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Best Rieslings for The Wine Lover in Your Life

  1. Poet's Leap Riesling
  2. Eroica Riesling
  3. Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling
  4. Buyer's Guide

Riesling is made from an incredibly aromatic grape that is commonly grown in Germany and France. The grape itself has a higher sugar content than many other wine grapes, and many winemakers chose to honor this quality by crafting their rieslings to exhibit this sweetness. Alternatively, riesling can be made in the dry style, with very little residual sugar left in the wine after fermentation. These wines can often seem sweet at first sip, where the aromas of bright fruit overwhelm the minerality, but finish crisp and dry as the actual flavor of the wine overpowers the aroma towards the end of a sip.

In Germany, where riesling is one of the most common varietals, the cool, northern latitude climate gives these grapes a lower sugar content and a higher acidity. Because of this, traditional German rieslings are usually on the dry side. Rieslings grown in warmer climates, on the other hand, often have more sugar and flavors of peach and lime. These grapes lend themselves to the sweeter style and can even be left on the vines late into the season until they dry out slightly, increasing the sugar content and creating a wine that is sweet enough to be a dessert.

Want to learn more about riesling or find yourself a new favorite bottle? Read on below for our list of the best rieslings of 2022 and a buyer's guide to make sure you buy the perfect bottle for your taste preferences.

Best Rieslings Worth Considering in 2022

best riesling

Poet's Leap Riesling - Best Overall

Poet's Leap Riesling is a complex wine that's perfectly balanced. Though it's from Washington state, it's grown in a slightly warmer climate than its native Germany and as such is able to develop a bit more sweetness than Old World Rieslings typically have. The nose is absolutely dry, though still intense, with notes of white flower, tropical fruit, and citrus peel. Once you take a sip, the natural sweetness will take over, showing off flavors of dried fruit, fresh flowers, and honey. The finish is rather long and incredibly clean. Wine critics have been quick to praise this vintage, which has scored a staggering 94 points in Wine Enthusiast. The sweetness in the wine makes it a great choice to balance out a spicy dish or to start off an evening as a before-dinner drink.

best rieslings

Eroica Riesling - Runner Up

A New World Riesling with Old World sensibilities, Eroica Riesling is one of our Best Picks. This wine has intense aromatics, with lots of orange blossom, typical for Washington state Rieslings. The flavor, however, lacks the pronounced sweetness often seen in American Rieslings. Instead, the wine has an intense minerality and notes of spiced apple that perfectly compliment the long, acidic finish. As a predominantly dry wine, Eroica pairs well with seafood and spicy Asian dishes, including Thai and Indian curry.

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Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling - Best Riesling Under $20

If you're looking for an excellent Riesling for an incredible price, look no further than the Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Dry Riesling. Frequently sold for under $10 a bottle, this wine has all the complex aromas you'd expect in a Riesling for less than half of the amount you might pay for a comparable bottle. Well-regarded by critics, this wine scores in the high 80s. It's fruit forward and aromatic without being in the least bit sweet. In fact, the rich nose of mandarin orange and white flowers quickly give way to a strong acidity and a clean, bone dry finish. The dryness and intense aromas of this wine make it a favorite to pair with shellfish, especially oysters.

Buyer's Guide

Riesling is one of the white grape varieties that originate from the Rhine region. Moreover, this is an aromatic variety of grape variety with high acidity. This type is widely used to make dry, sweet, and semi-sweet white wines. These wines are seldom oaked and pure. Riesling, without any doubt, is one of the most famous white wines across the globe. It has also given birth to some of the world’s most expensive wines.

Are you a wine lover? If yes, then you should give riesling a try! Here are some things to consider before buying:

What Does Riesling Taste Like?

Let’s begin our discussion about riesling with its taste. Note that the different grape varieties are a vital part of forming the character and aroma of wine— this characteristic is very much true for riesling.

Riesling wine formation is done in a new oak barrel. Generally, it blends well with other grapes, excluding the Liebfraumilch wine present in Germany and Edelzwicker in Alsace.

