What does Riesling taste like? WineScribble is having a friend over for lunch, and is cooking a curry. And do you know what wine pairs well with a curry? Riesling wine pairs well with a curry. Enjoy the fast five facts about Riesling wine, including a funny exposition of grape names and information the town hall of Bremen in Germany – which houses some of the oldest Riesling in the world.
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Hey Tasters! I’m in the office today. I’m having a friend over for lunch. It’s really cold in Cyprus today, so I asked my friend what he would like to have for his lunch, and he said curry.
I had some leftover chicken so I’ve made a quick curry sauce. It’s nothing you’ll find in a recipe book but it’s onions and garlic and chilies and ginger, loads of spices like coriander and cumin and turmeric.
So the question is what wine am I going to pair this medium heat curry with? The answer is Riesling.
So, while we’re here why don’t we do fast five facts about Riesling.
What does Riesling taste like?
What does Riesling taste like? Let’s find out.
Wine fact number one
Riesling is an aromatic white grape variety native to the Rhine region in Germany. Though very popular it’s only the 20th most grown variety worldwide, covering just a hundred and twenty thousand acres. Luckily it’s acreage has been increasing steadily over the last few years.
Although not as widely planted, it is generally considered to be one of the top three white varieties along with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Fact number two
The origin of the name Riesling is actually completely unknown but many wine varieties that have the word Riesling in their name are actually not Riesling at all.
For example there is a grape variety called Welschriesling that is commonly grown in Hungary Romania and Croatia. This variety is also known as Riesling Italico, Olasz Riesling, Laski Riesling and Welsch Rizling. However this is not actually Riesling.
Another case in point is Cape Riesling also known as Clare Riesling, this is also not Riesling, but rather a South African name for a variety that’s known as Crouchen in France.
There is also a variety known as Grey Riesling. Is this Riesling? No, it’s a variety called Trousseau Gris.
And, before you ask Schwarz Riesling is mainly what the Germans call Pinot Meunier. Why? I don’t know because as far as I’m aware Pinot Meunier is not generally grown or vinified in Germany. It’s actually a variety used to blend in champagne. If you can shed any light on this please, please leave a comment below.
Which Riesling is the real Riesling?
So, will the real Riesling please stand up? Roter Riesling or Red Riesling is actually a Riesling, but it’s not actually red, it’s pink.
The existence of this red rare clone of Riesling is the reason you might hear people refer to Riesling also as white Riesling. And there you have it tasters, 50 shades of Riesling.
Comparing the Regional Riesling Taste
Today I’ve got two bottles of Riesling to share with my friend. We’re going to compare them as we taste our curry. The first bottle is from Alsace, and the second bottle is actually a Cypriot Riesling. It might be the only Riesling on the island.
Riesling fact three
What does Riesling taste like? Riesling is very expressive of its terroir. This is a fancy way of saying that it is strongly influenced by the geography and the environment in which it grows.
Rieslings from German regions, which are cool and wet, present aromas of garden fruits such as apples. The low temperatures produce wines that are high in acidity. This is one of the reasons why German Rieslings are often made in the off dry style, it is to balance the high acidity with the residual sugar.
Warmer climates, such as this Alsace, produce late ripening Riesling. This is redolent with citrus and stone fruit aromas such as peach and apricot. New world Riesling from South Australia displays notes of lime.
This Cyprus Riesling, I get a lot of minerality, a lot of flint, a lot of Cyprus mountain rock.
Like other white wines, Riesling wines are usually enjoyed young. Young Rieslings are tart but also fruity and aromatic wines. Aromas of green apple, gooseberry, grapefruit, and rose blossoms. However, due to its high acidity Riesling can also aged exceptionally well.
Aged Riesling displays aromas of honey and smoke, often accompanied by the notorious and often divisive aroma of petroleum.
Riesling fact four
The castle and winery Schloss Johannesburg is generally credited with the creation of late harvest Riesling. According to legend, in 1775 the messenger sent to tell all winery owners to begin harvest was attacked by robbers. By the time he recovered and made it to his destination the grapes had been attacked by botrytis and all but rotted.
Deemed worthless by the vineyard owner the rotten grapes were given to the peasants. As the less well known saying goes when life gives you rotten grapes, make some wine. At least that’s what the wise peasants did and a superior wine was born.
To this day Riesling is produced from dry to very sweet. In typical German fashion, the more residual sugar is left in the wine, the more syllables are used to describe it. The late harvest botrytis affected Riesling wines are described in ascending order of residual sugar as: Auslesen, Beerenauslesen, and Trockenbeerenauslesen.
Fact about Riesling five
No matter how much residual sugar accumulates within Riesling grapes, they always maintain high acidity levels. This combination of high acidity and high sugar produces a wine that ages very, very well. In fact Riesling is one of the very few white wine varieties that can age at all. T
ypically, dry Riesling ages from 5 to 15 years, semi-sweet style Riesling for 10 to 20 years, and sweet style Riesling from 10 to 30 years, though often for much more.
But even dry or off-dry Riesling has been known to be enjoyable at age 100 or older. Did you know that in the town hall of Bremen in Germany there are Riesling based wines stored in barrels whose vintage is are you ready for this… 1653!
So, tasters it’s time for me to serve this curry meal. My friend is on his way. If you’ve enjoyed this video give it a thumbs up. Comment below and let me know how you found these five Riesling wine facts. Cheers everyone! Have you subscribed yet? Go on, what’s the worst thing that can happen.
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