Riesling is a white grape variety which owes its origin in Germany. It has a characteristic high acid content and a florid scent. Four distinct types of varietal wines can be made from this white grape. These are dry wine, partially sweet wine, sweet wine and sparkling white wine. Any of these wines has a different taste depending on where the particular grape used for making the wine has been grown. It thrives well in cold places. These wines are not kept to age but they are best consumed immediately they are made. The wines exhibit different aroma when consumed fresh .The aroma ranges from apple, grape fruit, Rose blossom and peach. In case it is kept for aging, the big range of flavors and the high acidic content contribute to the suitability for aging. The sweet versions of wine can be aged for the longest period of time lasting for 30 years while the dry type is kept for a maximum of 15 years. Once these wines are left to age, most of them attain petrol note that is rarely liked by most people. This is because most people associate and like the fruity flavors of Riesling .Many winemakers therefore go to great lengths to avoid having their wines acquire the petrol or rubber notes and if they do so, they consider it a mistake. Riesling are mostly harvested once they are ripe but in case the wine makers intend to increase the value of their wines, they avoid harvesting the grapes when they become ready .They instead let the grapes overstay until the noble rot fungus attacks them resulting in drying of the grapes due to evaporation of the juices. These grapes can also be frozen to remove the juices. What is left is a grape with high concentration of content and the wines which are made have distinct layers for the palate due to the concentration of juices, flavors and sugar.
Riesling: Growing Regions
Riesling is one of the few types of grapes that make some distinctly tasting wine depending on the location where it is planted. It thrives well in slate and sandy clay types of soils. Riesling which is planted in Germany is normally ready for harvesting in the month of September and November and for those who want them to dry up on their vines; they pick these grapes in January. One of the most important determining factors on whether the grape is ready for harvesting is the amount of sugar and acidity. Riesling are also known to thrive in France where 20% of the vineyards are known to grow it. They do well in the Alsace region and once these wines are made in France, they are not drunk fresh but kept for around a year resulting in dry and thick bodied wine. Once the Alsace wines are kept to age for a longer period of time of up to 20years,it results in better wines since the flavor of this wine will become noticeable after three years of aging. Australia and New Zealand also has Riesling growing regions. Australia has a warm climate which produces Riesling with thick skins which results in the production of lean wine. These wines develop their flavor as they age but if consumed young, they tend to exhibit citrus flavors coupled with an oily texture.
The Riesling Wine-Making Process
Riesling grapes are handled with care during harvesting due to their delicate characteristic since if mishandled; they are likely to have their skins bruised. Once they are bruised, the pouring of juice changes the flavor of the wine due to the flowing of tannin into the juices. The fermentation process is done in stainless steel containers whose temperatures are low ranging between 10 and 18 degrees .Tartaric acid is removed from the wine to ensure that it does not crystallize once it is packaged in bottles.
What Type Of Food Is Suitable For Pairing With Riesling?
Riesling is flexible for pairing with a great variety of food regardless of the seasoning of the particular type of food. It is famous with Thai and Chinese cooking especially where white meat is concerned. Riesling is light and goes with many types of food. It is also used for cooking cabbage in Germany where it overpowers the vegetable smell. Riesling is best served cool but sweeter ones are enjoyed more once they are served warmer.