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International Riesling Day: An iconic grape loved by sommeliers but forgotten by wine drinkers!  

International Riesling Day: A Toast to one of the most iconic grape varieties in the world! Loved by sommeliers but forgotten by wine drinkers! 

Many wine drinkers have the same reaction whenever you offer up a glass of Riesling, “Oh, no thanks. I don’t like sweet wine.” Riesling has gotten a bad rap over the years because of an overindulgence in the super sweet German Riesling in the 1970s and 80s. But, not all Riesling is sweet. 

How do I know my Riesling is not sweet?

Look for the word Kabinett.

This is the lightest style of German Riesling made from grapes that are just barely ripe. This means the wines are lean with plenty of acidity and flavours of very fresh apple, nectarine and pear.

Most Riesling in the UK supermarkets are dry styles because it’s popular. They can be dry and off-dry and you will know this if you see ‘Troken’ on the label –I recommend trying this style as it goes perfectly with Asian food, spicy food, sticky pork ribs, and sweet and sour chicken.

Food pairings with Kabinett Riesling with sushi, apple, prosciutto, arugula saladpork schnitzel, and shrimp tempura.

How to avoid sweet wine?

Sweeter styles are called Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein

Firstly you don’t need to worry about picking up a sweeter bottle of Riesling in the supermarket as the Germans keep all the good stuff to themselves and the really sweet wines/dessert wines are sold in small bottles.

How to spot a bottle of Riesling?

Look for a tall and slender bottle

About 30 years ago, some producers switched to blue bottles to distinguish themselves, the most famous of which was the German Riesling line Blue Nun! Remember that?

How to serve Riesling wine?

Riesling is a white wine that’s best served chilled to 7-12°C (45-55°F). That is straight out your fridge door!

Riesling is a crowd-pleaser. It is the king of German wines and one of the best and most fresh white wines in the world.

  • Weingut Monchhof Riesling Grand Lay Dry Mosel – An off-dry Riesling - apple, lemon, citrus and petrol.

  • Two Paddocks Picnic Riesling – An off-dry Riesling. Citrus, hints of spice and lime. Great aperitif.

  • Famille Hugel Estate Riesling – A dry Riesling. From Alsace. Balanced, structures, complex and no sweetness at all.

I won't lie it is not easy to spot a dry Riesling!

But I am here to help.

Elizabeth x


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