Wine 101: Riesling
Riesling is a white wine grape varietal known for its aromatic characteristics. It has picked up in popularity amongst wine lovers off late primarily due to its versatility and regional adaptability. It is still a lesser known wine varietal in India; there is only one producer of this wine here. Riesling is generally used for single varietal wine and not part of blends.
Riesling originates from Rhine region in Germany. The first written mention of the grape is in the 15th century. The grape’s genetic roots have been traced back to Gouis Blanc or Heunisch, a lesser known white grape, and Traminer and a wild vine.
Nose: An extremely fruit forward wine, Rieslings will have peaches, pears, apples, apricots, pineapple and even some lime. Depending on the region additional notes of minerality, petroleum, ginger and honey will also come through.
Taste: Brilliant acidity is a highlight of Riesling. Citrus notes tend to take prominence on the palate along with the minerality.
Riesling pairs well with seafood, poultry, pastas with sauces, salads and even desserts. Acidity of Riesling makes it suitable for spice heavy dishes, hence it pairs well with Indian and Thai cuisine as well as with Mexican and Chinese.
Mosel and Rhine, Germany; Alsace, France; Austria; New Zealand and Australia.
- Riesling are extremely versatile, wines made can range from Ice wines to dry style of wines.
- Riesling wines will never be thick and syrupy. They are known for their crispness.
- Total plantation under Riesling globally is around 89000 acres.
- Petroleum nose is found mostly in a mature Riesling wine and it is not a fault.
- A red variant of Riesling has also been discovered. Red Riesling is red skinned grape but not a red grape. It is considered to be predecessor to the current Riesling.
Rieslings you should try:
Only Indian Riesling available in the market right now, Sula’s Riesling is quite German in its style with green apples, peaches and honey notes and rich palate.
St Urbans-Hof Qba Riesling
This Riesling has a great combination of fruit and minerality with a round and polished palate expressing fruits and hints of spices.
Schloss Gobelsburger, Riesling Urgestein (Kamptal)
This Austrian Riesling has notes of spices and fruits; think pepper and apples. The palate is rich with sweet undertones making it quite an opulent wine.
Maison Trimbach Riesling
This is a wine with an expressive nose – white flowers, lemon rind, minerals and hints of honey. Fruits come to the fore on the palate with brilliant acidity making the wine crisp and clean.
Featured Image: Maison Trimbach, Alsace, France