July celebrates the 31 days of German Riesling campaign from Wines of Germany, so we ask the question, why does everybody love Riesling wine so much?
Below we explore a few reasons why it is universally popular.
- Germany continues to reign supreme in the world of Riesling growing 60% of the world’s crop, however the rest of the world is quickly catching up. Australia comes in a clear second with 12%, with our own clos Clare’s Watervale Riesling 2016 (part of the Matthew Jukes 100 Best Australian Wines) standing out from the
crowd in our portfolio.
- Contrary to popular belief, two thirds of German Riesling made is dry and has incredible acidity levels. Riesling also has universally low alcohol content.
- Riesling grows best in rocky, steep terrain where the vines can get a great deal of sun, such as in the Rhine or Alsace.
- Riesling’s roots date as far back as 1435, when a German count bought six Riesling vines – making it the first documented varietal sale.
- Riesling is a brilliant test of terroir. Due to its light body and low alcohol they rarely come into contact with oak which means, when you get a good Riesling, you know the winemaker has planted them on the best soils.
- Riesling can be the base for amazing dessert wines. A high level of Tartaric acid in Riesling grapes allows the wines, no matter the sweetness, to have a wonderful fresh acidity.
- Riesling pairs very well with spicy foods – its low serving temperature and crisp finish makes it the perfect wine for Thai, Indian or Chinese foods. When serving Riesling with meat, choose white meats, such as chicken, turkey or seafood, such as crab or shrimp.
- Riesling has a unique acidity, minerality, and fruit flavour with aromas of wet stones, smoke or even petroleum (a highly prized note in aged Riesling). The chemical compound for this petrol characteristic is ‘1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene’ – aka TDN.
- Riesling grapes can be used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines. Riesling makes excellent dessert wines and is typically thought of as a sweeter white wine. But that there are many “dry Rieslings” that are in fact very crisp and food-friendly, similar in body and style to a light, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc.
- Riesling has some of longest life expectancies for wine due to its low pH (high acidity). The high sugar levels also increase the longevity of this wine. In Bremen, Germany – they have Riesling back to 1653!