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How To Find The Best Riesling Wine
Modern-day wine drinkers prefer wines made in a cleaner, lighter, and more elegant style which allows different flavors and aromas to be prominent. Riesling is known for its refreshing and clean character, thanks to its mouthwatering acidity and sparkling fruit flavors that appeal to many wine enthusiasts.
The various levels of sweetness and low alcohol content make Riesling a perfect food wine for any dish under the sun, especially those with lots of spices which is a common characteristic of Asian food.
The Riesling Wine Grape
Riesling is a highly popular white wine, one of three varietals. This fruity dry to sweet wine is more often than not, one of the best bargains on the wine lists of restaurants. Riesling is cultivated in wine-producing regions around the world, though the dominant grape variety is developed in Germany’s Mosel River and Rhein Valleys. These are the regions from which this white grape called “Riesling” gained a resolute foothold in the modern-day white wine market.
German Rieslings are considered the best while Alsatian wines come a close second. Riesling is also grown successfully in different climates and regions such as New Zealand, Austria, Canada, Australia, South Africa as well as several other places in the United States, particularly Michigan, Idaho, the Finger Lakes District of New York, Oregon, Washington, and California.
Riesling belongs to the aromatic grape category due to its almost perfumed and flowery aromas as well as high acidity which makes it one of the most food-friendly and versatile white wines in the world today. The wine’s native soil predominantly influences the overall character of Riesling wines, hence the reason why Riesling is categorized as “terroir-expressive.”
Most Riesling grapes do not undergo malolactic fermentation, unlike Chardonnay, and this helps to significantly preserve the acidic characteristics as well as the tartness of the wine that gives Riesling its juicy qualities.
Tasting Riesling Wines
Riesling is produced in a wide variety of styles, flavor profile as well as aromas and the taste range from tantalizingly sweet to bone dry. The fragrances range from mineral stone – i.e., quartz or slate – to ripe peaches, tropical fruits, and flowers. Over time, Riesling wine acquires this orange oil or petrol note – which is as a result of the presence of a natural compound known as TDN – which can be pretty satisfying.
If you have a sharp sense of smell, you will be able to perceive the intense aroma that rises from your wine glass, even when the fruity wine is ice cold. You will also be able to perceive the orchard fruit aromas such as apricot, nectarine, pear, and honey-crisp apple.
You may likely perceive other aromas, not unlike jasmine, honeycomb, and lime peel.
Wine enthusiasts love Riesling because of its versatility which makes it easy to pair with almost any dish you can think of. It is often the perennial favorite of most sommeliers around the world because of its perfect balance of acidity – which is similar to the levels found in lemonade – and sugar.
Riesling can be paired with pork, white fish, poultry, shellfish, desserts, appetizers, etc. and is purportedly one of the few wines that can stand up to the spices and strong flavors of Chinese, Thai, Mexican, and Moroccan cuisines. The best way to enjoy Riesling is to serve it chilled.
Riesling is presently one of the wine world’s most favorite alcoholic beverage which continues to enjoy double-digit dominance in terms of market growth as well as culinary affections globally.
Riesling Label Lingo
German Rieslings are usually categorized based on levels of dryness as well as the ripeness level of the grape at harvest, i.e., Auslese, Kabinett, Spatlese, etc. For dry-styled Rieslings, the buzz word for that label will be “Trocken,” (the German word for “dry”) or “Halbtrocken,” (the German word for “half-dry”) which equally translates to semi-sweet or off-dry on the palate.
Why is Riesling So Special?
So, what makes Riesling so special? Here are some features that make this fruity dry to sweet wine unique:
Ability to age gracefully for years
Riesling can still taste very great even after one hundred years. This is possible because of the natural acidity of Riesling which allows the wines to survive for that long. The inventiveness of a good wine producer will not only let such preservation to take place but will also allow the wine to develop its exhilarating aromas.
Ability to Exhibit Where the White Grape Used for Riesling is Grown
The soil plays a significant role in the quality of Riesling flavor that is grown in every vineyard. This is because vineyards that are adjacent to each other can produce wines that are characteristically different in your glass. Even German winemakers recognize this and name their wines after the type of soil that produces them.
