Riesling grapes in the sun

10 Facts About Riesling

Whether you enjoy a dry Riesling, or a super sweet Riesling, this white is right for every occasion. It’s the perfect all-season sipper! We asked our favorite wine expert Leslie Sbrocco for her 10 fun facts about Riesling, one of her favorite wines! Here are Leslie’s reasons to Riesling.

1. A Food Pairing Wonder

Wine lovers adore Riesling for its ability to pair with a multitude of cuisines. Spicy food? Check. Crisp, dry Riesling foils the heat. Sweeter sauces? Check. Riesling can match the sweetness of chutneys and teriyaki. Savory dishes? Full-bodied ones can take on roast sausage and pork with ease.

Discover our favorite Riesling recipes with Sommology.

2. Style Chameleon

Whether you want a light, crisp, dry white or a full, sweet, rich one, Riesling is the answer. There is no other grape that offers the style diversity of Riesling. In Germany, they call dry Riesling trocken and super sweet, trockenbeerenauslese (pronouncing THAT IS your sobriety test!).

3. Globetrotting Grape

We know Riesling from Germany and the Alsace region of France, but it is successfully grown in cool climates globally. Washington State, California, and New York State produce stellar examples, as you can see in our latest Lazy Lab Riesling. Washington is a Riesling magnet with the grape being the number two planted variety in the state. Hailing from the beautiful Columbia Valley in Eastern Washington, the area’s warm days and cool nights get the fruit ripe while maintaining the grape’s acidity. The area’s growing season sports more sunshine hours than California’s key regions - intensifying grape flavors. Australia’s Clare Valley and New Zealand are also great for the Riesling grape.

4. Year-Round Sipper

Not just a light ‘springtime dress’ of a wine, Riesling is a white that spans the seasons. With a variety of styles and abilities to match with many types of cuisines and dishes, it can take you from poolside to fireside.

5. Cellar Star

Due to its combination of low-to-no oak, sometime sweetness, but most of all high acidity, great Riesling can age for decades (or longer). It tastes less fruity and more minerally with time, but it’s one of the longest-lived wines around.

6. Legendary Status

The grape variety has been mentioned in European historical works since the 1400s. Riesling’s lineage goes back to the ancient grape, Gouais Blanc, that also help propagate famed white varieties, Chardonnay, and Chenin Blanc.

Host a free wine tasting at home with a Traveling Vineyard Wine Guide near you, and discover more fun facts about wine, while discovering your new favorite!

7. Low/High Wine

With high acidity + high aromatics + high sweetness AND low alcohol + low sweetness + low-to-no oak, Riesling is a high/low wine. Because it’s grown in cooler climates, the alcohol levels can be as low as six percent, too. Nothing in the middle with Riesling.

8. Intense & Aromatic

Let’s face it, Riesling smells good. Its aromas are floral (think orange blossom and jasmine) and taste ranges from tart citrus to sweet peaches. Depending on where it’s grown, Riesling is also described as possessing “minerality” from high acidity.

2019 Lazy Lab Riesling, Columbia Valley is medium-bodied, semi-sweet Riesling aged in all stainless steel. Photo by: Iconic Lens Photography.
9. Keeping Cool

Sweeter styles of Riesling can be kept colder (more than one hour in the refrigerator) but don’t overchill drier styles. Cool to the touch, which can be achieved with 20 minutes in a mixture of ice and water.

10. Riesling Rules!

People often say they don’t like Riesling, but once they try it, they’re hooked. Share the Riesling love.

About Leslie Sbrocco

An award-winning author, speaker, wine consultant, and television host, Leslie Sbrocco is known for her educational and entertaining approach to wine. Sbrocco’s engaging personality and in-depth knowledge is her trademark whether appearing on screen or in person. Follow her wine adventures on Instagram!

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