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Regal Riesling

Riesling is one of the most misunderstood wines in the world. It also has the potential to be among the greatest: critics, sommeliers, and other wine professionals tend to love Riesling—when it’s made well.

What is Riesling?

Riesling is a white wine made from the grape variety of the same name. There are many different Riesling types, from dry Riesling to sweet Riesling, and seemingly everything in between. The Riesling grape variety is capable of producing excellent wines in all of these styles, and often at a very reasonable price.

Where does Riesling come from?

Riesling is grown all over the world. In Germany, where it is most famously produced, Mosel Riesling is widely known—though German Riesling is made in other regions too, like Pfalz, Rheinhessen, Rheingau, and Nahe. In France, Alsace Riesling is the most famous. Austrian Riesling tends to be made in a much dryer style, and excellent versions can also be found in Australia, New Zealand, California, Washington State, New York’s Finger Lakes, and beyond.

What are the different kinds of Riesling?

When it comes to Riesling, notable regions and styles abound. In Germany, it’s safe to assume that a bottle of Riesling will have some hint of sweetness unless the label says “trocken,” which means dry. Among the off-dry (or semi-sweet to quite sweet) styles in Germany are, in increasing order of ripeness and sweetness: Riesling Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, and Eiswein. Eiswein is a late harvest Riesling whose berries have been allowed to frost over just before picking, which increases the ratio of sugar to water when they’re crushed. In Australia, most Riesling is made in a dryer style. For Riesling from elsewhere in the world, it’s best to ask your favorite salesperson or sommelier, though some back labels of Riesling now include a sweetness scale, which will give you an idea of how sweet it is. The best of them, no matter where they come from, will have enough mouthwatering acidity to balance out any residual sugar. As for how much you’ll have to spend, Riesling price varies, but in general, it remains one of the great values of the wine world.

What are popular brands of Riesling?

Excellent Riesling is made all over the world. Some of the most popular brands include Chateau Ste. Michelle, Relax Riesling, Barefoot Riesling, Dr. Loosen Riesling, Trimbach Riesling, Clean Slate, Pacific Rim Riesling, Starling Castle Riesling, and Bluefield Riesling.

What does Riesling taste like?

Riesling wine tastes of flavors across a whole spectrum of fruits and spices. Citrus fruit is standard, as are autumn orchard fruits like apples and pears. Riper and sweeter versions often have tropical fruit characteristics, and sweet spices can be found, too. Many of the best ones usually have a petrol-like aroma, which is a sign, interestingly enough, that it’s been grown in the best soil. Bur trust us—it doesn’t taste like petrol.

Is Riesling a good wine?

Yes. Like any wine, there are good versions and lesser ones, but good Riesling is among the most delicious and food-friendly in the world. People often ask what does Riesling pair with? The answer is, almost everything! Riesling pairing with food is a gratifying exercise. Try it with Thai food, Chinese food, Italian fritto misto, and more. You name it, and Riesling will likely work alongside it.

When should you drink Riesling?

You should drink Riesling every chance you get. It’s wonderful on its own as an aperitif and delicious alongside a vast range of foods. And because many Rieslings tend to have somewhat lower alcohol content than other white wines, it is a fantastic option for lunchtime, too.

What is sweeter Riesling or Moscato?

It depends on the producer and style of each. There are some Moscatos that are sweeter, and some Rieslings that take the sweetness prize. In general, however, Moscato has less acidity, which makes it taste sweeter, even if it has less sugar.

Can I use Riesling for cooking?

Absolutely. You can use any wine for cooking that you’d be happy to drink. Remember, cooking with wine often concentrates its flavors, so as long as you like the Riesling you’re cooking with, go for it.

Does Riesling go bad?

All wine eventually goes bad. Unless you have a specific temperature-controlled cellar or wine fridge, we recommend opening your bottle of Riesling sooner rather than later. But properly stored, Riesling from a top producer and made in a great vintage can age for decades. Once you open the bottle, no matter who made the wine or how much it costs, you really should finish it within two or three days, maximum.

How do I know my Riesling is bad?

When white wine gets too old or is open for too long, it takes on an unpleasant nutty or Sherry-like character. Other flaws can affect Riesling, like volatile acidity, which will make the wine smell like nail polish remover. If it smells off in any way, your best bet is to avoid it and move on to another great bottle of Riesling.

Browse our full selection of Riesling online or check out our selection of highly-rated Riesling for a great new Riesling to try this week!

Want to learn more about Riesling?

Visit our Guide to Riesling to learn more about Riesling.