FoodRiesling weeks 2024: Celebrating the king of white wines worldwide

Riesling weeks 2024: Celebrating the king of white wines worldwide

Images source: © Adobe Stock | Márk Borbély

9:26 AM EDT, June 10, 2024

He is often called the "king of white wines." In June, it celebrates its birth. Riesling produces wines of great diversity and is extremely versatile gastronomically. "Riesling Weeks 2024," which lasts throughout June this year, is an excellent opportunity to learn more about this special grape variety.

Riesling is a grape variety that can appeal to any wine lover. Do you like thoroughly dry drinks? Choose riesling. Do you prefer wines with a strong dose of sweetness? You will find excellent rieslings in this category, too. Riesling offers plenty of delicacies in the range between dryness and sweetness. Sparkling wine fans will also appreciate its unique characteristics. Thanks to its properties, this grape variety offers a wide array of possibilities.

The homeland of Riesling is Germany—according to chronicles, it all started there. The first mentions of this variety come from the Rheingau region, and information about the variety was found in a vine sale protocol from 1435. It was noted that the vine cuttings of the "Riesslingen" variety were purchased for 22 shillings. Since then, the popularity of riesling in Germany has steadily grown, and today, without a shadow of a doubt, it can be stated that riesling is a German national treasure.

The king among white wines

However, Germany is not the only place where this variety produces excellent wines. This grape variety has traveled to the farthest corners of the globe.

"Today, popular rieslings come from northern areas of the USA, southern Australia, and New Zealand. On our continent, excellent rieslings can be found in the French Alsace, Austria, northern Italy, and the Czech Moravia," says Tomasz Potrzebowski, International Market Development Expert at Henkell Freixenet Polska.

Wines made from the riesling grape variety are characterized by great diversity, making it difficult to generalize and clearly describe the aroma taste profile of this variety. However, these wines have a few standard features in the best editions.

"Young, dry rieslings have a beautiful, clean citrus, green apple, and apricot aroma, slightly accented with floral notes and spicy nuances. For many, it may be surprising that riesling can also develop unique and seemingly unexpected aromatic notes for wine. I mean the scent of gasoline or kerosene. It is worth remembering that in the case of this variety, it is not a wine defect," explains the expert.

Moreover, riesling can perfectly reflect the terroir, meaning the unique soil and climatic conditions of the region where it is grown. Another essential advantage of this variety is its great aging potential in the bottle, partly due to the natural high acidity, which conserves the wine for years. This phenomenal aging potential means that the best wines can easily wait for their moment in the cellar for even 50 years or more!

What does it pair with?

The undeniable strength of wines from the Riesling variety is their great gastronomic versatility. "Depending on the style of the wine, riesling pairs with an extensive range of dishes. Riesling is beautiful because it can be very different—some wines are dry, others ultra-sweet, some very floral, others spicy and citrusy. This means the number of combinations is virtually unlimited," says Tomasz Potrzebowski.

White wine
White wine© Adobe Stock | Brent Hofacker

I particularly recommend dishes with raw fish, such as sashimi, seafood, and smoked fish for dry wines. Additionally, pork belly with apple sauce, pickled vegetables, salads with vinaigrette sauce, and goat cheese are excellent choices.

On the other hand, semi-dry rieslings are ideal companions for oriental cuisine dishes. Many spicy foods—dishes of Thai, Vietnamese, and even Indian cuisine—pair well with such rieslings. The more intense the dish, the sweeter the riesling should be.

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