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The Ultimate Guide to Riesling Wine


Riesling Wine in Lake Leelanau, MI

The Ultimate Guide to Riesling Wine

Have you always wanted to learn more about the world of Riesling wine, but aren’t sure where to start? You have a friend in Aurora Cellars. Our Lake Leelanau, MI winery is staffed with wine experts who can help you explore the many rich varieties of German Riesling. We can point you to award-winning wines, as well as understated bottles that will leave you and your friends wanting a second glass. We’ve compiled our ultimate guide to trying Riesling below and encourage you to stop by our secluded location for a wine tasting.

A Brief History of Riesling

Riesling has been around for hundreds of years—all the way back to 1435 to be exact. Riesling grapes first sprouted in Germany, where they became essential to the wine of the nobility. This wine became more and more popular over the years and could soon be found in cellars all over the German countryside. Despite its early popularity, the 1980s saw a decrease in Riesling wine sales. But wine connoisseurs hadn’t forgotten the sophisticated tastes of the drink. By the 1990s, Riesling was gaining popularity again, common at elegant occasions across the world.

What Does Riesling Wine Taste Like?

Riesling is an aromatic wine, so you’ll enjoy a glass with your sense of smell before ever taking a sip. But once you start drinking down your glass of wine, you’ll enjoy an array of flavors on your tastebuds. Every Riesling tastes a little different depending on its age, but most people describe this dessert wine with the following terms:

  • Fruity: Riesling is famous for incorporating a wide range of fruits. A quick search for these wines and you’ll find bottles with hints of peach, apple, pear, lemon, lime, apricot, and nectarine flavors.
  • Aged: Aged Rieslings have a robust taste and a subtle smell of lanolin.
  • Acidic: Riesling typically has high acidity levels, which lend themselves to a crisp, tart flavor. Because of this high acidity, Riesling can age for decades without spoiling.
  • Aromatic: Aroma is an especially memorable part of the Riesling experience. Wine connoisseurs describe flowery smells along with the fruity notes, namely jasmine, ginger, honeycomb, and citrus blossom.

Riesling Comes in Many Forms

Shopping for Riesling can get confusing with the sheer variety you’ll find at wineries. Sometimes you’ll see a dry Riesling, and other times you’ll find sickly-sweet bottles on winery shelves. If you remember that “trocken” means dry and “suß” means sweet, you should be able to find the best option for you. Also, keep in mind that drier wines have higher alcohol content and sweet wines tend to have a lower ratio. You can also find delicious sparkling Rieslings if you want to emphasize the crisp, tart quality of the wine.

Try These Best Selling Riesling Wines

If you want to sample one of the best Rieslings out there, opt for one in the Prädikatswein category. Wines with this designation are of the highest quality and much be sourced from an approved German region. Some of the most popular types of Prädikatswein include:

  • Kabinett
  • Spatlese
  • Auslese
  • Beerenauslese
  • Trockenbeerenauslese
  • Eiswein

A Perfect Pairing for All Food Types

While many people love enjoying a glass of Riesling on its own, this wine is even better when paired with the correct foods. Fortunately, it goes well with nearly all types of food and especially stands out among spicy dishes. Thanks to its high acidity, spicy flavors seem tamer and much more palatable. If you’re planning to add Riesling to your next family dinner, here are our recommendations for main courses and side dishes:

  • Poultry
  • Grilled fish
  • Pork
  • Crab and lobster
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Roasted veggies, especially peppers, squash, and carrots
  • Dishes with highly aromatic herbs

Book a Wine Tasting Today

It’s one thing to read about Rieslings, but it’s another thing to try one for yourself. Visit Aurora Cellars near beautiful Lake Leelanau to get a taste of some of the best wines available today, including a Dry Riesling and Medium Sweet Riesling. In addition to wine tastings, we also offer a wine club and an online shop where you can find the highest-quality wines. Get in touch with us to book a tasting or inquire about our in-stock bottles.