What is a Riesling Wine? How to Tell in a Blind Taste Test
Riesling is rapidly becoming one of the most popular white wines in the U.S. Still to this day, one of the most common questions we get from new wine drinkers is, exactly what is a Riesling? It’s an honest question, because, for the longest time, many people shunned this wine because they believed that Riesling was just another sweet white wine; however, nothing could be further from the truth. What is Riesling? Riesling wine is produced in many styles that run the entire gamut from extremely sweet to bone-dry. Today, many types of Riesling wines are produced in the U.S., including in California, Washington, Oregon, and New York. U.S. Riesling’s quality rivals the best Rieslings produced in Germany, Austria, Canada, and Australia. But no matter where Riesling is produced, it is one of the more outstanding white wines and has become a favorite among sommeliers.
WHERE DOES RIESLING WINE COME FROM?
While Riesling was first produced in Germany, today many other nations also make Riesling. In general, the Riesling grape prefers cooler climates, which permit its natural acidity to become prominent. What is a Riesling wine? Overall, German Riesling is on the sweeter side; for example, Kabinett is light and has hints of sweetened ripe fruit, whereas the Trockenbeerenauslese (what a mouthful) Riesling is more obviously sweet. However, anytime you come across a German Riesling labeled Trocken, this usually indicates that the wine is dry. How can you tell if a wine is a Riesling in a blind taste test? Depending on where it is grown, Riesling will have a distinct taste of minerality.
In the U.S., the Pacific Northwest–notably Oregon and Washington–produce excellent quality Riesling. Besides the dramatic ways Riesling acquires minerality from the soil in which it is grown, it also offers a wide range of styles for consumers to choose from. Even the sweet Riesling has adequate acidity to negate the excess residual sugar, permitting each sip to be mouth-watering, fresh, and decadent.
What is Riesling? At a restaurant or even at home, it is difficult to find a more food-friendly wine than Riesling. The high acidity permits it to cut through fattier dishes and rich sauces; further, any sweetness means that it will pair well with any dessert or fruit. Plus, the combination of acidity and sweetness will permit the wine to pair well with spicy or aromatic foods. Compared to many other more expensive white wines that can age for any length of time, Riesling is relatively affordable and offers great quality. For example, compared to Chardonnay, Riesling is a far more impressive wine, and much easier to pair with food.
THE TASTE OF RIESLING
What is a Riesling wine? The sweet variety will often reveal the presence of a variety of fruit, whereas the dry Riesling will be fresher, more delicious, and savory. No matter which Riesling you select, a universal feature is that the beverage will have traces of citrus fruit (lime, lemon), stone fruit (nectarine, peaches, apricot), orchard fruit (pears, apples), and hints of minerals, spice (ginger, lemongrass), and sometimes honey. All these characteristics can help determine if the wine is a Riesling in a blind taste test.
HOW TO SERVE RIESLING
To enjoy Riesling, it is best served chilled. But this also depends on whether the wine is dry or sweet. In general, cooler temperatures are ideal for the sweetened versions, but for the off-dry Riesling, slightly warmer temperatures will allow the ripened fruit and sweetness to permeate the wine. If you are going to be drinking Riesling, place it in the refrigerator for about two hours and then take it out about 20 minutes before serving.
What is Riesling? A few very good quality and affordable Riesling wines are indicated below:
How Many Carbs are in a Glass of Riesling?
When people drink wine, they usually do not think about calories or carbs. There is a general assumption in the population that, compared to soft drinks, wines have very few carbs or calories but that's not the truth. The majority of wines have carbs because of the residual sugar, and the sweeter the wine, the higher the number of carbs. But what about Riesling? If you’re wondering how many carbs in Riesling is typical, read on.
Riesling is a very popular white wine. Its tastes vary from bone dry to very sweet and in between. There are several different types, and the number of carbs varies depending on the type of Riesling. Because Riesling is available in many styles, it is suited for everyone, including those who are on a low-carb diet.
How many carbs in Riesling? In general, a low-carb or dry Riesling will have 2-6 grams per liter, whereas a high-carb or sweetened Riesling contains anywhere from 9-14 grams per liter. The sweeter the Riesling, the more carbs it contains.
