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Riesling Wine

Learn about Riesling Wine — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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A noble grape produced in a wide range of styles, Riesling can be bone dry, intensely sweet and everything in between. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling wine possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. It can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and the best examples can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The white wine variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Riesling Tasting Notes

Aromatic fresh fruit, lively acidity, and light body and texture are hallmarks of the Riesling grape, together with flavors of ripe stone fruit and slate. Riesling usually has a high acidity and stone fruit, citrus, spice and floral notes. At its ripest, it leans towards juicy peach, nectarine and pineapple, while cooler climes produce Rieslings redolent of Meyer lemon, lime and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of petrol.

Perfect Riesling Food Pairings

Most Riesling is found in the range of dry to just slightly sweet, making it incredibly food friendly - it pairs well with sweet-fleshed fish like sole, freshly shucked oysters and most Asian food. The off-dry styles in particular are a natural accompaniment to the spicy, sour, and sweet flavors that define many Thai and Indian recipes. This is due to the blend of tropical fruits and acidity present in these wines, as well as their low alcohol content, which balances the heat found in the food. Dry German Riesling pairs perfectly with anything that contains fall fruit. Think pork chops with apples, pear and arugula salad, or butternut squash. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secrets for Riesling

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

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  • J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese 1999 Front Label
    J.J. Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese 1999
    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
    • WS93
    • W&S90
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Riesling 1999
    Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS88
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  • Grand Archer Riesling 1999
    Riesling from Sonoma County, California
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    • Prager Smaragd Chardonnay 1999
      Riesling from Austria
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      • Hogue Late Harvest Riesling 1999
        Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WS87
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        11 99
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      • Geyser Peak Riesling 1999
        Riesling from Sonoma County, California
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        • Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 1999
          Riesling from Alsace, France
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          • Robert Mondavi Coastal Johannisberg Riesling 1999 Front Label
            Robert Mondavi Coastal Johannisberg Riesling 1999
            Riesling from North Coast, California
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            • Zind-Humbrecht Turckheim Riesling 1999 Front Label
              Zind-Humbrecht Turckheim Riesling 1999
              Riesling from Alsace, France
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              • Hubinger Auslese Piesporter Michelsberg 1999
                Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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                • Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling 1999 Front Label
                  Villa Maria Private Bin Riesling 1999
                  Riesling from New Zealand
                  • WS87
                  • RP86
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                  14 49
                  12 99
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                • Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkasteler Badstube Kabinett 1999
                  Riesling from Mosel, Germany
                  • WS87
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                  13 99
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                • Covey Run Riesling 1999 Front Label
                  Covey Run Riesling 1999
                  Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                    10 99
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                  • Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkasteler Badstube Spatlese 1999
                    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
                    • WS91
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                    16 99
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                  • J.J. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 1999
                    Riesling from Mosel, Germany
                    • WS93
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                    31 49
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                  • Trimbach Riesling 1999
                    Riesling from Alsace, France
                    • WS87
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                  • Argyle Dry Reserve Riesling 1999
                    Riesling from Willamette Valley, Oregon
                    • RP88
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                    14 99
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                  • Turning Leaf Johannisberg Riesling 1999 Front Label
                    Turning Leaf Johannisberg Riesling 1999
                    Riesling from California
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                    • Maximin Grunhaus Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett 1999 Front Label
                      Maximin Grunhaus Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett 1999
                      Riesling from Mosel, Germany
                      • W&S91
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                    • Yarden White Riesling (OK Kosher) 1999 Front Label
                      Yarden White Riesling (OK Kosher) 1999
                      Riesling from Israel
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                      • Schmitt Sohne Mosel Sweet Riesling 1999
                        Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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                        • Schmitt Sohne Piesporter Michelsberg QbA 1999
                          Riesling from Rheingau, Germany
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                          • Allan Scott Marlborough Riesling 1999 Front Label
                            Allan Scott Marlborough Riesling 1999
                            Riesling from Marlborough, New Zealand
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                            • Schmitt Sohne Riesling Auslese 1999
                              Riesling from Mosel, Germany
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                              • Jekel Riesling 1999
                                Riesling from Central Coast, California
                                • WE87
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