Tango Oaks Vineyard” Finger Lakes 2013 (sample, $22 SRP or online here)
IRF scale marked “Dry” on the back label RS 0.5%  TA 7.0 g/l pH 3.15
Eye: clear, pale lemon
Nose: Clean, medium+ intensity aromas of  fresh, ripe lemon, lemon peel, grapefruit,  basil, and classic freshly opened can of tennis balls, a common descriptor especially for classic German Riesling.
Mouth: Off-dry with medium+ intensity flavors, high acidity, medium body, low alcohol, medium plus finish. The texture offers a bit of creaminess to soften the impression of the acidity which is delicious and bracing. The flavors follow the nose with fresh lemon, lemon peel, grapefruit, basil and the petrol impression.
Conclusions: Showing beautifully at 7 years from vintage, this is an outstanding quality wine and shows what the Finger Lakes region can produce. This wine shows youthful fruit with bracing acidity balanced by a nice softening texture.

Direct/Indirect Grilling Primer
Most grills can be set up for split direct and indirect heat. This is useful anytime direct heat might be too much for the entire time on the grill. The indirect side is like a medium temperature oven, good for finishing and for more delicate foods.

Maple-Chipotle Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon
Our friends Mary and Sean at Vindulge have a new cookbook they have just published. It’s full of recipes for the grill, including this one. Luckily, it’s also posted in their blog here. The salmon rub is spicy but not overpowering. There is a bit of brown sugar in the rub and you finish the salmon with a maple syrup glaze. You end up with a perfect sweet/spicy mix just tailor made for Riesling. If you like this recipe, you’ll love their book: Fire and Wine.

As far as the pairing is concerned, I thought both Rieslings were very nice with the salmon.  Tasting just the wines, I liked the Tango Oaks a little better as I loved the bracing fresh acidity. With the food however, I thought the medium-sweet Circle Riesling was a bit better fit due to both the spiciness and sweetness of the glaze on the fish.

Quinoa Taboulleh Salad

This is one of our favorite summer salads and we have it often as it makes a great all-in-one side dish with grains and veggies. The instructions below are based on a recipe from Simply Ancient Grains by Maria Speck. Note that the leftover salad is good for 2-3 days after the meal.


  • 3/4 cup (dry) tri-color quinoa, cooked to package directions and cooled (3 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups firmly packed chopped arugula
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)


  • Combine the onion, vinegar and salt in a small bowl and set aside
  • Combine the quinoa, arugula, tomatoes, serrano pepper in a large bowl
  • Whisk the mustard and black pepper in with the onion mixture, then slowly whisk in the oil.
  • Combine the dressing with the quinoa mixture and mix lightly. Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before the meal.

3 Responses to “Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Red Newt Cellars Riesling #WinePW”
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Red Newt Cellars with Maple Chipotle Cedar Plank Salmon Keeping on the grilling theme, we paired Red Newt Cellars Rieslings with a sweet and spicy Maple Chipotle Cedar Plank Salmon. […]

  2. […] Posted by foodwineclick on June 12, 2020 · Leave a Comment  […]

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