The noble Riesling is a versatile variety that originated natively in Germany and now delivers a range of different flavours and complexities wherever it’s grown. Known for delivering both a very lean and dry variety as well as sweet and tropical thirst quenches, this dynamic wine type is still being explored and experimented with today with exciting new opportunities arriving every harvest.
With over 70 years of wine experience, The Wine Collective is powered by wine experts who love their white wine varieties and our collection covers all of the most well-loved types including Rhine Riesling and Late Picked Riesling.
Is Riesling red or white?
The Riesling grape is a white grape variety indigenous to Germany and grown prolifically throughout the German Rhine Valley. It is a very old variety with written evidence of its distribution as early as the fourteenth century. Today it is used to build a versatile spectrum of white wines ranging from very dry and crisp to semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling. It’s renowned for its strong aromatics and very flowery bouquet.
What is the best Australian riesling?
Australian Riesling is among some of the best grown and produced around the world and part of this is due to our range of climates suiting the sometimes finicky grape variety, but also due to our boldness as winemakers who are willing to take risks to develop truly significant wines. Clare Valley in South Australia is arguably one of the very best regions in Australia for developing Riesling and curating delicious botanical wines from the fruit.
Of particular note is the Eden Valley Riesling varieties which are often considered to be boldly botanical offering a host of crisp and citrus flavours like lime and juniper. In nearby Watervale, you will also find a range of affordable Riesling punching well above its cost bracket with tones of bold and zesty lemongrass, green citrus and other great fruity flavours still delivered in a crisp and lean white wine that is utterly perfect when served chilled and sipped on warm days.
Getting to the serious Riesling producers in Australia is moving into more cool climates and fabulous wine country in Tasmania. As a white grape that loves the cooler weather, the great southern tip of Australia, as well as the southern Yarra Valley regions, are excellent places for cultivating lush and light Riesling grapes that pack a powerful punch in the bottle.
There are a range of good cellaring options as well from the Victorian producers with wines from 2009 and 2011 now slowly hitting the shelves and described as worthy of ‘cellaring forever’ so an aged Riesling is a must try although you are definitely creeping up the dollar scale into some of the most expensive options available in Australia. This might make for the perfect wedding gift, perhaps, with a long shelf life and to be opened and enjoyed on the happy couple’s tenth wedding anniversary.
What does Riesling taste like?
Tasting notes can differ wildly between Riesling varieties, however, so you may prefer a very dry crisp sipping wine with high acidity, or you might like more sweet wines with a fruitier delivery and softer profile. Both are possible when it comes to Riesling, you just have to find the right region and the right producer who suits your preferences.
Stepping out beyond the Australian producers showcases the rest of the world’s Riesling abilities including the Finger Lakes wine region in Washington State, United States, South Africa, and the French Alsace and German Rhine Valley styles, where the grape has grown the longest. Its natural acidity has made it a popular variety for late-harvest wines and it’s also used for making ice wine, a concentrated European-style wine made from grapes frozen on the vine.
US varieties are often dry (less sweet) but this isn’t to say you won’t find sweeter Riesling varieties from the US wineries. It has only been relatively recently that very dry and very lean Riesling varieties have started to emerge and become popular and most Riesling types will be in the mid-range of ripeness, medium-sweet to balance out the acidity. Varieties from the Rhine Valley and Alsace will generally be a medium-sweet, traditional style making them excellent table wines.
How to serve Riesling white wine?
Riesling, being naturally sweet and acidic, is ideally suited for spicy Asian dishes and suits chicken, pork, duck, crab and prawns especially well. Aromatic herbs like cayenne pepper, ginger, clove, cinnamon, basil and Allspice will pair beautifully, heightening both the taste of your wine and your meal at the same time. You will want to pair this type with soft cow’s milk cheeses and dried fruit like figs. For vegetarians, pair your Riesling with naturally sweet vegetables like capsicum, carrot, red onion, pumpkin, squash and coconut.
The serving temperature of Riesling should be chilled, ideally ‘fridge cold’. This makes it an excellent sipping wine for hot and stormy Australian nights and for lazy afternoons paired with soft cheese, crackers and great company. It figures among the low alcohol content wines with an average of 8% but stronger alcoholic versions are available, particularly aged Riesling varieties.
Shop Best Australian Riesling Wines Today
The complete selection of Riesling possibilities is all available to order online from The Wine Collective. Drawing on years and years of experience, we have scoured both our local producers and our international wineries to deliver the finest selection of Riesling available. Happily sift through each wine-producing region and make a comparative table for yourself about the areas you believe produce the best, the driest, the sweetest and the most refreshing examples of this highly versatile and adaptable wine variety. Order right now for delivery direct to your door.