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Its aromatic, acidic and beautiful fruit characteristics make Riesling a standout wine. Heavily terroir driven, this white grape is a great choice for any occasion. Although its origin is unknown, it has been traced back to Rheingau in Germany. It’s grown in regions around the world and continues to be Germany’s most widely planted varietal. It is a staple of the country’s wine industry and thrives in the cool German climate.

quick facts 
» Riesling is a white wine that can be aged for many years.
» It’s made from a hearty grape that survives in the cold due to its thicker bark and late budding, and it is rarely blended with other grapes.
» An important aroma that stands out in Riesling is petrol or diesel, which comes from a compound called TBD that is produced as the wine ages. Although this may not sound appealing, it is an important factor in a quality Riesling.
» The most popular German wine regions where Riesling is grown are Mosel, Pfalz and Rheinhessen.
» Alsace, once part of Germany, is a French wine region that produces great Riesling.
» The wine’s natural characteristics stand out, so there is rarely a need for oak aging.
» Riesling is higher in acidity with strong residual sugar. It usually has a slightly lower alcohol content.
» If you want a dry German variety, look for the word ‘trocken,’ which means dry.

» Mönchhof Ürzig Würzgarten Kabinett Riesling, 2016, Mosel, Germany
A reasonably priced Riesling with a light body and refreshing tropical notes.
» Schloss Johannisberger Silberlack Trocken GG Riesling, 2015, Rheingau, Germany
Made by a historic wine producer, it has great complexity, strong minerality, and lush citrus and fruit flavors.
» Dr. Loosen 2013 Beerenauslese Riesling, 2013 Mosel, Germany
A moderately priced dessert wine with well-rounded flavors of peach and honey and a citrus finish

Justin Wolf is sommelier at The Four Seasons Hotel-St. Louis.