The Phenomenal Variety of Styles
Riesling is available in a variety of styles: from mildly sweet, sparkling, bone dry to luscious and thick sweet styles.
Riesling has always had a fragrant smell, though this characteristic depends significantly on where it is grown. So, don’t be surprised to discover that Riesling displays a variety of aromas which range from green apple to pineapple, citrus peel, and yellow peach. Aged Riesling or one that was harvested late, exudes aromas of honeycomb, dried fruit, and petrol.
One of the well-known characteristics is Riesling’s minerality originate from the soil where the white grapes are grown and the salt-like taste that is felt in your mouth.
Check some comparisons with Riesling here:
The Best Riesling Wines in the Market Today
As mentioned earlier, some of the best Riesling wines in the world today originated from Germany, the United States, and Alsace. However, there are also several other regions around the world that produce top-quality Riesling wines. It is extremely rare to come across Riesling wine made with oak or mixed with other grapes.
Even though Riesling wines are generally dry with crisp acidity, each one has different tastes. Therefore, let’s get started on this remarkable list of the best Riesling wines in the world today, arranged in no particular order:
2013 Biltmore Riesling Wine
The 2013 Biltmore Riesling Wine is the first on this list and comes at an astonishing price for a wine of such excellent quality. The design of this 750 ml bottle of Riesling wine is extraordinarily attractive and will look very good on your wine rack.
The 2013 Biltmore Riesling Wine has a sweet taste which is not too strong. The wine producer did a remarkable job of finding the perfect balance between the floral notes and the fruity flavors of the Riesling wine. This wine is good, and so it was not too surprising when it won a double gold award from the North Carolina State Fair Wine Competition.
This Riesling wine is composed of at least 93% Riesling, 3% gewürztraminer, and 4% Muscat Canelli, thus indicating that it is not 100% Riesling. So, if you are a lover of refreshing and crisp wine, the 2013 Biltmore Riesling Wine is an excellent choice to go for.
1998 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese Wine
If you need a Riesling wine that you can proudly showcase at your dinner party, celebration or to present as a gift to a loved one or colleague, then the 1998 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese Wine is the right option for you. This 750 ml bottle of Riesling wine is relatively more expensive than other Riesling wines on this particular list, but if you consider what you are getting, you will realize that the price is worth it.
The 1998 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese Wine is produced at 1998 Dr. Loosen Winery which has their official headquarters in Urzig, Germany. This is perhaps the #1 place to get the best of Riesling wines which is probably why it carries a hefty price tag. Additionally, the wine is made up of 100% Riesling grapes.
So, this is more than enough to let you know that the 1998 Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese Wine is a special alcoholic beverage meant for special occasions. Of course, it will look stunningly beautiful on your wine rack as well, thanks to the elegant design of the bottle.
NV Candy Babee California Riesling Wine
The NV Candy Babee California Riesling Wine comes in a unique wine bottle which is not common in the wine universe. This 750 ml bottle of smoothness will always look good when positioned right at the center of your dining table.
The NV Candy Babee California Riesling Wine originates from the Chateau Diana Winery in Abymes/ Les Abymes, California. The first tastes that will tickle your senses are peach, grapefruit, and honeysuckle, flavors that make the NV Candy Babee California Riesling Wine a remarkable and popular alcoholic beverage. You may also perceive a hint of the sweet aromas of citrus and floral fruits.
The NV Candy Babee California Riesling Wine can be served with baked apples or cotton candy. It makes a great combination when taken with candy treats and sweet desserts.
This medium-bodied wine has a pleasant, long-lasting finish that will make you thirst for more. The NV Candy Babee California Riesling Wine is composed of 100% Riesling grapes and will remain in the top 10 of the best Riesling wines for a long time.
2012 Ste Chapelle Special Harvest Riesling Wine
The producers of the 2012 Ste Chappelle Special Harvest Riesling Wine were not kidding when they added the word “special” to this extraordinarily rich wine. This is one of the products from the Ste Chappelle Winery which is situated at Snake River Valley in Idaho.
The 2012 Ste Chappelle Special Harvest Riesling Wine pairs well with short break cookies or fruit desserts and can as well be taken on its own as a dessert wine. You will enjoy the hints of apricots, peaches, and honeydew melon that hits your palate.
