Pacific Rim
August 5, 2021 | Pacific Rim

The Essential Guide to Riesling Wine

Riesling Wine 101

Riesling wine is readily available in North America, but most consumers know very little about its history. This refreshingly delicate aromatic white wine is native to regions along the Rhine River in Germany. Besides Germany, Riesling is also made in Austria, throughout eastern Europe, South Africa, Australia, France, and the United States

Two glasses of white wine (Reisling) in vineyard

The wine is highly acidic in nature because it boasts a wide range of fruity flavors like apricots, apples, limes, pears, and peaches. A feature unique to Riesling wine is that it is one of the few wines with an iconic tall and slender bottle shape that makes it easily recognizable on the shelf. 

The History of Riesling

Riesling’s history can be traced to the Rhine wine region of Germany, where it was the preferred beverage of German royalty. It was a wine that was commonly consumed during business dealings by the Europeans during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Early on, it was quickly realized that Riesling was one of the few rare wines that aged gracefully and developed a high-quality taste over time. 

This is one of the common reasons why the best Riesling wines are often stored for decades and can be found in the basements of many estates. Part of the reason for its high quality is due to the high level of acidity. During the aging process, it is now known that a compound called TDN is secretly giving the wine its hallmark petrol-like aroma.

Riesling Producers

In the Rhine region, the majority of Riesling produced is medium- to full-bodied and more acidic. Besides Germany, Austria and France also produce very high-quality Riesling wines that tend to be light-bodied and sweet or maybe very dry.  Outside Europe, Australia is also a major producer of dry Riesling wine, which characteristically has unique citrus flavors.

In North America, Riesling is produced on both the East and West Coasts. On the West Coast, the wine is typically dry and contains mature stony, fruity flavors.  A delightfully 2018 Dry Riesling wine, produced in the beautiful Yakima Valley in the State of Washington, is pure and crisp, with jasmine, citrus, and mineral flavors to delight the senses.  The soils in the Yakima and Horse Heaven Hills areas of the larger Columbia Valley are ideal for producing complex Riesling wines.

The Taste of Riesling

In its youth, Riesling is most well-known for its fruity flavors. These fruity flavors depend on which part of the world the wine is produced. In Germany and France, it is known to have flavors of apples, apricots, peaches, and pears, but in Australia, the wine is most commonly associated with flowery tastes, including citrus, jasmine, and even stony fruits. In addition, as the wine ages, it will also pick up other flavors like beeswax, honey, ginger, and the distinct petrol aroma.

Is the Wine Sweet?

Most Riesling wines that come from Germany are sweet due to the grapes, but in other parts of the world, the wine may be dry.  A bottle of 2019 Sweet Riesling is processed in such a way as to maintain as much fruitiness and freshness as possible, with peach and pineapple flavors. 

A 2019 J Riesling, with the “J” and then the capital “R” standing for “Just Right” because that’s what it is – just right.  Both dry and sweet Rieslings are so popular, it seemed “Just Right” to craft a wine in between those two.  This charming Riesling works well with spicy dishes, while the acidity goes well with German and French foods that are richer and heavier. 

A wonderful dessert wine, the 2018 Vin De Glacière Riesling has about 16 percent residual sugar with nuances of jasmine, pear, and honey and a well-preserved natural acidity.

Pairing Riesling with Food

Riesling can be paired with a wide range of foods, but it is ideally best consumed alongside spicy and hot foods, like Thai curries, Indian biryani, or hot Chinese noodles. The high acidity of the wine will tame the hot spices and keep the palate refreshed after every bite. Other foods that pair well with Riesling include Mexican cuisine, roast duck, Cajun cuisine, and most Italian foods.

When Should I Drink Riesling Wine?

The best Riesling wine can be consumed at any time, it is ideal for the summer and warm nights. The reason is that the high acidity and the crisp taste will seduce you into making a spicy barbecue, followed by a cooling sensation after drinking a glass of sparkling Riesling wine. To maintain the freshness, Riesling wines are at their best when refrigerated and served cold.


Good Riesling wines are very affordable at between $10.99 and $16.99 when you purchase them online from Pacific Rim and Company or at a store that carries their products near you.  Pacific Rim is passionate about Riesling wines.  They care about the land and are responsible stewards in their sustainability practices to keep the State of Washington beautiful.

