Riesling is a white grape variety of wine native to the Rhine region of Germany. It is a refreshingly aromatic and beloved wine that is commonly associated with the Alsace region in France, the Finger Lakes region of the United States, and the Clare and Eden Valleys in Australia. It’s one of the few wines that can age for decades, as well as of the few wines with its own signature bottle shape—tall and slender.
Reisling is a recognizable white wine. Even people who don’t often drink whine know Riesling is a white grape variety.
Riesling ranges from dry to sparkling to sweet dessert wines. You’ll typically hear descriptions like crisp, clean, and acidic. When it’s not aged very long, it will take on floral notes and expressive fruity flavors. Dependent upon the region, the fruit characteristics will range from juicy stone fruits to bright citrus. You’ll commonly find hints of jasmine or citrus blossoms. You may also find traces of ginger, beeswax, honey, and (in finely aged Resliengs) distinctive petrol notes. Let’s talk about the petrol notes for a minute. This may sound off-putting, but it’s absolutely a good thing. The distinct flavor and smell happen when as a result of a chemical compound—called TDN—in the grape itself. This compound strengthens during the aging process, so the longer the age, the stronger the petrol. Isn’t this wine typically sweet? No, not all Riesling wines are sweet. Most producers are now focusing on creating dry or off-dry Riesling wine varieties. Riesling can also be made into a bright, bubbly sparkling wine.
Riesling is a versatile wine that pairs well with many foods, but it brightly shines alongside spicy food. It doesn’t matter if you’re enjoying a spicy Indian curry or a herbaceous Thai salad. The naturally high acidity keeps your palate fresh, and the residual sugar in the bottle helps tame the spice. Riesling is the perfect partner.