We are keeping the focus on the femme as we are halfway through Women’s History Month—so why not feature Germany’s Queen of grapes: ravishing Riesling!
Why You Need to Drink Riesling Now
Truthfully, you should never have stopped enjoying one of the world’s most versatile wines, but unfortunately many would-be drinkers associate Riesling with being cloyingly sweet. And while some Riesling is deliberately produced to retain higher levels of residual sugar, bone-dry versions abound! This highly aromatic and terroir-driven varietal can be crisp and mouth-wateringly refreshing. But don’t disregard the sweet versions either: some of the most highly-prized and age-worthy wines of the world are sweet Rieslings.
What are Riesling’s roots?
An ancient grape, Riesling originated in the Rhine wine region of Germany/Alsace in the first half of the 1400’s. As the choice of German nobility, it was stored in cellars throughout the country. Due to its high acidity and structure, it was discovered to be one of the few white wines, like Chardonnay, that could age for decades. While most white wines are meant to be enjoyed soon after purchase, high-quality Riesling improves over time. And don’t let its signature tinge of “gasoline” aroma deter you from the other lovely floral, stone fruit, and tropical notes that emanate from your glass. It’s this underlying chemical compound that contributes to its ageability.
Which Riesling is for me?
If you favor a drier style of Riesling look for examples from the Alsace region in France. The fifty-one Grand Cru vineyards in this area produce some of the most sought-after dry Rieslings in the world, some from estates founded in the 1600’s! The Kremstal region of Austria also boasts crisp, refreshing Rieslings perfect for well-spiced Asian or Indian food. For a sweeter version of Riesling, seek out the storied off-dry wines of the Mosel region in Germany, where the grape is the most-widely planted. For a New World expression, head to California’s Central Coast or Washington State, surprisingly the largest producer of Riesling in the world!
Enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, Riesling is one of the most versatile grape in the world. Now, isn’t time YOU revisited Riesling?