Riesling

Riesling is a cool climate grape that thrives well in Germany and Alsace Often thought to be just simply a sweet wine, this grape can come in many different styles, from sugary-sweet to soft and balanced. The style is often written clearly on the label, but because of its German heritage, it’s not always easy to understand. German wine labels tell you everything you need to know about a wine, if you can read German that is. Riesling is categorized by ripeness: Kabinett Rieslings are the least ripe and tend to be light and fresh, while Eiswein Rieslings are harvested in the winter, after the grapes have frozen, giving a concentrated sweetness. Rieslings tend to have notes of citrus and stone fruits, honey, lychee, tropical fruits and petrol.

Key Regions

  • Germany: Mosel, Rheingau, Pfalz
  • France(Austria), Washington, Oregon, New York(Finger Lakes), Australia(Clare Valley)

Key Attributes

  • Aromas: Peach, Pear, Apricot, Honey, Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Petrol, Mineral
  • Flavors: Honey, Stone Fruits, Lime, Honeysuckle, Ginger

Styles

  • Kabinett – Light, fresh and crisp, these Rieslings will be the most dry style with a hint of sweetness and a balanced, bright acidity.
  • Spatlese – A delicate balance of sweetness and acidity, Spatlese Rieslings have notes of honey, tropical fruits and peach
  • Auslese – Honeyed and bold, these wines are much riper and thus have a more concentrated juice, resulting in a sweet style that ages for many years and pairs well with soft blue cheeses
  • Beerenauslese
  • Trockenbeerenauslese – Late harvested Botrytis or ‘Noble Rot’ affected grapes are rich and elegant with notes of tropical fruits, honeysuckle, and ginger with a hint of petrol.
  • Eiswein – Harvested during the winter when the grapes have frozen, these wines are the sweetest and richest available. There are typically notes of honeysuckle, peach, apricot and tropical fruits. Pair these with soft blue cheeses, toasted nuts and candied fruits.

Classic Pairings

  • Drier styles of Riesling pair well with appetizers, seafood and shellfish
  • Medium dry to sweet Rieslings are a great match for spicy Thai or Asian cuisine
  • Dessert style Rieslings pair well with soft blue cheeses, toasted nuts and candied fruits.

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