Some of the Riesling will be passing through oak barrels, due to which the winemakers prefer to use containers of large capacity. The capacity can be 600L, 1200L, or even 1800L depending on the need. Note that this is not going to impart much of an oaky aroma. To offer complexity, small amounts of oxygen and contact with lees are part of the process.

Dry riesling wine will often show the variety of pure green apple, peach flavor, and citrus. It is going to offer a refreshing and crisp acidity. On the other hand, the sweeter riesling will offer a sweet taste of tropical fruits that include honey, ginger, lychee, and many more. This type provides a clue of petrol/gasoline and smokiness to set it apart from others.

What Are the Different Aromas Present in Riesling Wine?

Mainly, there are three types of aromas that you can smell from riesling wine:

Primary Aromas

This term will describe the flavors and smells coming out of the fruit itself, such as grapes. The primary aroma can vary depending on the soil and weather condition of the growth area, be it warm or cold.

In cold weather, grapes will not reach a high level of maturation that will typically show mineral notes of slate, flint, chalk, and slate. Moreover, you will also get floral characters like rose petals, citrus blossoms, and lilies.

In cold weather conditions like in Australia, South Africa, California, and Chile, grape berries and their flavor will reach a high level of ripeness. This category will include ripe fruits or jam notes such as apple, pear, peach, pineapple, lychee, and mango.

Secondary Aromas

This smell is due to the winemaking process. The natural flavors that reside in the grapes will combine and interact with bacteria and yeast. The microorganisms are responsible for the fermentation for creating aromatic complexity. This aroma only comes from the fermentation of sulfur compounds and esters, including flint, pear, and petroleum.

Tertiary Aromas

This aroma will start to appear inside the bottle over time. As the wine molecules interact with oxygen and each other, their aromatic profile will begin to change. As time passes, the tertiary aromas become more intense, whereas the primary fruit flavor will fade away soon.

What Are the Different Types of Riesling?

German riesling is very popular, and it is divided into two main types. One of the types of Qualitatswein wines comes from the country’s 13 specific wine-growing regions. This category includes dry and off-dry to sweet wines. The second type is the Pradikatsweins which are superior quality wine that is further divided into six types as below:


It constitutes ripe grapes that are collected after the average harvest. It can range from dry to medium-sweet.


It contains whole ripened grapes. The lightest style in this category can be dry to medium-sweet.


It contains overripe grapes. The unique selection is made by picking the grapes affected by noble rot only to make sweet wine.


The making is done using the grapes that have similar sugar content as in the Beerenauslese. But the grapes should be naturally frozen on wine and pressed, being in a solid state.


The making is done using noble rot grapes, resulting in sweet dessert wines.


The making includes a unique selection of ripe grape branches. It can often be dry, sweet, or semi-sweet.

What Should You Know About Riesling Food Pairing?

If you are planning to pair your riesling with food for the perfect experience, then you should know the following:


Due to the acidity and sweetness of riesling, this will be the perfect complement to spicy food. Try out Indian or Asian foods. One of the classical pairing options is a spiced duck leg.


You can pair riesling with bacon, chicken, shrimp, pork, and buck.


Go for roasted vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, eggplant, squash, and even coconut.


Try riesling out with delicate and less-stinky cheeses made from soft cow’s milk. Cheeses that incorporate dried fruit also pair nicely.

Herbs and Spices

Consider using highly aromatic and spiced herbs that include turmeric, madras curry, Sichuan pepper, shallots, soy sauce, marjoram, basil, rice vinegar, and much more.

Best Riesling FAQs

Q: What is the serving temperature for riesling?

A: Every drink has its particular serving temperature that provides a better experience. The serving temperature for riesling is fridge-cold— about 43 ºF (6 ºC).

Q: In which countries is riesling produced?

A: Riesling production takes place in Germany, the United States, France, Austria, Australia, and New Zealand.

Q: Is riesling cheap?

A: Yes, you can get cheap rieslings for under $10. It can range from incredibly sweet and desert-like to bone-dry wine. However, you can also consider buying some expensive riesling wine as well.

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