Thursday, July 28, 2011

Exploring wine: Riesling

As promised, here is the first wine review in the new series, Exploring Wine. Enjoy!

In the past, Rieslings have not been appealing to me. I don’t like sweet drinks and so avoided white wines in general for much of my young adulthood. That is until I went to the Rhine River Valley in Germany and tasted an unbelievable variety of Rieslings. I did not realize this varietal ranged from sweet to half-dry to dry (trocken means dry).

The Rhine River Valley is the traditional and leading Riesling producing region of the world. Rieslings have a distinctive mineral-y (what you might imagine slate to taste like) smell and flavor. You might also taste light fruits such as pears. They are always light in color and body. Light body meaning although it has a lot of flavor it doesn't feel heavy or rich in your mouth (That's what she said, sorry I couldn't help myself). I don't find it to be complex either, only one or two noticeable flavors (to the untrained tastebuds anyways). 

I would drink it with pork or summer-y salads. They are very nice with spicy Vietnamese or Thai food too. Serve drier ones cold and sweeter ones room temperature. I like to serve sweeter Rieslings with strong stinky cheeses for dessert at a dinner party.

Fritz Haag 2009 Braugneberger Juffer, Riesling Trocken $21.99

I found this bottle to be a great representation of what a dry Riesling is supposed to taste like. I enjoyed the balance of dry, mineral-y flavor with a bit of light sweetness. It’s not over powering and perfect for a hot leisurely day. Consider this a nice alternative to a cold beer. I would drink the whole bottle.


  1. I'm a sucker for a good Riesling; great way to finish off dinner. I'm no wine expert at all but I usually love the varietals that come from Columbia Valley.

  2. P.S. Have a great Happy Hour and trip in NYC!


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