Best Riesling Wine

Riesling is a noble grape that produces some of the world's finest, most long-lived whites. A light, vibrant white wine that often has citrus, floral and mineral notes. It's mostly associated with Germany, but other well-known regions making it include Alsace, Washington, Niagara, Finger Lakes, Okanagan and Australia’s Clare Valley and Eden Valley.

Styles range from bone dry to intensely sweet. Aromas and flavors include apricot, peach, wet slate, minerals, flowers and petrol (when it's aged).

They are the second level of six in the German prädikat system of classifying Rieslings based on ripeness of the grapes: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Kabinett refers to high quality German Riesling that is usually light and dry to slightly off-dry and made from fully ripened grapes. The sweetness in kabinett Rieslings comes from natural fruit ripeness, not sugar.

My reviews of these Garnacha red wines are updated weekly. These Riesling white wines offer great taste at a good price. You'll find a definition of Riesling white wine at the bottom of this page as well as food pairings for Riesling in my wine matcher. This is just a small set of my reviews, but you can get all of them when you join my wine community.

Trove Winery Riesling Gewurztraminer
Oliver, Bc, Canada
Love it! Floral and fruity, and fragrant like a fresh spring day. Attractive aromas of ripe peach. A terrific picnic wine. Riesling Gewurztraminer food pairings: spicy Asian cuisine, light to medium curries, jalapeno harvarti. Alcohol: 12.5%  Sweetness: Medium  750 ml  Price: $12.99 Score: 88/100

This Riesling Gewurztraminer was reviewed March 28, 2011 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 176156  Check Stock
BC: 176156  Check Stock
 

Lingenfelder Bird Label Riesling 2012
Qualitätswein, Pfalz, Germany
Magnificent for the price point! Floral with fleshy ripe peach yet airy and refreshing. Medium-bodied with a peach blossom finish. Slight sweetness lends food versatility, yet it's not at all cloying. Riesling food pairings: Thai or Indian dishes. Alcohol: 10.5%  Sweetness: Medium  750 ml  Drink: 2013‐2015  Smart Buy Wine  Best Value White Wine  Price: $13.95 Score: 89/100

This Riesling was reviewed September 28, 2013 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 568634  21 in stock
BC: 568634  363 in stock
 

FRESH Wines Gewurztraminer Riesling 2008
V.Q.A., Ontario, Canada
Lovely sweet peach and field daisy aromas. Straight-up pleasure in a glass. Gewurztraminer Riesling food pairings: spicy thai food, sweet potato fries with chipotle mayonnaise, butternut squash soup. Alcohol: 11.5%  Sweetness: Medium  750 ml  Drink: 2010‐2011  Price: $11.95 Score: 85/100

This Gewurztraminer Riesling was reviewed August 17, 2010 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 572156  Check Stock
 

Thirty Bench Wine Makers Riesling 2011
Canada
Lemon freshness rides on a river of pure mountain crisp air. Mouth-watering and juicy with a clean finish. Lovely! Alcohol: 11.5%  Sweetness: Dry  750 ml  Drink: 2012‐2017  Scrumptious Seafood Wine  Price: $18.95 Score: 90/100

This Riesling was reviewed March 1, 2012 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 24133  Check Stock
BC: 852178  136 in stock
 

Becker-Steinhauer Riesling Kabinett 2008
Q.M.P., Veldenzer Kirchberg, Mosel, Germany
Vintages Wine Panel: Excellent example of the fine 2008 Mosel vintage, featuring aromas of peach, apple (and apple blossom), fresh tarragon and slate. Off-dry and very richly extracted, it’s an easy-drinking Riesling with the perfect amount of acidity to give it balance. Medium bodied, with a very long finish. My note: Extraordinary balance and packed flavour of ultra-ripe peach and pear. So much to give: give this wine a chance! Riesling Kabinett food pairings: stuffed pork tenderloin, vindaloo chicken, pan-fried-in-butter freshwater fish. Alcohol: 9%  Sweetness: Medium Dry  750 ml  Price: $15.95 Score: 89/100

This Riesling Kabinett was reviewed August 21, 2010 by Natalie MacLean

LCBO: 161786  Check Stock
 


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Riesling

Spätlese is the German word for "late harvest," used to describe Rieslings made from grapes with sugar levels at harvest that are higher than Kabinett and lower than Auslese. They are therefore more full-bodied than kabinetts and less so than ausleses. These grapes are picked at least seven days after the main harvest. Because spätlese contains more sugar than the grapes from the main harvest, they are typically medium sweet.

Auslese is the German word for "selection," used to describe specially selected, perfectly ripened bunches of grapes for this style of Riesling. Often, the grapes have started to over-ripen, becoming affected by the desirable mould botrytis cinerea or noble rot (edelfaule in German). They are hand-picked and then pressed separately from other grapes. The wine made from these grapes is sweet.

Beerenauslese is made from overripe grapes that are hand-picked and are pressed separately from the other grapes. These grapes are fully infected with botrytis cinerea or noble rot which shrivels them. This concentrates the sugar. Beerenauslese is very sweet but has enough acid to balance the wine. In Canada, it's called icewine whereas in Germany it's eiswein. Canadian vintners use both the vidal and riesling grapes while Germany uses mostly riesling, which has more balancing acidity for this sweet wine. This wine has a medium to full body, with a long finish and surprisingly low alcohol of, on average, just 10%.

Trockenbeerenauslese is the German word which means “dry berry selection” and describes wines made from specially selected, overripe grapes. They are left on the vine until nearly dry, having been shrivelled to raisins with noble rot. These grapes are picked individually at the height of their maturity, so they’re very concentrated in flavor and sugar and produce extremely rich, sweet wines. These wines are very rare, very expensive and considered to be among the world's finest dessert wines. They have excellent aging potential.

When the Riesling grapes are left on the vine several weeks to several months after the normal harvest time, they dehydrate and become more concentrated in their flavors and sugars. Sometimes a benevolent mold called botrytis cinerea (a.k.a. noble rot) causes this dehydration which also increases sweetness. This Riesling has higher residual sugar levels producing a thick, sweet, rich dessert wine.

Food matches for dry Riesling and Kabinett styles include beef, poultry, game birds, pork, cheese, pizza turkey dinner, spicy foods and seafood go well with this wine.

Pair late harvest and Auslese Rieslings with nuts, melons, soft cheese, curries, spicy food and Thai dishes.

Icewine, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese go beautifully with fruit-based desserts, biscotti, nuts, foie gras, cheeses and dishes with a touch of sweetness such as glazed ham.