Learn about Riesling — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling 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 exmples 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 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.
Tasting Notes for Riesling
Riesling can be a sweet or dry white wine. In any case it 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 Food Pairings for Riesling
Riesling is quite versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, freshly shucked oysters and most Asian food. 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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Selbach Kabinett Riesling (Fish Label) 2016Riesling from Mosel, Germany
Schloss Vollrads Riesling Spatlese 2016Riesling from Rheingau, Germany
Louis Guntrum Dry Riesling 2016Riesling from Rheinhessen, Germany
St. Urbans-Hof Piesporter Goldtropfchen Spatlese 2016Riesling from Mosel, Germany
Brundlmayer Kamptaler Terrassen Riesling 2016Riesling from Kamptal, Austria
Kuentz-Bas Riesling 2016Riesling from Alsace, France
Alsace Willm Kirchberg de Barr Riesling 2016Riesling from Alsace, France
S.A. Prum Blue Riesling Kabinett 2016Riesling from Mosel, Germany
Kuentz-Bas Trois Chateaux Riesling 2016Riesling from Alsace, France
Domaines Schlumberger Les Princes Abbes Riesling 2016Riesling from Alsace, France