Dry Riesling wines, one facet of this exquisite varietal
The Riesling grape variety gives rise to aromatic, acidic and fresh wines that seduce wine lovers all over the world. Riesling truly is in a league of its own and few, if any, grape varieties are as versatile as this noble grape.
Is Riesling a dry white wine?
A common misconception is that the Riesling grape variety exclusively produces sweet white wines. However, the Riesling varietal is also greatly admired for its versatility and the various styles of wines that this grape produces, ranging from bone dry to deliciously sweet.
What is Dry Riesling?
Depending on when the fruit is harvested, the grapes contain more or less sugar levels, which in turn leads to residual sugar in the wine. The end result of the wine depends on when the grapes were harvested, if they are picked at optimum ripeness or when they have been affected by noble rot, also called botrytis cinerea.
Dry Riesling from Germany
The King of German vineyards
Germany remains the homeland of Riesling, in fact, a third of German wines are made from this grape variety. This aromatic grape thrives in the steep and sloping lands of the Mosel region and Riesling also flourishes in Nahe, Pfalz and Rheingau, German Rieslings come in many different styles. Indeed, many wines from this grape variety are bone-dry.
Understanding the wine classifications
Kabinett wines offer a dry to medium-dry style and are light wines. The word ''Trocken'', featured on the label of Riesling wines means dry. The drier Riesling wines come from the regions of Rheingau and Pfalz so you will find this term on many bottlings from this part of Germany. Rheingau wines exude aromas of steel, lemon and minerals and Pfalz wines are more rich and express aromas of exotic fruit.
The association of German wine producers, Verband Deutscher Pradikatsweinguter (VDP) or The Association of German Quality and Prädikat Wine Estates, mention the term "Grosses Gewachs" to designate the utter quality of their dry Riesling wines. Van Volxem, Weingut Donnhoff, Kunstler and other German wineries produce exquisite Grosses Gewachs wines. These wines exude aromas of pear and apricot.
Dry Riesling wines paired with food
Riesling is known for being extremely food-friendly. Due to the various sweetness levels, Riesling wines can pair with many dishes. Dry Rieslings will pair with scallops, salmon and light and salty cheeses such as feta or mozzarella.