Types of Wine: Riesling Article - Allrecipes.com
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Types of Wine: Riesling

Find out what to pair with one of the world's great food wines.

Riesling's crisp, palate-refreshing acidity helps explain its well-earned reputation.

Recipes to Pair with Riesling

Riesling is frequently bright with acidity and, depending on where it's grown, on the low-alcohol side, with flavors of apple and citrus.

Try Riesling with spicy foods, poultry, pork, and fish--and there's nothing better with Thai food:

Styles of Riesling

Despite being so food-friendly, Riesling is often overlooked when we're deciding on a dinner wine. Why all this neglect?

Some of it could be the baffling wine labels on German Rieslings: So many looong German words, so little sense to make of them. Or it could be that sometimes Rieslings are somewhat sweet, though they can also be quite dry ("dry" simply means "not sweet")--Rieslings really run the full gamut.

But don't be turned off by a little sweetness. It's a trademark of Riesling that even the sweet versions will offer enough palate-refreshing acidity to keep things balanced, so they're still crisp rather than cloying. If you're not sure if it's dry or sweet, just ask the wine merchant.

Tasting tip: Try slightly sweet, lower-alcohol styles with spicy foods!

Where Riesling Calls Home

  • Germany: German Rieslings run the full range from dry to super sweet dessert wines. They have very good acidity and are low in alcohol, making them the perfect pairing with spicy foods.
  • Alsace, France: Alsatian Rieslings tend toward the dry (meaning "not sweet") and full-bodied, usually with more alcohol than German styles.
  • Australia: Aussie Rieslings combine bracing acidity with citrus (often lime) flavors and more alcohol than German styles. They can be dry and steely.
  • Washington state: Washington Rieslings are known for having a toe in both worlds, bringing together the best of Australian and German styles; they offer a touch of sweetness balanced with refreshing acidity and a measure of alcohol typically greater than German styles.

Riesling Aromas: Riesling is known for aromas of green apple, lime, peach, grapefruit, honeysuckle, mineral, slate, floral, diesel fuel, and toast.

