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What is Riesling?

Riesling might have dropped out of fashion in the past but it is making a strong come back and we're here to show you just why you should be drinking it this summer. But what makes it so special? We've put together a little guide to help you understand this wonderful grape variety and find the right bottle for you.

What does Riesling taste like?

It's such a versatile grape, producing wines that range from sweet (suss) to the more popular dry (trocken) and off-dry (feinherb) styles which makes it stand out from other wines. Think flavours of:

zesty lime, lemon, granny smith apple, wet-slate

in dry examples and 

ripe stone fruit, pineapple, honey and orange blossom

in medium to sweet styles.

Riesling's high acidity gives the wine this wonderful aromatic freshness that makes it exceptionally age-worthy too. The distinctive and highly desirable 'petrol' character that you might find in some examples as they age is a sign of quality.

It's also a fab foodie wine for dishes with a heat and a spicy kick. Think curries, asian dishes like prawn pad thai and even mexican pork with a fiery marinade.

Where does it come from?

Riesling is grown all over the world but is mainly associated with the wines of Germany. The finest examples of the grape are thought to come from the Mosel Valley Prices here can be high as land is expensive and demand is high. When grown in warmer countries such as USA and New Zealand, it thrives best in cooler regions that allows for a longer ripening period to fully develop the complex flavours. In general, wines from cooler countries have lighter fruit, and higher acidity. The wines from warmer countries are riper and fruitier with higher alcohol. Some of the key regions to look out for are:

Germany - Pfalz | France - Alsace | Australia - Clare Valley | Austria - Kamptal | New Zealand - Gisbourne

Where should I start with Riesling?

There are some great value wines that offer light, dry, young fruity examples of this grape that are perfect for getting to know the variety. From Germany, try wines from Pfalz or Rheinhessen regions.

Get to know more about Riesling over at our blog.