Chances are you’ve heard of Riesling. It’s the most well-known German wine and for good reason. This white grape originated in the Rhine valley in West Germany, with the first known written recording of it dating back to the first half of the 15th Century.
These days over 20% of German grapes grown are of the Riesling variety, with an equal volume of grapes in the adjacent French region of Alsace also Riesling. It’s a bright, acidic grape with a notably flowery aroma, apple notes, and a terroir-based palate. It tends to forgo aging in oak barrels, although its aging potential is quite high. In particular, aged Riesling has a notable petroleum scent to it. Another unique quality of Riesling is that the character of the wine changes depending on where the grapes are grown. Mostly adapted to the cooler German continental climate, Riesling has spread to all corners of the globe, including Australia, Washington, and South Africa. Liquor Barn has an extensive selection of Riesling wines Germany and other parts of the world. Let’s take a look at three exceptional wines you can find in our stores today.
Williamette Valley Riesling
This bottle of Riesling is grown in Oregon’s fertile Williamette Valley, where cool fog from the ocean continuously coats vineyards here in dew before the late afternoon sun burns through. It’s got a friendly profile (not to mention an affordable price tag) so if you’re new to Rieslings, this is a good one to try out. Expect soft fruit flavors of tart apple, peach, Bartlett pear on the front of the tongue, with more subtle clover honey and Ceylon tea notes in the back. Serve it lightly chilled—just a few beads of sweat on the bottle—and enjoy this wine with a medium cheese or salty seafood dishes. Find it in our store here.
CH Berres Estate Riesling
For a little bit more than the Oregon offshoot, you can get a German Riesling that’s a surefire crowd pleaser. CH Berres Estate scored a respectable 88 points in a Wine Enthusiast Magazine review and impressed the taster with “its uncomplicated forward style,” which is a nice way of saying that you don’t need to be a wine snob to enjoy this Riesling. Just a tad sweet but mostly dry, expect peach notes with an acidic crispness. Goes great with grilled seafood. Find it in our store here.
Robert Weil Riesling Spatlese Tradition
If you feel like splurging slightly, this is a great bottle to go for. This Rheingau-based winery is a beautiful choice for a dinner party with your favorite people. It’s almost clear color is a joy to behold, with a light body, decent but not overbearing acidity, and pleasant sweetness. Look for green apple crispness on the first tasting with an apricot and tea finish. Find it in our store here.