    Aug. 10, 2009 7:06 am
    Riesling is my favorite wine anytime.
    Aug. 10, 2009 11:36 am
    Riesling is also my absolute favorite wine!
    Aug. 10, 2009 6:17 pm
    This sounds like the perfect wine for me. I'm not into wines because most of them are too acidic and much too dry. I'm going to give this one a try with my asian dishes. Thanks!
    Aug. 13, 2009 12:03 pm
    Don't forget the now international Gewurztraminer they go well with Chinese food too.
    Aug. 29, 2009 10:58 am
    If you really Love Riesling, my two favorites are: Willamette Valley and Chateau St. Michelle
    Aug. 30, 2009 11:50 am
    Riesling is my absolute favorite. I fell in love with it on a trip to Germany. You can't go wrong with Chateau St. Michelle!
    Aug. 31, 2009 6:51 am
    Relax riesling is my favorite wine.
    Sep. 1, 2009 8:36 am
    Am I the only one who likes Rhine? I never see it recommended! Why is that?
    Sep. 1, 2009 12:59 pm
    Riesling is a Great dinner wine, I especially enjoy the Moscato.
    Sep. 10, 2009 4:38 am
    A wine merchant had me sample Riesling when I was chosing a wine for my wedding reception. Ever since, it has been my favorite.
    Sep. 15, 2009 1:56 pm
    Napa, Sonoma, Solano and Alexander Valley wines - home to some of the most coveted Rieslings in California. No need for this hostess to travel far to find a wine for even the most discerning of wine aficionado.
    Sep. 27, 2009 10:33 am
    good moscato
    Oct. 14, 2009 2:19 pm
    chateau st michelle is the best...it's einexpensive, and wonderful with spicy foods...asian, tex mex, fusion, and even spicy seafood...really good!!!
    Oct. 18, 2009 6:24 pm
    Oh my..Rieslings are the best!! Try Hogue Valley late harvest, or Silver Lake Roza Reisling... both from WA state...soooo good!!!
    Oct. 18, 2009 7:03 pm
    There is nothing better than a nice cool glass of Washington State Reisling! Absolutely my favorite wine! Chateau St. Michelle is the very best and won't break the bank.
    Jan. 6, 2010 1:56 pm
    mmmm i love rieslings... tastiest. my favorite is columbia, it's smooth and just the perfect amount of sweetness!
    Jan. 9, 2010 6:09 pm
    I discovered riesling wine a couple years ago and it's been my choice ever since... love it!
    Jan. 26, 2010 12:07 pm
    My favorite wine would definetly have to be Chateau St. Michelle...
    Jan. 27, 2010 7:31 am
    If you like Riesling try these GEMS... Five H White Riesling - lightly sweet goes perfectly with Thai dishes and Chinese food! Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling is out of this world! if you like the sweeter styles! Both Washington State and both under $15... GOTTA TRY THEM!
    Mar. 30, 2010 8:29 pm
    Kung-Fu Girl Washington Riesling is a great wine...Awesome with Chicken Tikka Masala!!
    Apr. 19, 2010 10:35 am
    I love, love, love Reisling - did you know: Reislings made from grapes grown in the southwest are sweeter because they get more sun.
    Apr. 21, 2010 11:49 am
    Reisling is my favorite wine because it seems like no matter what brand I buy, I always enjoy its flavour. One of my personal favorites is the Polka Dot reisling from Germany. Yesterday I tried a new one called 'Anything Goes', which is also from Germany. It is very fruity and fresh tasting- LOVE IT!
    Nov. 13, 2010 9:47 am
    Chateau St. Michelle is one of my favoties, until at an Italian Rest. they served Saint M, from Germany. At the liquor store it runs about $4 more than Chateau, but acouple clicks above. Same balance as Chateau.
    Jan. 28, 2011 5:02 pm
    I'm with Jan - Hogue Late Harvest Riesling from Columbia Valley, Washington is THE best wine I have ever tasted, and it's been my favorite for years. It has a little sweetness and works well with entrees AND desserts. And less than $10!
    Mar. 9, 2011 11:28 am
    I also love the German Riesling wines from the time my husband and I honeymooned in Switzerland 38 years ago. But like "Mama Peek" I've also love the Rhine wines.
    Mar. 16, 2011 5:22 am
    Chateau St. Michelle is my favorite...whatever I do not drink the first night is stored in the fridge for taking pan sauces, gravy and meat/spaghetti sauce to another level!!
    Mar. 19, 2011 11:24 am
    German Riesling is the perfect wine. I love it with a nice spicy dinner or just to sip with my boyfriend.
    Apr. 21, 2011 9:50 am
    My fav Reisling is Pacific Rim.
    Jun. 3, 2011 2:21 pm
    I highly recommend Riesling's from Northern Michigan. On the 45th parallel with some of the worlds finest vineyards with the marked difference of the Great Lakes that gives them a style all their own. The vines are getting older and better (just like the wine makers!) A must try if you want to really test the range of this awesome wine!
    Aug. 2, 2011 10:23 am
    Monchof is the best Riesling, my all time favorite!!
    Aug. 14, 2011 3:53 pm
    I'm afraid I'm somewhat of a "chicken wine drinker" However tasted Riesling of a friend. Sweet and house wine. Have yet to find similiar. Of course did not ask what kind before left restaurant! Duh! Whaat kind is really sweet. Anyone help?? Thnks
    Sep. 28, 2011 8:00 pm
    Nov. 22, 2011 12:13 pm
    I totally agree with columns remarks but just to point out that in the Reislings of Alsace you will detect a mineral "nose" and this often confuses the average person who compares it to gasoline. However they are excellent wines. Suggest that tou inform readers of the difference between light wines and light bodied wines. Good column!
    Dec. 12, 2011 1:44 pm
    Washington State--the best! Too bad Vermont won't allow me to import them!!!
    Dec. 23, 2011 4:06 pm
    As far as I could get to know, Riesling is a tasteful wine for second course dishes.
    Feb. 10, 2012 8:38 am
    Love, Love, Love Riesling!! Even better when in the Alsace or Germany!!
    Jul. 16, 2012 3:00 pm
    Didn't see anyone comment on California rieslings. Discovered wine about 2 months ago. Sterling Vintner's Collection Riesling (2009, 2010). So smooth...not dry...no acidity. That is my absolute favorite!
    Jul. 22, 2012 2:59 pm
    Excellent Riesling wines are also made in Northern Michigan. In fact Chateau Grand Traverse is the #1 Riesling producer east of the Mississippi.
    Mar. 11, 2014 8:49 am
    I prefer Reisling that is really sweet....any suggestions? Am taking it to a wine pairing party. Also, suggestions for pairing the sweet Reisling?
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