Whether you choose a dry or sweet Riesling or one that sits in the middle of the road and is “Just Right,” you can’t go wrong with a selection from Pacific Rim and Company.  They are very conscientious about using the best sustainable grape-growing techniques for low-input winemaking. 

In the vineyards, they conserve water by not overwatering the grapes and also use the natural yeast from the grapes for the fermentation process.  Go online today to check out their story and see the vast selection of the best Riesling wines available now for purchase.  You can enjoy your favorite Riesling soon!

Time Posted: Aug 5, 2021 at 6:51 AM Permalink to The Essential Guide to Riesling Wine Permalink
Pacific Rim
August 3, 2021 | Pacific Rim

Drink Riesling All Summer: How to Tell How Sweet It Is

Even though Riesling wine has been around for several centuries, it is often an underappreciated wine. It is not the wine that is frequently ordered during dining or for celebrating a festive occasion, and, sadly, most wine drinkers are missing out on this special beverage. 

a fresh chilled glass of ice wine overlooking a vineyard

Riesling wines tend to be less sweet, have a little bit more alcohol, and feel heavier on the palate. Riesling is mass-produced in the Rhine region of Germany and other neighboring countries, like France and Austria. It was one of the first wines to be consumed by the German elite back in the 14th century. 

Since the 1970s, exports of Riesling wine to the North American market have increased chiefly because it is assumed to be sweet. But while Riesling may be a great wine, there is much more to this classic beverage than just tradition.

Is Riesling Wine Sweet?

In general, even though many people think of Riesling as a sweet wine, it is not. Even though the wine is made from one of the finest grapes in the world, the wine is more on the dry side or more acidic. This is not to say that there are no sweet Riesling wines - there are several. But one thing that was observed during the manufacturing process is that Riesling wine tends to taste much better with age; that is a common reason why many Riesling wines are stored for decades as they develop the unique aromatic petrol aroma. 

But the problem is that as the wine ages, all the sugar content gets converted into alcohol. Over several decades of storage, the original wine can transform into a complex beverage with all kinds of secondary flavors, such as ginger, honey, wax, mushrooms, and nutty flavors.

The Fermentation Process

To appreciate why Riesling wines are not so sweet means first understanding the manufacturing process. When the grapes are mashed and fermented, the breakdown includes a lot of sugar. Early on during the winemaking process, the wine will be sweet because of the high sugar content, but it will lack many other features of a great wine. 

As the fermentation continues, all the sugar is broken down into alcohol, which is the reason why Riesling wines tend to be medium- or full-bodied. Also, at this stage, all the substances released from the grape skin, including tannins and flavonoids, bring out the fruity flavor of the wine.

Which Riesling Wines Are Sweet?

In general, Riesling wines (Kabinett) made from grapes picked during the early part of the harvest tend to have low alcohol content and are light-bodied and dry.

Riesling wines (Spatlese) made from grapes picked during the later part of the season tend to have a full body and can be dry. The mild sweetness is often overridden by acidity.

Riesling wines made from “specially harvested” grapes (Ausles) or berry-selected harvest (Beerenaulese) tend to be fairly sweet and mild wines.

The sweetest Riesling wines (Trockenbeerenauslese) are the most expensive and quite tasty but have low alcohol content. 

Finally, there is Riesling ice wine made from frozen grapes. These wines tend to have a combination of sweetness and acidity and are always bubbly.

How Do I Tell If My Riesling Wine Is Sweet?

Read the label: The best way to tell if your Riesling is sweet, read the label. All wines will have a label that states the residual sugar (RS) and alcohol by volume (ABV). The RS is the measure of sugar left in the wine after the fermentation process. If all the sugar is converted into alcohol, the ABV will be high, and the RS will be low. 

On the other hand, if there is still some RS left in the wine, the ABV will tend to be on the low side, thus making the wine a little sweet. Therefore, if you want a sweet Riesling wine, choose one that has an ABV of 11% or lower and if you prefer high alcohol content, choose one with an ABV of more than 13.5%.

The 2018 Vin De Glacière Riesling uses a process that freezes the grapes and is then pressed frozen, resulting in approximately 36% sugar concentration.  The juice then goes through fermentation until the residential sugar reaches 16%.  You will notice the flavors of honey, pear, and jasmine in this sweet wine that pairs well with desserts.  This is one of the sweetest Riesling wines.

