Here is a test you can give: Walk into any reputable wine shop or restaurant with a wine director or sommelier and ask what his or her “stuck on a desert island” white varietal would be. Nearly 99% will emphatically respond “Riesling.”
There is no varietal more beloved by the wine community, yet more misunderstood by the general public. Opinions regarding Riesling abound, and no, not all Rieslings are sweet. One major reason true wine lovers are smitten by this grape is its chameleon-like diversity of style, varying from bone dry, to fruity, to slightly sweet… to hands-down the greatest dessert wines on the planet. In the mist of the past, tastemakers determined that wines with any obvious level of residual sugar were to be frowned on. (This is not to say that ‘back in the day’ there were -- and still are – poorly made wines that are sweet, but good German and Austrian Rieslings more often than not provide epiphanies.) Because a wine is made of Riesling does not necessarily mean it is going to be sweet!
Quite the contrary, as the majority of Rieslings from Austria are wonderfully austere and dry, with acidity that can nearly etch the glass it is poured in. These remarkable wines provide the ideal aperitif and shine with main courses. While dry wines are fantastic, there is certainly nothing wrong with a tad of residual sugar. Sweet can be good. As humans, we associate sweet tastes with foods that are safe to eat. Who eats an apple or an orange and then complains that it’s to fruity? The fruitier aspect of most German Rieslings is for balance. German Rieslings can be so acidic that, absent sugar, the acids would strip the enamel off your teeth! These wines, however, are among the most balanced and precise wines you will ever encounter.
Not long ago people shunned Rosés because of a false preconception that pink meant sweet. But, as we all know now, Rose's rule the summer. We urge you to be at the forefront of the next major varietal movement.
Enjoy selecting and drinking an array of remarkable Rieslings this summer… the world’s greatest white wine varietal!
Wally's is pleased to offer the nation’s finest selection of German and Austrian Rieslings at prices that qualify them as extraordinary values.