Your Guide To Riesling
Posted on April 11 2018
By Tom Jenkins
Riesling (reese - ling) is a white grape variety that originated in the Rhine region of Germany. Traditionally sweet to balance its acidity, nowadays Riesling is also produced in dry, off-dry and even sparkling styles.
The Sweet Stuff
Finding sweet Riesling can be simple or complicated depending on what country your Riesling is from. Most wines will be labelled as sweet but if you’re buying German Riseling and you’re not familiar with the Pradikatswein sweetness classification, their labelling will look like a load of gibberish, even if you speak German. Luckily, we’re fluent in gibberish so we’ve crated a sweetness scale to simplify the system and make you look like a German Riesling connoisseur (see below).
The Dry Stuff
Dry Riesling is widely produced across Alsace (France), Australia, Austria, New Zealand and the USA (when labelled dry). When we say “Dry” Riesling, it doesn’t necessarily mean the wines won’t be full of lovely fruit flavours. In fact, dry Riesling can give off mouth-watering fruity notes of peaches, apricots, apples, pears, pineapple, lime and lemon depending on their origin, giving the illusion of sweetness on the palate.
What’s with the petrol?
Petrol notes are common in aged or top quality Rieslings. Petrol notes are a result of the ageing process and are influenced by a number of factors including:
- Ripeness of the grapes (low yields and late harvests)
- Lots of sunshine
- Water stress (petrol is less present in cheaper, high volume production which relies on huge irrigation systems often used in many new world vineyards)
- High Acidity
Riesling and food
If you love your hot Indian curries or Asian spice, look no further than a bottle of sweeter Riesling. Its sweetness and acidity makes it the perfect partner for your spicy cuisine of choice.