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Riesling Wine

Riesling Wine: Sweetness, Best Food Pairings and Wine Styles

“Is Riesling sweet?” It is a question that is often asked and one that could sometimes lead to redundant answers depending on the audience. This article will try to shed some light on this subject.

Riesling Wine’s Sweet Side: Overview

There are many ways to reach a conclusion on the true nature of this great wine. 

First, we will look at the grapes that go into making Riesling wine. Grapes are like people, and they are often very diverse in their makeup. The specific grape variety of Riesling will often dictate the sweetness and dryness of the wine.

Germany, Austria, and Alsace are the three major regions producing Riesling. Like the grape that gives the wine its name, they have many different styles and levels of sweetness. Some of these wines are very dry and others are very sweet. 

Types of Riesling Wine Based on Sweetness Levels

Riesling wine can be divided into four levels of sweetness.

Dry

They are made entirely from the Riesling grape. The wine will have a good level of acidity, but it will not have any residual sugar that is naturally occurring. 

These wines will have no more than a .8 residual sugar level and often have as low as .3 residual sugar. Some of the best dry Riesling wines will come from Germany, Austria, and Alsace.

Semi-Dry

The next level is the semi-dry Riesling wine. These will have a higher residual sugar level than the dry Riesling wine, but the wine will still be considered semi-dry. 

The Riesling grape often plays a part in the making of these wines. Some examples of semi-dry Riesling wine will be a little bit sweeter than some of the other white wines on the market.

Medium Sweet

Medium sweet wines will often have a higher level of residual sugar than that of the semi-dry wines. Some of the wines will have a fruity flavour, but they are not as sweet as some of the more full-bodied wines.

Sweet

The sweetest Riesling wines will have a residual sugar level of 6 and above. These wines can taste very sweet, but they will also have a good amount of acidity, which will help balance the wine’s sweetness.

Best Food Pairings for Riesling Wine

Riesling wines are very versatile wines and many different cuisines are very tasty with Riesling wines. They pair well with various meats, poultry, seafood and even vegetarian dishes. Remember that the sweetness of the wine will often be affected by the residual sugar level of the wine. The sweeter the Riesling wine, the more sugary desserts it will match up well with.

One of the best desserts to pair with sweeter Riesling wines is the classic German Black Forest Cake. The tart cherries offset the sweetness of the cake, and the aroma of the cherries is enhanced by the citrus flavours of the Riesling wine.

Riesling wines can be very diverse in the amount of sweetness they have. This is determined by the grapes that are used in making the wine. As long as you know the residual sugar level, Riesling wine lovers can enjoy it with just about any type of food.

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