The 2012 Ste Chappelle Special Harvest Riesling Wine is also balanced perfectly with floral tones and crisp acidity. It has a fruity finish that wine lovers find exhilarating. The wine is composed of 100% Riesling grapes which makes it one of the most sought-after Riesling wines in the world today.
2014 Washington Hills Riesling Wine
The 2014 Washington Hills Riesling Wine comes in an elegant 750 ml bottle of Riesling wine and price is pocket-friendly as well, making it a steal rather than a buy.
The 2014 Washington Hills Riesling Wine is a product of Washington Hills Winery situated in Columbia Valley, Washington. The well-balanced Riesling wine exhibits a stone fruit taste that is extraordinarily beautiful. If you need a Riesling wine to accompany a spicy dish or cheese, then the 2014 Washington Hills Riesling Wine is your best bet.
The Riesling wine also has delicious aromas of peach, nectarine, and honey which give it a magnificent off-dry sweetness.
The 2014 Washington Hills Riesling Wine is composed of 100% Riesling grapes, another sign of high quality from this winery. So, you see, it is genuinely possible to get first-class wine at extremely pocket-friendly prices!
2014 Frisk Prickly Riesling Victoria Wine
The 2014 Frisk Prickly Riesling Victoria Wine comes in an appealing 750 ml bottle with wonderful swirls. It is a product of Frisk Winery situated in Victoria, Australia. Although this particular Riesling wine does not come from regular or traditional Riesling growing regions, the 2014 Frisk Prickly Riesling Victoria Wine is first-class and a lively alcoholic beverage with traditional tastes of floral notes and citrus.
The 2014 Frisk Prickly Riesling Victoria Wine also showcases a hint of lime sorbet, rose petals as well as fennel which give the wine a more traditional taste. You can pair this Riesling wine with either sweet or spicy dishes. You can also enjoy the wine on its own, and this will give you the opportunity to savor the complexity of this incredible Riesling wine, leaving you thirsting for even more.
The 2014 Frisk Prickly Riesling Victoria Wine is composed of 100% Riesling grapes which is what most wine enthusiasts want when searching for any of the best Riesling wines out there.
2012 Ste Chapelle Chateau Series Riesling Wine
The classic 2012 Ste Chappelle Chateau Series Riesling Wine comes in a beautifully-designed 750 ml Riesling wine bottle. This is another outstanding product from the Ste Chapelle Winery in Snake River Valley, Idaho and one of the well-balanced Riesling wines in the market and on this list.
The 2012 Ste Chappelle Chateau Series Riesling Wine partners exceptionally well with mild cheeses, seafood dishes, etc. This Riesling wine also exhibits a characteristic minerality which makes it one of the best thirst quenchers in the world.
A sip of the 2012 Ste Chappelle Chateau Series Riesling Wine will grace your palate with ripe melon flavor, nectarines, and top-quality peaches. It is a relatively common medium sweet Riesling wine.
The 2012 Ste Chappelle Chateau Series Riesling Wine is made of 100% Riesling grapes which is what wine enthusiasts recommend for beginners who want to venture into wine drinking.
The 2012 Ste Chappelle Chateau Series Riesling Wine is furnished with a light and crisp taste, making it exceedingly delicious at all angles.
2011 King Frosch Riesling Kabinett Wine
The first thing that will quickly grab your undivided attention is the fantastic design of the 2011 King Frosch Riesling Kabinett Wine 750 ml bottle. It looks astonishingly great on a wine rack, especially in a lit-up glass cabinet. The 2011 King Frosch Riesling Kabinett Wine will also be the cynosure of all eyes when placed at the center of a dining table.
This Riesling wine originates from King Frosch Winery in Rheinhessen, Germany, one of the places or regions that produces the most prominent Riesling wine in the world. The 2011 King Frosch Riesling Kabinett Wine is of pure quality, 100% Riesling grape composition, and a great alcoholic beverage that is steadily climbing the charts – and hearts – of wine enthusiasts the world over as they continue to enjoy its uniqueness.
