Summer is here, are you drinking Riesling yet?

Thoughout my time in the wine industry I have seen a lot of trends come and go.  One trend that I’m starting to see, is that people are discovering the pleasures of Riesling grape.  For years, Master Sommeliers and Wine Professionals have championed drinking wines made from the Riesling grape.  It almost reminds me of when I started in the industry and the professionals were all talking about Pinot Noir and how versatile it is.  After years of talking it up, the movie Sideways and the increased quality domestically many of people finally figured out what all the fuss was about.  I was working as Wine Director in La Jolla at the time and all of a sudden I couldn’t keep Pinot Noir in stock.  Merlot sales tanked and Pinot Noir became the new trend and all the rage in the U.S. 

Well, with that in mind I’m going out on a limb and saying that if you’re not drinking Riesling you should be and probably will be when the movie comes out.  Just kidding, I don’t think that they are making a movie about Riesling, but maybe they should.  The Riesling grape has been produced in Germany and Alsace France for hundreds of years.  It is considered one the the nine noble varietals, and in my opinion is a wine that we should really be enjoying more of. 

Here is my reasoning for saying that Riesling should be in your glass!

This grape is virtual blank canvas for “terroir”, meaning that this grape has the ability to show the flavors from where it was grown like no other white grape.

The range of Riesling is enormous, it can be syrupy sweet like a TBA, bone-dry like a Charta and virtually any style in between the two.  It has more variances of style than any other grape in the world. 

Acidity, Acidity, Acidity!  In order for a wine to be considered “Food Friendly” it should have a high proportion of acidity.  Acidity does a lot for a wine and is a vital component to the length of finish, quality, and balancing the fruit/sugar.  It also allows for the wine to be paired with a variety of foods, because the acidity will cut through the fat and proteins.  Riesling has extremely high acidity, which is why it can be produced with residual sugar and not be cloying.

Value, Value, Value.  In times of economic uncertainty and continually rising wine prices wouldn’t it be nice if you could drink a really high quality wine for under $20?  You can certainly do that with German Riesling!

So I ask the question, “What’s in your glass?”

If you’d like to learn more about dry Riesling and explore German Wine for yourself check out our website at

Cheers til next time!





Meet Dustin Jones, Truly Fine Wine’s new Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator

Meet Dustin Jones, Truly Fine Wine’s new Certified Sommelier and Wine Educator


Dustin has been a friend to TFW long before he came on board.  He was working as Wine Director for La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California when he and Damon met at a Trade Tasting.  Dustin was looking to expand his knowledge and quench his thirst for German Wines, with Riesling particularly on his mind.  A friendship began as Dustin began to geek out on a wide variety of high quality, value wines in the TFW Portfolio.  Charta Rieslings, Spӓtlese-Trocken, Kabinett Trocken and Halbtrocken, Classic, Selection, these were just the tip of the iceberg. 

In the months that followed, my eyes were opened to the fantastic world of wine that is Germany.  No other region in the world produces the amount of high quality wines, that are often overlooked by the U.S. market because of tremendous range of dry to sweet styles and the perceived difficulty in deciphering labels.  I found that the labels are actually a lot like deciphering a label from Burgundy France, which may be slightly difficult to the novice wine enthusiast but still very manageable if you know what to look for. 

Here is a quick German Label Reading tutorial from Dustin.

Blees Ferber is Producer or Estate

Grape is Riesling


The wine comes from the Mosel Saar Ruwer Region, and Goldtropfchen is the Vineyard in Village of Piesport


Spӓtlese is the ripeness level at Harvest, which took place in 2006


Trocken means Dry, if the wine said Halbtrocken that means off-dry, if it says nothing but Spӓtlese then the wine would be a sweeter style.


A great way to figure out if the wine will be dry, off-dry, or sweet is to look at the alcohol content. 


7 to 9.5% is sweet,


9.5 to 11.5 is off-dry,


11.5 + is a dry style.


Published in: on April 29, 2008 at 1:55 pm  Leave a Comment