The Best Riesling Wine: Why It Is Sooo Yummy

Best Riesling Wine

The Riesling is one of the 8 basic wines. It is a white grape variety that is indigenous to what is now known as riesling wine

It is a highly aromatic and fruity grape.  Some have regarded it as the greatest white wine grape for hundreds of years. It has been described as having a vibrant personality, exhibiting a pure fruity flavour, with a broad range in diversity of styles, exhibiting versatility with foods, and can be aged for decades.


The Name: Riesling

It is not clear how the name Riesling came to be.  One theory is that the name is Barkconnected to the characteristics of the vine the grape is grown on.  The riesling vine consists of a strong dark wood, which may account for the word “Russ”, which means “dark wood”.  The bark also has deep grooves, connecting the word “rissig”.  But the most likely link is the characteristic of the Riesling, which is the vine not producing flowers in cool weather, hence the German word verrieseln or durchrieseln.



As is often the case, the origins of the varietal is not clear, but is believed to have started in Germany.

In the 14th century, there began a slow gradual shift from red to white grapes.  Whatmonks and wine precipitated this change was the monks, who monopolized the wine industry, found that the red grapes they had, could not compare to the deep reds of France.  So, instead of competing, they decided to change to strictly white grapes. They focused on Riesling.

The first documented evidence of this was a cellar log for Count Katzenelnbogen in 1435.

From this point, Riesling has spread throughout the world.

The Riesling took a hit in the early 20th century, when German growers were experimenting with the then “new” and various varietals.

Today, there is a resurgence in the popularity of Riesling,  for most classic vineyards in Germany have gone back to relying on the quality of this grape.

Modern Wine Drinkers

Riesling is a varietal that appeals to the novice wine drinker. On the palate it offers delicacy and finesse.  The Riesling is grown in different regions of Germany, and each region provides a different characteristic, making it a delightful surprise to sample and is never boring.

The Best Riesling Wine is a great introductory wine for people who a unsure of what to select.



Although Riesling originated in Germany, it has found its way to many regions of the world. The International Riesling Foundation is “ devoted to increasing the awareness, understanding and enjoyment of Riesling, and to facilitating cooperation among Riesling producers and other members of the wine trade to that end.”

Riesling is excellent at expressing its’ “terroir” or the soil and climate where it is grown.

Because Riesling is so diverse and adaptable, it can be found all over the world, in both northern and southern hemispheres.

Locations include: Alsace, Australia, Idaho, South Africa,California, New Zealand, Michigan, New York, Ontario, Austria, Washington, Germany, and Oregon.

Flavour and Aroma

It is hard to pin down the flavour of the Riesling because it is so versatile.  It can range from dry to sweet.

It is a favorite of chefs, sommeliers and wine professionals everywhere as it is aromatic and food friendly.

Here is the reasons to love Riesling:  

  • Versatile — Riesling comes in a mouthwatering array of flavor profiles. From dry to medium dry to medium sweet to sweet, Riesling offers a pleasing taste for every palate.
  • Food friendly — Riesling is the ultimate food-pairing wine, with options for every cuisine. Dry Rieslings are well suited to shellfish and classic preparations of fish, pork and poultry as well as cream sauces. Medium dry Rieslings are terrific with spicy Asian/fusion cuisine, smoked fish and salty cheeses. Medium sweet Rieslings pair beautifully with rich, spicy Indian dishes or dishes featuring fresh fruits. Sweet Rieslings are wonderful with salty blue cheeses, fruit desserts and foie gras.
  • Evocative — More than any other grape, Riesling takes on the character of the soil and climate where it is grown. Some will say it does so almost down to individual vines!
  • Easy sipping — Medium dry and medium sweet Rieslings have lower alcohol levels than other wines. When combined with well-balanced acidity, that makes them perfect for sipping in hot weather and for serving at parties in all seasons.
  • Fine aging — Many fine Rieslings will cellar beautifully and for much longer than other wines. They only grow more concentrated and complex with age.

Whether you are new to Riesling or already an affirmed fan of the noble grape, you are encouraged to explore different Rieslings in different flavor profiles from a variety of regions around the globe. You will find options to keep you happily exploring for a lifetime!


The amazing thing about Riesling is that it is immediately pleasing, even to a new wine drinker, yet it also can have great depth and many seemingly contradictory facets that fascinate wine aficionados. It is both delicate and intense, crisp and juicy, floral and minerally, refreshing and complex, transparent and dense. It is a wine with a unique character and a vibrant personality.


