Fleeting Riesling

May is the month when lilacs bust out of their buds, perfuming the streets. The month when baby ducks bust out of their shells. And the month when white-wine lovers bust out their most delicate and floral Rieslings. It’s a time to contemplate the pulsing energy of spring and then become one with it, through a sniff and a sip. But aren’t Rieslings sweet? Sometimes, but that’s become more and more accepted. According to a report the Nielsen Company released in February, Riesling is the fastest-growing white-wine category in the country, having grown 12 percent over the last year. And why not? Americans are less afraid every year of sweet wines, especially since we’ve figured out how well they complement everyday treats like Thai takeout or fruit and cheese.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Riesling, 2009 ($10)
Polished, sleek, and elegant, a great Washington state Riesling made by the same company that creates the famed Eroica Riesling. Enjoy the peach-blossom fragrances and svelte textures with a wedge of Brie on the deck. Available: MGM Liquors, including Golden Valley, 7704 Hwy. 55, Golden Valley, 763-546-9255, mgmbrooklynpark.com

Clos du Bois California Riesling, 2009 ($14)
Pretty and bright, this lively lime-and-pear Riesling from California pairs nicely with everything from grilled salmon to the first fat red strawberries of summer—the perfect pick for a Mother’s Day brunch. Available: Edina Liquor, Grandview Store, 5013 Vernon Ave. S., Edina, 952-903-5740, ci.edina.mn.us

Weingut Keller Riesling RR Trocken 2009 ($22)
Racy and sumptuous, this is a great vintage from a producer that’s become synonymous with elegant true-German Rieslings. Try it with someone you love, preferably among fireflies. Available: South Lyndale Liquors, 5300 Lyndale Ave. S., 612-827-5811, Mpls., southlyndale.com

Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett Nahe, 2009 ($23)
Dönnhoff has fanatics, not fans, and this 2009 vintage lets you taste why. It’s sweet, but also haunting and hinting. Sweet, but with a mineral spine, a rose-petal sky, and a gazebo built of candied pears tatted into crystal. Available: Surdyk’s, 303 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-379-3232, surdyks.com