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The holiday season is a perfect time to introduce your guests to wines that will surprise and hopefully delight them. One example is a racy dry riesling. Below is an excellent example from the Finger Lakes wine region. Located in western upstate New York State, this area is famous for its dry riesling. Try serving this absolutely bracing wine blind to friends and see if they can guess what it is. It’s compared with a dry-style riesling from Washington State, the largest U.S. producer of riesling, that has just a touch of sweetness. Both are relatively low in alcohol.

Empire Estate 2016 Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, New York

Bought • Whole Foods Market, 1601 South Brentwood Boulevard, in October for $14.99

Description • If you think all rieslings are sweet, give this one a try. It will knock your socks off. This aromatic, elegant and piercing wine, which earned 90 points from Wine Enthusiast, has a razor-sharp acidity that is both refreshing and exhilarating. It tastes of crisp green apples, stone fruits and lime with a touch of ginger spice. Best served with food, it would be a great pair with shellfish.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2016 Dry Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington

Bought • Schnucks, 8800 Manchester Road, in October for $6.99

Description • This dry riesling is a totally different style than the Empire Estate. It has enough sweetness to make it almost off-dry. This is a crowd-pleasing wine that’s good to serve in a party situation when you’ve got different palates to please. Crisp and refreshing, it tastes of peaches and honey and has a rich mouthfeel. This wine would go very well with spicy Asian cuisine.

Follow Gail on Twitter @GailAppleson.

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