Pacific Rim
September 3, 2021 | wine | Pacific Rim

What is Riesling Wine?

Riesling wine is one of the most popular wines in Europe, and that popularity has emigrated to the United States. Even though Riesling wine has been around for centuries, it was not as well-known as Chardonnay in North America. But rest assured, Riesling is an excellent light- to medium-bodied white wine with fruity flavors and a distinct aroma that is now taking its place as one of the most requested wines worldwide.

White Wine Riesling

Riesling wine has its origins along the Rhine River in Germany. Because of the type of grapes, the wine boasts many fruity flavors, including those of apricots, apples, pears, and peaches, as well as high levels of acidity. Besides Germany, Riesling is also made in nearby Austria and France, as well as New Zealand, California, New York, and Washington. In most of these locations, other than Germany, Riesling is medium- to full-bodied with little residual sugar.

Riesling is one of the few white wines that mature with age and develop a distinct petroleum aroma, a quality of aged wine considered superb.

Types of Riesling Wine

Several types of Riesling wine are available to choose from; one is sure to be favorable for every occasion or need.

  • Dry
  • Lean
  • Sparkling
  • Light
  • Slightly sweet
  • Dessert

The Taste of Riesling

What is Riesling wine?  Types of Riesling wine are available in many tastes and flavors. When the wine is made early in fermentation, it retains the fruity notes. This fruity character depends on where the wine is from.  In Germany, the wine will boast flavors of apples, pear, and apricots, but those from Australia will include citrus flavors. 

In addition, Riesling from Austria and France may have flavors of Stoney fruits. Along the way, it is not uncommon for Riesling to pick up flavors of ginger, beeswax, or honey. Traditionally, Riesling wines have tended to be on the sweeter side to balance the high acidity, but today, a significant amount of Riesling produced is dry or semi-dry.

Sparkling Riesling

Besides the high acidic wine, Riesling is also available as a high-quality sparkling wine, often dry or semi-dry. 

Riesling Labels

Types of Riesling wine:  The labeling of wines in Europe is a little different from North America. In general, the origins and pradikatswein levels are mentioned on the label, indicating the wine’s sweetness. In simple terms, if you want a sweet Reisling, then go with a wine that has a high pradikatswein level. These include Kabineet, spätlese, Beerenauslese, and Trockenbeerenauslese.

Pairing Riesling With Food

What is Riesling wine? Riesling pairs well with many types of food, but because it is light- to medium-bodied, it pairs best with spicy, hot, and curried foods, including Indian curries, Chinese duck, and hot Thai rice dishes. The wine's natural acidity balances the spice/hotness, while the residual sugar tames the rich, spicy curries. 

In addition, Riesling can also be paired with most meat, seafood, chicken, and pork dishes. It works especially well if they are high in aromatic herbs, including ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and thyme. 

Cost of Riesling Wine

For the most part, good Riesling wines are under $15, especially those from Washington and California.

Riesling gained its very own winery in 2006 in the State of Washington, Pacific Rim, and Company.  The enthusiasts who dedicated 90 percent of their entire vineyard to the production of Riesling wines were very passionate about it, and they still are.  There is a Riesling for everything!  The soils in the Columbia Valley in the State of Washington are prime territory for producing the best Riesling wines.  Call today to talk to an expert about Riesling wines.


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