WHICH RIESLING SHOULD YOU SELECT?
How many carbs in a glass of Riesling? In general, if you are watching your weight and/or are on a low-carb diet, go for the dry Riesling, which usually has very little sugar that varies from 2-6 carbs or about 1.4 g per 175 ml glass of German Riesling. The critical thing for people who are trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain is to read the label on the Riesling bottle. You preferably want a Riesling that is on the dry side and states the amount of residual sugar. In general, you want residual sugar to be less than 7g per liter. Of course, this also depends on how many glasses of wine you drink on a daily basis. If you indulge in 4-6 glasses of even the dry Riesling, you’re still ingesting a good amount of calories.
HOW MANY CARBS IN RIESLING: WHICH TYPE OF RIESLING?
When looking att he original scale of German Riesling, it is important to know the different types, as the number of carbs does vary. In general, the five types of Riesling include the following:
- Kabinett (bone dry to off-dry) contains 109 calories per serving
- Spätlese (slightly sweet) contains about 110 calories per serving
- Auslese (sweeter) contains about 118 calories per serving
- Beerenauslese (very sweet) contains about 152 calories per serving
- Trockenbeerenauslese (sweetest) contains about 172 calories per serving
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU DRINK?
In general, “moderate” drinking for men means two glasses of wine per day, and one glass of wine per day for women. Typically, Riesling made in North America will contain about 120 calories per glass, and it is recommended to have two or fewer drinks per day.
So, how many carbs in Riesling? Remember, if you are watching your weight, then besides the wine, you also need to watch what you eat. Everything in moderation. If you enjoy wine, that’s great! It is also recommended to live a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly.
Try some of our favorite Rieslings today!
How Long Does Riesling Last?
Other than water, almost every liquid beverage, including wine, will deteriorate in taste and flavor after the bottle has been opened. There are plenty of anecdotes from wine drinkers who opened up a nice bottle of wine and decided to finish it over a few days, only to find that the wine had gone bad in just two days. How long does Riesling last?
Once opened, most wines become more prominent with initial exposure to air, but with time, this expressiveness will start to fade. The oxygen in the air will diminish the fruity flavors and flatten out the aromatics. Drinking Riesling that has been oxidized or faded does not make for an optimal experience.
In general, the majority of wines will remain somewhat fresh for 2-5 days, but this also depends on the type of wine and how you store it.
HOW LONG DOES RIESLING LAST AFTER OPENING?
Riesling, like other white wines, has a shelf life of 2-5 days, depending on the type. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can maneuver through to maintain its great taste, freshness, and aroma. However, no matter how you may attempt to preserve the wine, you should drink the opened bottle of Riesling within 3-5 days. Beyond five days, the wine will most likely turn sour.
Preserving the Unopened Riesling
Avoid sunlight: Whether the Riesling is opened or unopened, one of the best ways to preserve it is to keep it away from direct sunlight. The wine should be stored in a dark, odorless area, preferably a basement.
Keep it cool: Another way to preserve the unopened Riesling is to store it in a cool place without too much humidity.
The above two tips will maintain the freshness of your unopened wine.
Preserving the Opened Riesling
How long does Riesling last after opening? Once a bottle of Riesling is opened, there are several ways to preserve the wine, which include the following:
Cork the bottle as soon as you have finished drinking. The sooner you re-cork it, the better it is for wine preservation. If the cork is ruined during the opening, and you don’t have another kind of bottle-stopper cover the opening with plastic wrap and place a tight rubber band around it.
Keep it cool. The opened bottle of Riesling should be placed in an ice bucket to keep it cool. This will ensure that the beverage retains its aroma, flavor, bubbliness, and taste. Storing wine at low temperatures slows down chemical reactions, which also helps preserve the wine.
Refrigerate. Once you are done drinking, store the Riesling in the refrigerator until you are ready to drink again. Make sure there is no strong odor in the fridge; otherwise, it could permeate and affect the wine.
