Living in Australia, I rarely come across Riesling.
When it comes to white wine, NZ Sauvignon Blanc and Aussie Chardonnay seem to reign supreme on wine lists. And sadly, this variety remains widely misunderstood. Many write Riesling off as an overly sweet and amateur wine. Truth is, Riesling is one of the world’s most versatile, complex and age worthy wines.
Originating from Germany, this wine can be made in just about every style. From bone dry to very sweet, it doesn’t need oak and is rarely blended. It’s an aromatic wine, meaning its’ aroma’s are typically fruit driven (think citrus, peach, apple or apricot). Yet, it’s Riesling’s complexity which makes it a favourite amongst wine lovers.
Riesling grows best in cooler climates, and tends to be extremely expressive of the area it grown in. In addition it’s fruit characteristics, Riesling is commonly praised for it’s minerality. Descriptors like metallic, petrol, flint or slate are not unusual when it comes to this wine.
Because of it’s cooler growing conditions, Riesling tends to be higher in acidity. This makes it, not only food friendly, but age worthy as well. Good quality Riesling can age up to 20 years, not many white wines can do the same.
So, I encourage you to try more Riesling. If you don’t like sweet wines, ensure it’s dry (it should specify this on the label). I’m confident there’s a Riesling out there to suit any taste preference. Experiment a little, and you may gain a new appreciation for this underrated wine.