What is Riesling Wine? Riesling, also called Riesling grape, is a white, aromatic grape variety first from the Rhine River area of Germany. A crisp, dry varietal loved for its distinctive, perfume-like aroma, Riesling has also been known for its robust acidity and juicy, tart flavors ranging from stone fruit (soft peach, apricot, or plum) to lemon to citrus. It’s often used as a base style for blending with other varieties.
As mentioned, Riesling wine aromas can vary greatly. In general, however, these variations tend to be floral, berry or citrus. One of the most popular Riesling varieties for American consumption is a crisp, fresh white wine from California called Riesling grape varietal. The name is derived from the shape of the grape’s skin; when picking this grape it is important that the skin is left on the vine to help ferment and let the aromas develop.
Some white wines from regions like North America, Australia and South Africa have been described as “liqueur de Provence”, which means flat, clear and light. These grapes typically grow in cooler climates with cool summers and mild winters. In general, their flavor is berry, with some lighter varieties are sweeter. It is considered an appropriate choice to pair up with sausages and cheeses, and they are often served after a meal with dessert rather than just an after-dinner drink.
With German wines, you’ll find more fruity German varieties rather than crisp whites. German Riesling has a soft, pleasant flavor and is used to make an excellent dessert wine. In most cases, German varieties are best consumed right after they are harvested. When stored for any length of time, they can become moldy and should be carefully enjoyed.
Many of the world’s best chefs use German wines with great success. As you’ll see from the list below, the best chefs also make use of German food pairings with dishes that are based on meats or fish. One of the finest examples of this is Emeril Lagasse, who owns and operates several restaurants in New York City. His food pairing wines with fish include Riesling, which pairs well with delicate fish like salmon. Other ideal meals for fish include mackerel, trout, haddock and whitefish. The sweet and salty flavors found in traditional German dishes are a good match for Riesling wine, which goes well with citrusy dishes like grapefruits and zesty salads.
The world of winemaking is a diverse one. Most American winemakers tend to focus on producing white wines, while European wine makers are renowned for producing dark, rich Burgundies. While there are some differences in style and taste, many Riesling wine producers from Europe have adapted the style of their region’s winemakers and have begun to produce light and crisp white wines with earthy flavors.
There are many regions in which you can find high acidity in a Riesling wine. Some of these regions include: the Rhine River Valley in Germany, where the Winemakers are famous for their crisp, clean, delicious whites; the Langhe, located in Rheinfelden, where the perfect ripeness is reached at the end of the harvest season; and the Saale, which are located in the Rhone Valley in Italy. All of these areas have high acid concentration levels and make excellent Riesling wine. However, not all of these winemaking regions are able to produce high quality, crisp whites. In order to achieve this perfection, a longer fermentation time is needed over the oak barrels, enabling the wine to fully absorb the full aroma and flavor from the oak barrels. With the long fermentation times, the tannins and resins are allowed to fully develop, along with the sugars, to create an extremely full-bodied, crisp, elegant wine that will astound with its smooth texture and delicious bouquet.
Although historically speaking, the name “rumsling” was applied only to white wines, more new vintners are recognizing this versatile type as a fantastic option for the dinner table. It pairs beautifully with many different dishes, including chicken, pork, and seafood dishes. Many people also enjoy Riesling wine in the dessert wines category because it tends to be rather smooth. For this reason, Riesling grapes are widely grown in several different vineyards throughout Germany and the Rhineland Platz, and the States, including the Finger Lakes of NY. Varieties vary accordingly.
Riesling is great paired with fish, such as white fish, salmon or tuna. White meats such as chicken pork dishes, plus it goes well with many salads. Since Riesling is extraordinarily versatile, you can also pair it with Asian foods.
Prejean Winery is a family owned estate winery located on the west side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes of NY. They offer varietals such as dry riesling, semi-dry riesling, and semi-sweet riesling.