Sunday Read: New German Rieslings somewhere between dry and sweet

You wouldn’t believe how often I get to hear how Riesling is SO sweet. Yes, often it is. But then again, often it is not. What one has to understand about Riesling, at least in my opinion, is that as with all wines balance is key. Given that German Rieslings tend to have a significant amount of acidity due to the cooler climate they grow in and Riesling’s natural higher acidity, sugar in the wine is a key to balance that acidity. In years with lower acidity, like 2011, it was easier to make very dry wines because the acidity did not need that much sugar to balance it. In years with high acidity levels, I usually struggle with fully dry wines…

Throw in wine drinkers’ split personality: Many want to see the word “dry” on the label, and insist that they only like dry wine, but then prefer wines with some residual sugar in them that would qualify those wines as semi-sweet or off-dry. It’s a conundrum for wine makers, and the piece I am linking to today explores how German winemakers deal with this issue. Maybe we all should become more comfortable with the grey, in between areas. Some sweet, some dry, not either or. After all, it is the in between that is usually the more exciting area to explore…

Happy Sunday!

Jon Bonné: New German Rieslings somewhere between dry and sweet

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10 thoughts on “Sunday Read: New German Rieslings somewhere between dry and sweet

  1. chef mimi says:

    I drink Riesling and what I drink isn’t sweet! Good post!

  2. ksbeth says:

    i am quite happy in the gray, and learn so much about wine from you – beth

  3. True! Balance is what matters. Cheers!

  4. foxress says:

    I hear that, too, from people who should know better…not all Rieslings are sweet. But, sometimes, an off-dry Riesling is the perfect wine, such as when serving jalapeno crabcakes or curried chicken…perfect. We’ll turn them, Oliver, one person at a time.

  5. frankstero says:

    Totally agree, balance is the key! I will have a look for some of those Rieslings :o)

  6. I agree completely – the fun is in the exploration, as well as enjoying the tried and true favorites!

    We uncorked a bottle of wine at my house the other day that none of us had heard of before and it was pretty awful, but we laughed so hard over it, that it became a nice memory! :)

    I’m a big fan of Rieslings, although I admit my focus has been on craft beer this year so I haven’t as much wine as usual – very interesting, about the acidity – I didn’t know that!

    It’s funny – I see “dry” on labels and it’s almost a turnoff for me – I do like sweeter drinks though, so that might be why?

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