Riesling wine has a colourful German heritage and a bit of a bad reputation since the 1980s. Today, however, Riesling wine has emerged as the most collectible wine among top connoisseurs and sommeliers alike. Riesling comes in more “flavours” than any other wine. Some are “bone dry”, with no discernable sweetness. Others are “medium dry” with a hint of sweet, or “medium sweet” with even more, and some are quite simply “sweet”.

The natural grape sugar left in the wine is just one of the factors defining the taste. The natural acid and pH offset the sugar, and the interplay of these elements ultimately determines what you will taste. For example, a Riesling with more residual sugar but high acid may well taste drier than one with less sugar and low acid.

When you are tasting Riesling, you start with your nose. It’s one of the most aromatic grape varieties in the world. The primary fruit aromas in Riesling are nectarine, apricot, honey-crisp apple and pear. Besides just fruit, you’ll often smell things like honeycomb or even to a chemical aroma similar to petrol/gas. Believe it or not, it’s these weird smells that wine enthusiasts go gaga over. Riesling is very high acid, almost to the level of a tart fruit juice like lemonade.

Because of Riesling’s sweetness and acidity, it makes the perfect accompaniment to spicy food. Strong Indian and Asian spices are a perfect match with Riesling. A classic pairing with Riesling is spiced duck leg.

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