See Some Of The Best Riesling Reviews here:
How to Know If Your Wine is Good or Not
A wine is “good” if it is the one you love to drink, true or false? False!
If it is, what then makes a wine purportedly “good”? Merely taking a look at a bottle of wine is not enough to inform you whether or not a wine is good. If you want to know, you need three items: a wine glass, a corkscrew, and your ever trusting taste buds.
Moreover, just because you like a particular wine does not make it “good.” Personal preferences differ when it comes to wine; what tastes great and good to you may be something else to another wine drinker.
To determine if a particular wine is good depends significantly on several elements which contribute to the objective quality of the alcoholic beverage. This is what you will find out in the next few paragraphs.
After uncorking the wine bottle and pouring a shot in your wine glass, take a whiff of the wine before you sip it. What does it smell like? Fruity or floral? If it smells floral or fruity, then congratulations! It has passed the very first test.
But if it smells otherwise – i.e., nothing like a fruity or floral bouquet – then you may have to bid that bottle of wine au revoir. Get another bottle of wine and repeat the process.
A balanced wine virtually has an equal measure of the components – i.e., tannin, acidity, alcohol of fruit – such that none of them stands out from the rest and dominates them considerably.
“Balance” has always been an essential aspect of a wine and if you are unlucky enough to drink a bottle or even a glass of “unbalanced” – or in wine parlance, “out of balance” – wine, you will end up not liking it, though you may not really be able to find a reason why.
But then, you will know that a wine is out of balance if the tannin level makes your taste buds feel like you just drank wool and not wine or the level of acidity in the alcoholic beverage is so high that it makes your eyes start to water.
But if your palate and taste buds are treated to nice juiciness to the wine while the tannins are well proportioned and supple, it indicates that there are ample fruits which are not too overpowering while the alcohol is indiscernible. Congratulations, again! That wine is perfectly balanced.
This is about tasting the intensity of the wine’s flavor. Yes, the wine will have a fruity taste – after all, it was produced from edible, non-citrus fruits – but is that all there is to it? What are the several other layers that you can detect? Can you identify something like chocolates, nuts, or coffee flavors? Etc.
Connoisseurs will tell you that there is nothing more fun, profound, and heavenly than sipping wines with an intense depth of flavor over dinner. If you pay attention to your drink as the dinner progresses, you will notice when the wine changes.
This is because as the meal progresses, the wine develops in your wine glass, thus allowing more flavors and aromas to come to the fore. This phenomenon hinges primarily on what you are eating, though. Any wine that has a profound depth of flavor can be considered a “good” wine.
The length of the finish can also help you to determine whether or not a wine is good. Swallow the wine and consider how long the wine’s flavor lasts on your palate or taste buds. The longer the taste lingers, the better the wine.
But if, as soon as you swallow the wine, its flavor drops almost immediately and goes away entirely in a matter of seconds, it indicates that the wine is of inferior quality. If you can still taste the pleasing characteristics after 3-4 seconds after, then perhaps the wine is made of good quality. The taste of a wine that hits the high-quality mark will linger up to 10 or more seconds.
See How Riesling Compares to Other Wines:
The Tricks Experts Use to Score Excellent Wine at Bargain Prices
There are other hacks used by experts to find fantastic wine on a budget. So if you are a beginner who has started exploring the phenomenal fermented grape universe or an experienced wine drinker, these other tips will also help you to cut the cost of an excellent-tasting bottle of wine by a wide margin.
One of the best ways to get your favorite cache of wines is to make the purchase online. The internet is a highly impressive goldmine of quality information about almost every subject under the sun. So, if you are looking for the best wine deals, there are numerous dedicated websites with many reviews about wines in a particular price range, best regions that sell wine at pocket-friendly prices, etc.
Many of these sites come with simple embedded calculators that help you to readily figure out the number of bottles you may need to acquire or purchase depending on how many guests you are expecting.
Of course, nothing beats the feeling of entering your local wine store to purchase a bottle of wine that will match the taste of your meal.
But making the purchase online gives you the chance to explore several online stores and find one that sells deeply discounted – but high-quality – wines. There are also some mobile applications that you can install on your smartphone which allows you to compare different prices as well as discounts at any online retailers.
