The truth about Riesling - it is rarely ultra sweet

Posted by Joelle Thomson on

“Riesling? Oh, it's too sweet for me,” is the common refrain of many wine lovers, often when they have never even tried a dry Riesling. Which was exactly what motivated New York restaurateur, Paul Grecco, to kickstart a movement called Summer of Riesling back in 2008.

He wanted to bust the myth that all Riesling is sweet and he was not (and is not) alone.

“It’s always been about aromatics at Zephyr Wines,” says Marlborough winemaker Ben Glover, who celebrates the greatness of Riesling regularly with a laid back, low key, decadent wine afternoon called Summer of Riesling.

The aim of the Summer of Riesling movement is to highlight the incredibly diverse styles of Riesling in the world - and to show how versatile this grape can be.

It's also one of the most transparent of grapes. It is almost never aged in oak, so its personality is allowed to shine in its vibrant, rich, flavoursome aromatics - which span the gamut of fresh citrus (lime zest and lemon) to green and red apples right through to ripe peach.

Riesling can be ultra sweet but truth be told, it rarely is.

Most of the world’s great Rieslings err on the dry side and it's the aromatic qualities of the grape, along with its high acidity (which makes it taste as fresh as a daisy and keeps it that way for decades) that are the reason a large number of winemakers, wine writers, wine marketers and wine geeks generally tend to love it. 

Acid plays the role of a preservative in many of the great wines of the world, particularly in Riesling. Acid also needs to be balanced so that a wine with high acidity does not appear sharp or tart. This is the reason why many Rieslings can be balanced by a little residual sugar (aka "RS") - natural grape sugars.

Riesling is one of the world’s great white wines and also one of the most misunderstood wines, which is why we are celebrating summer this year with our own in store, informal Summer of Riesling tastings. 

Join us to try a bunch of dry Rieslings that taste so succulent, refreshing and dry that they may turn your head onto this outstanding white varietal yet.

Summer of Riesling tastings at Regional...

9 January 2020, 1pm to 7pm

2016 The Boneline White Label Riesling Special $19.99 (RRP $21.99) 

30 January 2020, 1pm to 7pm

2014 Seresin Momento Riesling  Special $18.99 (RRP $19.99)


But wait there's more great Riesling...

Two New Zealand winemakers dedicated to making dry Riesling are:

Duncan Forsyth of Mount Edward Wines (click here to buy his Riesling) and Ben Glover of Zephyr Wines (click here to buy

Try these stunning wines at our Summer of Riesling tastings in store with staff - or come in to try from our wide range of Rieslings on shelf here at Regional Wines & Spirits.

We look forward to seeing you.

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