Store wine on its side? If you’re planning on drinking your wine in the near future, then storing the wine on its side may not help. It also takes up more space this way. In general, unopened wines are usually stored on their side to ensure that the liquid comes into contact with the cork and prevents it from drying out.
Avoid temperature fluctuations. Once the Riesling is opened, avoid the wine getting exposed to wide fluctuations in temperature. Hot and cold temperatures usually lead to rapid deterioration of the wine. The key is to maintain the wine at a constant cool temperature. Temperature fluctuations can cause the wine to expand and contract, causing the cork to push out, which lets oxygen inside.
To tell if your Riesling has gone bad, the first thing to look for is a change in color. Riesling, being a white wine, will appear golden or light brown when oxidized. Next, the taste will be like vinegar or extremely sour.
How long does Riesling last after opening? Most opened Riesling wines can be preserved for 2-5 days, but this is not always a guarantee. The best advice if you want to enjoy your Riesling is to finish drinking the bottle each time you open it. This way, you will not have to worry about preservation, and, more importantly, you will save money in the long run as you will never have to throw away wine that has gone bad.
Looking to try some new Rieslings? Some of our affordable and great-quality Riesling wines include the following:
Our Best Summer Wine for 2023
The type of season definitely makes a difference in the type of wine people drink. With summer just a few months away, what wines should you be sipping? In general, there are some wines that are more favorable for warmer months; not only do they help cool you down, but they can quench your thirst and make you feel satisfied. What is the best summer wine?
The list of great summer wines is much longer and broader than most people realize. So how should one go about selecting summer wines? Throw a summer wine-tasting party? Yes!
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BEST SUMMER WINE
Color: Experts say that the wine's color is unimportant; both white and red wines can be consumed during the summer. The best red wines for summer should be those that can be chilled and have high acidity and low tannins. For those who prefer white wines, try to select those that have high mineral content or are fruit; that is the key to avoiding oaked or over-aged white wines.
Alcohol content: In general, to enjoy the best summer wine, alcohol content is very important. Most people want a summer wine with an alcohol content of less than 12 percent, preferably around 10 percent or less. Overall, wines that have less than 12 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) permit you to consume slightly more without developing the effects of high-alcohol wines. This scenario is ideal if you plan to be drinking over the weekend or attending a summer party.
Acidity: The best summer wine will preferably have a moderate acidity because this offers you a crisp and refreshing sensation, which is ideal for combating the summertime humidity and heat.
Go light: When the temperatures are warm, the body prefers lighter drinks and food. During summer, the body needs to cool down, hence fresh and lighter wines are ideal. The list includes sparkling wines, white wines, and rose wines.
Chill the wine: One of the most important tips for summer is to drink wines that have been chilled. This means placing the wine in the fridge for a few hours before drinking and then using an ice bucket to keep it chilled at the table. Have a summer wine-tasting party to get different viewpoints.
WINES TO AVOID
During the summer, avoid the highly tannic red wines and those with high alcohol content. Wines with high tannins are anything but refreshing and, in fact, can give a bitter and drying sensation during warm weather.
If all this is confusing, then select rose wine, which is a versatile wine, refreshing, easy to drink, covers all your gastric needs, and will quench your thirst. What’s a wonderful way to decide on the best summer wine? Have a summer wine-tasting party, of course!
If you are looking for the best summer wine, here are some of our favorites:
- The Sweet Riesling is refreshingly low in alcohol and moderately sweet with flavors of peach and pineapple. It is one of the most versatile wines that can be paired with many foods, including Thai, Indian, and Mexican, or simply enjoyed as an aperitif.
- Our Riesling Ice Wine is perhaps one of the best wines for the summer. Soft, bubbly, and packed with aromas of lilac and Meyer lemon, it has bracing acidity and high sugar levels. It is ideal for a summer barbecue, late-night dessert, or charcuterie.
- Pinot Noir Rosé is an elegant wine with aromas of strawberry, rose petals, and pomegranate. It is completely dry with refreshing acidity and is ideal for a warm summer’s day with or without a barbecue.
