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Riesling Wine Varietal Definition

Riesling grapes

Another "aromatic" that is also gaining in popularity, Riesling can be a particularly refreshing alternative to the Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc white wine tandem. Unlike its cousin, Gewürztraminer, this varietal has little spice and instead relies on its delicate aromas and subtle flavors for its special niche. Usually lighter in style and sometimes with residual sweetness, it's better paired with lighter fare. The Riesling is a mainstay of Germany's winemaking and also ripens to full maturity in Alsace. The top American producers have generally been those who have also had success with Gewürztraminer.

See our Top Riesling reviews
Learn about other varietals

*Riesling photo by Tom Maack

(Updated: 11/19/12 JLD)

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