Crisp, refreshing character, a well-balanced blend of acidity and residual sugar, along with the ability to pair with an almost limitless assortment of food options, make Riesling one of the most versatile wines on the planet. Below you will find all of the information to start getting well acquainted with Riesling wines, perhaps the greatest noble white wine varietal.
Riesling wines originated in Germany's Rhein and Mosel river valleys, it was here that this white grape gained its tenacious foothold in today's modern white wine market. A Riesling wine can span a broad range of styles, being produced in both dry to sweet variations as well as light to full-bodied. Crisp, refreshing character, a well-balanced blend of acidity and residual sugar, along with the ability to pair with an almost limitless assortment of food options, make Riesling one of the most versatile wines on the planet.
The vast majority of German wines are Rieslings, and for good reason. Germany has been setting the traditional standard for the Riesling grape for centuries. Historically, Riesling has roots in Germany’s Rheingau region that date back to at least the 15th century. There are 13 designated German wine regions, with the top 4 or 5 worth committing to memory. By memorizing these critical regions in Germany’s wine story, you’ll be able to identify and interpret a large part of the German wine label.
Riesling wine classifications, this is where would-be Riesling fans are most likely to throw in the towel. A daunting label, with long, hard-to-pronounce words are among the first intimidation factors. However, for those who press on and take the time to decipher German wine labels will be richly rewarded. Fortunately, German wine labels are becoming less labor intensive to read and more consumer-friendly in general. Here's the breakdown, in general German Rieslings are categorized based on their style type and ripeness levels of the grapes at the time of harvest.
Riesling wines are dynamic, food-favoring wines that continue to gain fans on an international level. There is great variety and expression within this single grape varietal, adding to the interest and versatility of this noble white wine grape.
Reading German wine labels can be tricky, but if you get familiar with the basic lay of the label, you'll be navigating them in no time. The German wine label includes the basic information found on most other labels: producer, region, vintage, vineyard, varietal, and the like, but they throw a curve when the ripeness levels, sugar levels and quality classifications also grace the label. The quality classification starts off with the basic table wine, "Tafelwein" and proceeds to a level 5 designation of "Qualitätsweine mit Prädikat" (QmP) - translated to "Quality wine with attributes."
Riesling is one of the fastest growing wine varietals on the current wine market. Why is Riesling on the rise? Well, among wine lovers, chefs and sommeliers this varietal receives exceptional attention for its out-going, food-friendly character. Riesling has gained an international spotlight, in large part due to its amicable, food-pairing versatility. As palates prefer a wider variety of food flavors, wines that can fit a broader food-pairing bill will see an increase in demand.