You should also consider checking out wholesalers online since most of them do not have the overheads that the majority of retailers bear offline and may also produce an excellent range of wine offers for you.
To get the best of wholesale wine sellers or other preferred online suppliers, visit the contact page on their websites so that you can chat with a sales representative. They are in the best position to provide a lot of factual insider information – which you can take to the bank – about future deals and offers. When you deal with such individuals on a personal level, it could develop into a mutually favorable business relationship.
You should also calculate the cost of shipping your favorite fermented grape to your home to see if it is worth the trouble. Many wine lovers who have used this tip indicate that it is well worth it in the end.
Refining Your Search on the Internet
Is there a specific variety of wine that you love and prefer to drink? You can save a lot of your precious time – and money – if you refine your search terms. This is because the total number of websites promoting or advertising their best wine offers are numerous and a great hindrance that will prevent you from finding the best wine deals.
Additionally, just because a particular site that is dedicated to selling wines sits at the top of the Google search results or listing does not indicate that the website has the best wine deals on the internet. It is only an indication that there is a professional SEO team that is continuously working to ensure it stays at that position for a pretty long time.
This is because Google generally ranks websites based primarily on the quality of the written content as well as their level of interaction with their targeted online users, and not according to the “cheapness” of the prices of their products.
For instance, if you are a big fan of French Chardonnay and you go ahead to enter this nebulous term – or the “Best Wine Deals” – into your favorite search engine – e.g., Google, DuckDuckGo, etc. – you will be presented with hundreds of thousands of results that match your search terms. These results will be too numerous for you to go through and the majority of them will be relatively vague.
However, if there is a particular brand of French Chardonnay that you love to drink, produced by a specific manufacturer or winery within a particular year, etc. this highly refined search term – when entered into the search engine – will return with fewer results that you can sift through to track down the best wine deals.
Therefore, you should enter as much detail as you can muster to optimize your search engine. So, this search term, “Brand Name,” “Product Name,” “French Chardonnay 2001” will yield a far more pleasing and highly-refined results which will bring you incredibly close to your goal compared to “Brand Name” and “Product Name.”
You may still have to visit more than a few websites, but then your confidence will soar, knowing that you are much closer to finding out the best wine deals.
There are several business-savvy shops out there nowadays that give their customers a discount of say 10-15% if the customer buys at least six or more bottles of wine. You may also be lucky enough to find a store or two that gives a whopping 10-15% discount when you buy up to 12 bottles of wine, i.e., a case.
This is one of the advantages of buying online as some of these stores are more than willing to waive your shipping fee only if you purchase up to one case of your favorite alcoholic beverage.
You may not feel like buying up to 12 bottles of wine, but you and your friends can strike a deal and pool your resources to get these discounted deals before they are taken down.
There was a time when boxed wines were reserved exclusively for cheap wines, but nowadays, many individuals are opting for boxed wines over bottled ones.
This is because boxed wines are incredibly environmental-friendly and can be obtained via a phenomenal deal. Look at it this way: the cardboard box is virtually home to no less than 3 liters which is equivalent to 4 bottles.
Additionally, you may decide to turn the bladder inside the box into an ice pack which will fit well in large coolers.
Take Advantage of Organized Tastings
Many wine bars, liquor stores or specialty grocery stores, as well as online wine wholesalers, usually host tasting events regularly to encourage new customers. During this period, customers can sample several wines for free. It is the best way to discover new wines.
If there are more than a few wines that are highlighted within this period, they will be sold at special or discounted prices.
Sampling wines at the local winery can be fun as you may end up getting drawn to a bottle or two of wine that you wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise – either due to the fact that it is expensive or not too attractive until now.
So, how do you know which wine store or wine wholesaler will be holding an organized tasting event? This is simple; all you need to do is to visit your local wine store to make inquiries as they may have some privileged information for anyone interested.
You can also go online to perform some research about the dates, venues, and the wholesalers or stores that are going to host the next organized tasting events. In most cases, wine lovers who have participated in tasting events ended up falling in love with one or more varietals which they had never tried before but which are presently added to their selection of wines.
So, if you have a list of varietals you’d like to try, you can take your time and list them out so that you can explore them, where you are shopping offline or online.