Due to its popularity with nobility, Riesling was stockpiled by the caseful in cellars throughout the country; it was realized very early on that Riesling was one of the rare white wines, like Chardonnay, that was incredibly age-worthy. While most white wine is meant to be drunk very soon after bottling, high-quality Riesling can last and improve in the bottle for over a hundred years. Researches found the wine’s ability to age comes from its high levels of acidity and a chemical compound found inside the Riesling grape know as TDN. When this compound has a strong presence in the wine it can give off an almost petrol smelling aroma. While this aroma might sound off-putting, it’s the petrol aroma that many wine enthusiasts believe is how you can tell a high-quality age-worthy Riesling apart from others.

A well-made Riesling can age longer than any other grape variety, red or white. Riesling grows slowly and needs a long time to ripen in order to develop its flavors fully. That’s why it’s best grown in cool regions, where it can retain its acidity very late into the growing season. With full ripeness, excellent fruit concentration and naturally high acidity, Rieslings (especially those with well-balanced sweetness) have the density and structure to age for many decades.

Riesling for the  Novice

Riesling is a varietal that appeals to the novice wine drinker. On the palate it offers delicacy and finesse.  The Riesling is grown in different regions of Germany, and each region provides a different characteristic, making it a delightful surprise to sample and is never boring.

The best Riesling wine is a great introductory wine for people who a unsure of what to select.  included Riesling in their list of Best Wines for Novice Wine drinkers.

“Riesling is another excellent choice for any beginning enthusiast. A rich and white winecomplex wine, Riesling is nutty, honeyed, and syrupy, while also pure, refreshing, and bursting with peach, citrus, and apricot flavors. Riesling is the perfect wine for any beginning enthusiast, due largely in part to its sweet taste and gentle, welcoming mouth feel”.

Ms. Boyd says: “If you consider most wine too tart or bitter, start on the sweeter side. Pour yourself a well-chilled Riesling, white zinfandel, or moscato (if you’re really into sweet). There is no shame in drinking what you like! We all have different palates.” Dry rieslings exist as well.

You can get entry level cost for Riesling, to get your feet wet.

I place the Best Riesling Wine high on my choice of favourite wines.  It is a what I preferred when I started drinking wine, and I love it to this day.  I have found that any Riesling, though it may differ in flavour notes, is always yummy!


If you have any questions of comment, I welcome them below.About Me



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  1. James

    September 8, 2017 at 10:08 am

    Sometimes when I try and pare wines with dinner or lunch and I miss the mark and realize I completely ignore reislings for the most part.
    The sweeter varietals are supposed to go well with spicy dishes, but are there other parings that you think are really good in your opinion.
    Also, how do I tell if a reisling is on the drier side if it is not labeled a “dry reisling” because some are really sweet like a desert wine.
    Thank you for this information!

    1. Judith

      September 8, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Thank you for the comment. A rule of thumb, the lower the alcohol content, the sweeter the Riesling.  If you look for a Riesling in the 5% range , you should be satisfied.

  2. Warren

    September 8, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Judith, what a great article about Riesling. I love the history of wine and your story about the monks not being able to compete and thus switching to white grapes was really interesting. I enjoy Riesling is I can find one that is really dry. The white refreshing taste really is great on a warm afternoon. Thanks for the fun article.

    1. Judith

      September 8, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you for the comment. When you know a little about the wine you are drinking, you can feel like an expert!

  3. roamy

    September 8, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Hello Judith
    I’m from Switzerland and very close to Germany so I do enjoy German wines and yes I`ve had several Riesling wines and always love it.
    Like you mention in your post, Riesling Wines are great with food and my favourite taste is usually the sweet Riesling.
    Like you mention, Riesling works well for people just starting to drink to people used to different wines.
    Now I clicked the link to wine net but they did not show any prices, what do you think is the right and fair price for a bottle of a good Riesling?
    Thanks for sharing, this post is really informative

    1. Judith

      September 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      Thank you for the comment. I often buy a nice German Riesling called Bree, in Canada, where I am located, it is about $20 (CND).  I watch for it to go on sale, and can get it for about $16 (CND). Bree is from the Pfalz region and has a crisp apple, passion fruit and lime flavour.  It is in the mid range between dry and sweet.

  4. Ahmad Ballard

    September 12, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Hello Judith, thanks for sharing your blog with us discussing the best Riesling wine. I am not really too big on wine (I am more of a vodka, tequila, and champagne person myself) and I only drink it on rare occasions. My favorite wine is Sutter Home, have you ever tried it before? On my next store visit, I will try out Riesling for the first time and see if I like it.

    1. Judith

      September 12, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Thank you for the comment. Yes I have tried Sutter Home out of Napa, California. They offer a Riesling.

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