Fast Facts You Need to Know About Riesling
1. 60% of the world’s Riesling is grown in Germany! This is followed by Australia at 12% and then France at 10%
2. Riesling is a very aromatic & expressive wine – the scent of Riesling is incredible – very complex and layered. It can smell fruity and sweet but can be dry on the taste. Common aromas are apple, lime blossom, pear, and even petrol!
3. Petrol, believe it or not, is an important part of the aroma for wine connoisseurs. It comes from very ripe grapes, lots of sun, warm soils, and/or water stress (from places that don’t practice irrigation. This scent is a sign of a high quality wine and is more likely to develop (and are enhanced) in good Rieslings.
Wine Geek Time: The chemical compound is from 1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene aka TDN
4. Riesling can be made in a multitude of styles from dry and zesty to sweet dessert wines.
5. Riesling is one of the longest lived wines (for red and white wines) due to its low pH (high acidity). The (sometimes) high sugar levels also increase the longevity of this wine. In Bremen, Germany – they have Riesling back to 1653!
6. Since Riesling is almost never aged in oak nor undergoes Malolactic Fermentation – this would quash its delicate aromas. Thus, this wine reflects the character of the varietal and the character of the region very well.
7. One of the most food friendly wines. It pairs AMAZINGLY with food because of its high acidity and different sweetness levels.
8. A lot of people think all Riesling is overly sweet. You’ll see in this months’ selection that is not true! 2/3 of German Riesling is made dry, and since the acidity level is high and crisp, its almost never cloying.
9. The best Rieslings are grown in cool areas – perfect for growing a wine with racy acidity! If its grown in a warmer region, the wines may become flabby and lose all their structure.
10. Riesling is one of the world’s oldest grape varietals with the first documentation in 1435 when a German count bought 6 Riesling vines.
OK – really 11 things you need to know…
11. Unlike most European wines – Rieslings from Germany and France normally have the grape varietal on its label along with the region!