Pay Attention to the Months
From November to January, most wine stores are well-stocked up with the best sweet wines a result of the holidays. This is the holiday season, and many will be looking forward to imbibing more wine than usual.
During this period, there are several excellent wine offers in major supermarkets, wine merchants or off-licenses, especially in the run-up to the annual or seasonal celebrations such as Christmas and New Year festivities.
Wine experts recommend that one is better off going for the biggest discount offers at this period instead of opting to buy the least expensive wine. This is because most discounted prices may be way out of your league if the wines were sold at full price and missing out on such great offers at this time may not be too pleasant for you.
You can visit your local wine store to take some notes about the ongoing discount offers, and then go online to do some research. You may find out that your local store’s website may have some excellent and authentic reviews by both experts and existing customers about the discounted wines that are sold in the store.
This information will go a long way in helping you make up your mind about which wines to go for and which to avoid according to your preference.
Learning Wine Lingo
The wine industry has been around for a considerably long time – up to several thousands of years – and expectedly appears to have a language of its own. This was during the period when modern language was still in the early stages of development.
At the time, forerunners of numerous wine-making processes assigned names to several production methods. The names of villages, grape-growing regions, and towns were also adopted as the names of the different types of wine. One of the most famous regions is alleged to be Champagne of France.
Learning a few wine terminologies can help you immeasurably and significantly whenever you are researching different wine offers. Only a few of the standard wine lingos will be outlined here as numerous others may not be in this list.
Therefore, here they are in no particular order:
This term refers to a specific region of a country where certain wines are produced such as the Veneto region in Italy or the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France.
This is a term that has to do with the process of adding sugar to fermenting grapes with the primary goals of enhancing the alcohol content of a particular wine.
The German phrase is used to portray top quality wine mixed with the dry German Rieslings.
“Balance” is a word that is used to describe the perfect blend of tannin, fruit scent/flavor, the levels of acidity, etc. in a particular bottle of wine. However, this is not a general indicator of that particular wine’s equilibrium because it is subject to the perception of individuals. This is primarily because everyone’s sense of smell and tastes are remarkably different.
This is also referred to as “bouquet” and is an indication of a wine’s aroma.
This American term is used to describe wines of high quality.
This is a flavor or aroma that is associated with a particular wine in which the grapes are grown in cool climates, either in the north of the equator or on high slopes.
This is a wine enthusiast’s term that is used to illustrate how the alcoholic beverage adheres to the interior or inside of a wine glass after it has been swirled several times in the glass and tasted.
This term is often mistakenly used to refer to wines of great age. But the true meaning of the word “vintage” in wine parlance denotes a particular harvest or year in the wine business. For instance, every bottle of wine has a vintage, be it 1759 or 2019.
“Steely” is a wine lingo used to portray wines with high levels of acidity that has never been aged in a barrel. The term “crisp” portrays the same meaning.
Tannins are phenolic compounds found in plants. Grape tannins are usually found in grape pits as well as in the skins. Tannins are sharp-tasting compounds that add structure to a particular wine.
Tannins gradually die off when a wine is allowed to age, and by the time it disappears completely, the wine becomes less sharp.
There are, of course, many other terms or lingo that is common in the wine universe, but you may likely encounter these few ones in your quest to find the best dealing wines.
Frequently Asked Questions
To enjoy the sweetness of a great riesling at its best it should be chilled at 45-50°F. If you cant measure the temperature, 30 minutes in the fridge will be just fine.
Even though Riesling is defined generally by its sweetness and residual sugar, Riesling grapes have a very wide range of sweetness. There’s a scale that defines the level of sweetness, and you can always find a more bone dry bottle if a dry wine is of your preference.
In the world of dessert wines, Riesling is always on the list, but a good white riesling, can be enjoyed with almost every meal thanks to the wide acidity and dryness profile it offers. Make sure you choose the right level of dryness, and pair sour dishes like chicken or turkey with a great riesling.
By following this guide, you will be able to find excellent Riesling wine deals as well as the best Riesling wines out there that will make your wine rack the envy of your friends and colleagues. Please enjoy responsibly and pair appropriately!