Know Where to Get Your Sweet Riesling Wine All Summer Long

To learn more about sweet Riesling wines, go online to Pacific Rim and Company.  Pacific Rim is passionate about Riesling wines, not just the sweet but all the varieties.  The 2019 Sweet Riesling is a favorite with its peach and pineapple notes.  The wine has 7% residual sugar with a fresh, fruity, and lively feel due to the carbon dioxide we leave behind from the process.  It’s great just as an aperitif or to pair with spicy cuisine.

Time Posted: Aug 3, 2021 at 6:22 AM Permalink to Drink Riesling All Summer: How to Tell How Sweet It Is Permalink
Pacific Rim
July 24, 2021 | Pacific Rim

What is the healthiest red wine?

Over the past two decades, studies have indicated that some wines, particularly red wines, offer real health benefits including lower blood pressure, improved heart health, decreased cholesterol levels, and increased longevity.

Woman Enjoying Glass of Red Wine

Why, though, is red wine so good for your health, and what healthy red wine options can you include with your diet? 

The Power of Red Wine

Red wines contain lots of polyphenols, which are organic compounds that come packed inside many plant-based foods. Once inside your body, polyphenols act as antioxidants, which have the power to counteract free radicals that might damage your cells.

Free radicals tend to be responsible for all kinds of harmful conditions including cancer and heart disease. The two polyphenols linked to a variety of health benefits include procyanidins and resveratrol, both of which are inside red wine.

In study after study, these polyphenols have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, resulting in an elevation of the good cholesterol and lowering the bad cholesterol. 

How much wine does it take to achieve these health benefits? Studies suggest a glass a day for women and two for men should offer you the level of protection you need. 

The Best Red Wine for Health Purposes

Now that you know how they work, which ones are the right choice to give you the health effects you’re looking for?

In general red wines that have health benefits usually have been fermented a lot longer. Fermentation lowers the amount of sugar in the wine but allows it to retain fruity or aromatic flavors.

Red wines made from thick-skinned grapes are also relatively healthy as they contain tannins that offer you a number of additional health benefits. These red wines don’t taste as sweet as others, but that’s a small price to pay for such powerful health benefits.

Not sure which wine to choose? Try one of these nine options.

  1. Barbera is a red wine from Italy with aromatic flavors. This wine is high in resveratrol and protects the heart.
  2. Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine rich in flavonoids that help protect the heart from cholesterol-induced damage.
  3. Cannonau is made from French grapes grown on the island of Sardinia. These grapes have very thick skin and have high levels of tannins, which have potent antioxidant activity.
  4. Malbec is a red wine with tastes of chocolate and blackberry. It is packed with antioxidants. Made from thick-skinned grapes, it also contains tannins which have been linked to good heart health.
  5. Merlot is a medium-bodied wine with high levels of procyanidin and resveratrol. It is said to promote heart health by lowering blood cholesterol.
  6. Nebbiolo is a red wine from Piedmont that contains high levels of procyanidins. It has a fruity flavor and also contains melatonin, which is a good sleeping aid.
  7. Pinot Noir is rated as the healthiest wine because of the high levels of resveratrol. It is made of grapes with thin skin, has low sugar, fewer calories, and low alcohol content.
  8. Sagrantino made in Italy contains the highest concentration of antioxidants and is packed with tannins.
  9. Tannat is a full-bodied wine with a high concentration of tannins and soft fruity flavors. It is made from dark grapes that contain high levels of procyanidin.

The right red wine means various health benefits, and along with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it could be the next superfood you need to add to your diet. 

PACIFIC RIM AND COMPANY is located in the Pacific Northwest. Pacific Rim and Company representatives are available to answer your wine questions and offer selections that are sure to please your palette with an online presence. 

Time Posted: Jul 24, 2021 at 5:37 AM Permalink to What is the healthiest red wine? Permalink
Pacific Rim
July 14, 2021 | Pacific Rim

What is the difference between light, medium, and heavy red wine?

While there are many different words to describe wine, “body” is perhaps the most unique. The body of wine has nothing to do with the shape of its bottle or the wine itself.