- Silver Totem is our Washington version of Cabernet Sauvignon. It is not so ripe and jammy as to be a Californian and not so lean and gravelly as to be mistaken for a left-bank Bordeaux. This is a full-bodied red wine with notes of blackberry and oak that has been aged for 16 months to soften tannins and give it an extra flair.
- Our Sweet Red is a high-quality red wine from Washington that is bursting with juicy flavors of fresh, dark berries. The wine has a good balance of fresh acidity and sweetness that make it ideal for consumption with many foods.
- Our Gruner Veltliner is a dry wine with high minerality, which is balanced with flavors of white peach and citrus. This top-quality wine from Washington is prized for its wonderful aroma and softness; it is a refreshing wine for summer.
Wine at Weddings: How Much, and Which Types?
While some people, especially non-wine drinkers, may not give a second thought to the type of drinks served at a wedding, there are others who feel that the choice of wine is just as important as the food choices. These wine aficionados believe that the wrong wine can ruin a wedding dinner. The fact is that the majority of great weddings are remembered for their beverages and great food. But with a plethora of red and white wine choices, what types of wine to serve at weddings becomes an important question. How much wine to serve at a wedding is another excellent question. You also need to remember that all your guests may have different tastes, and, therefore, you need to select wine(s) that will be universally appealing to the masses.
TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION
Be open: Do not select a wine for the wedding strictly based on what you like. Think about your guests. What types of wine to serve at weddings? While you may prefer red wines, some guests may prefer white wines, so make sure your selection includes both types of wines.
Consider the time of the day and season: If the wedding is during fall or winter, then you may want to consider a warm red wine. If the wedding is at an outside venue during the spring or summer, nothing beats a light white wine.
Don’t forget the food: You want to select wines that will pair well with the wedding dinner. In such cases, you will need to select your food first before making the wine selection. You may want to discuss the wine selection with your caterer and determine what options are available. The general rule is that whites go with white meat (most seafood and poultry) and reds go with red meat, but there can be many exceptions.
Cost: It is important to consider the cost of the wine. Will the provider charge you per bottle, the corkage fee, and will they refund any money if there are wine bottles left over at the end of the wedding? The answer to the question, “How much wine to serve at a wedding?” can definitely impact your budget.
Tasting session: Because of the wide range of wines available, it is highly recommended that you have a tasting session at home, maybe with family and guests. This way, you will have a much better idea of what types of wine to serve at weddings.
Keep it simple: One key rule when it comes to wine selection for a wedding is to keep things simple. Do not try to please every guest and avoid selecting exotic wines which may appeal to only a few people. Go with the common, well-known wines that have stood the test of time.
WHICH WINES SHOULD YOU SELECT FOR A WEDDING?
This is an all-time wedding favorite. This delicate, light red wine is refreshing and smooth and pairs well with foods that contain meat. But because it is light, it will also pair well with most foods, including desserts.
Another wedding favorite wine is Sauvignon Blanc. This dry, mildly sweet white wine pairs well with chicken, cheese, seafood, veggies, and pasta. Sauvignon Blanc is a simple wine that is also very affordable and liked by most people.
This is a full-bodied red wine with exceptional fruit flavors and high tannins. This assertive wine is best paired with meats like steak, lamb, prime rib, rib roast, and so on.
This wine is a sister wine of Pinot Grigio and works great for summer weddings, especially when it is hot. The wine is best served chilled and will help cool down your guests. Pinot Gris is a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
Finally, you most likely want to include some bubbly or sparkling wine for a champagne toast. Today, there are many varieties of affordable sparkling wines, and, universally, they pair well with light foods like cheese, French fries, appetizers, nuts, and all types of desserts, including tarts, pies, and cheesecakes.
How much wine to serve at a wedding? Try to choose several types. Other wedding wines which can also serve you well include Chardonnay, Syrah, rose wines, a variety of Rieslings, and many more.
What types of wine to serve at weddings? While most aspects of wedding planning can be complex, it does not have to be the case with the selection of wines. The reason is that prior to the wedding, there will be ample opportunities to sample different wines and foods, and most people will agree that this is a fun and enjoyable part of the planning process. Looking to try some great wines for your wedding? Check out what we have to offer!