Young couple having red wine at outdoor restaurant

Red Wines from Lightest to Boldest

Instead, it has everything to do with the way the wine feels inside your mouth. It may help to think of it this way. When you drink a glass of water, it doesn’t stick to the inside of your mouth. Instead, it flows quickly, and once you swallow, there’s no real aftertaste.

Switch to a strawberry milkshake, though, and you’ll find the inside of your mouth is coated with a viscous, thick liquid. After swallowing, you’ll have that residual, pleasant taste in your mouth. That’s what’s meant by “body.” 

This same concept applies to wines. Some feel like water inside your mouth. Those tend to be light-bodied wines.

Where does boldness in wine come from?

Others, though, feel vicious and somehow thicker, leaving a lingering flavor on your tongue. Those are full-bodied wines. In between the two are the medium-bodied wines. Generally, a heavy red wine is more likely to be full-bodied.

A medium red wine might be somewhere in the middle. A light white wine is usually a light-bodied wine.

The key factor that contributes to the body of the wine is the level of alcohol. The higher the alcohol content, the higher the viscosity and vice versa.

  1. Wines with high levels of alcohol will usually feel viscous and feel fuller in the mouth. All wine bottles have the level of alcohol clearly stated on the label. 
  2. Wines that have less than 12.5% alcohol are said to be light-bodied wines. Classic light-bodied wines include Pinot Noir, Gamay, Shiva, Lambrusco, St. Laurent, Riesling, etc
  3. Wines that have an alcohol level between 12.5% and 13.5% are considered medium-bodied and include Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon blanc, Rose, Cabernet Franc, and French Burgundy. 

Wine Alcohol Content

Wines that have an alcohol level of 13.5% are considered full-bodied and include wines like Shiraz, Syrah, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet, and Malbec

Overall, the majority of full-bodied wines are red wines but some white wines that are full-bodied include Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Rhones Whites, and White Rioja to name a few.

Heavy red wines tend to be best consumed in small amounts and paired with rich foods like steak, meats cooked in a sweet marinade or sauce, or coated with a spicy crust. 

Understanding the difference between light, medium, and heavy wines is vital as you prepare to make your next purchase so you can enjoy it with the ideal pairing.

PACIFIC RIM AND COMPANY is located in the Pacific Northwest. Pacific Rim and Company representatives are available to answer your wine questions and offer selections that are sure to please your palette with an online presence.

Time Posted: Jul 14, 2021 at 5:14 AM Permalink to What is the difference between light, medium, and heavy red wine? Permalink
Pacific Rim
July 6, 2021 | Pacific Rim

Is Red Wine Stronger Than White Wine?

As you begin your journey into the world of wine, you might have many questions. One of the most common is whether red wine or white wine is the most powerful.

The strength of the wine doesn’t have anything to do with the color. Instead, it relies on the alcohol content in the wines themselves. 

Understanding Alcohol Content

Wine is made from grapes. Some grapes have a higher concentration of sugar than others. The riper the grapes, the higher the sugar content; thus, during the process of fermentation, more of the sugar will be converted into alcohol 

To further increase the alcohol content, grapes used to make red wine are usually harvested much later, increasing the amount of sugar.

In the past, grapes for red wine were usually harvested later, and thus wines frequently had a higher concentration of alcohol. 

Things have changed somewhat, though. Today, most wine drinkers prefer wines with less alcohol. Thus, today, grapes are harvested earlier to make wine that is more delicate, gentle, and appreciated by a broader segment of the population. Lighter wines also tend to be paired better with a wide range of food.

How Much Alcohol Is In Your Wine?

The alcohol content in wine ranges from as low as 5.5% to a high of 23% ABV. In North America, all wines have a label that states the amount of alcohol. As a result, it’s pretty easy to tell if you’re getting a wine with higher alcohol content. 

So, is red wine stronger than white wine? Not really. While red wines, in general, tend to be stronger than whites, there are more than a few exceptions to that rule.

PACIFIC RIM AND COMPANY is located in the Pacific Northwest. Pacific Rim and Company representatives are available to answer your wine questions and offer selections that are sure to please your palette with an online presence.

Time Posted: Jul 6, 2021 at 1:34 PM Permalink to Is Red Wine Stronger Than White Wine? Permalink


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