Semi Sweet Riesling: It’s Not Just A Dessert Wine

Semi Sweet Riesling

Semi sweet Riesling wine is an excellent choice as a dessert wine, and it pairs well with spicy foods. Keep reading to deepen your wine knowledge of these amazing wines.

1) Semi Sweet Riesling: How Does It Taste?

The extra ripening time of a sweet or semi sweet Riesling adds some interesting flavors. Let’s take a closer look at what you can expect to taste.

  • Fruit-Driven Notes. Most people taste fruits like apples, apricots, peaches, and pears in the glass. Sweeter Riesling may bring tropical fruit flavors to the wine glass like ginger, pineapple, and floral notes.
  • Aromatic Wine. Put your nose in the glass, and you’ll enjoy the pleasant aromas associated with Riesling like
  • Oak Aging. Oak aging for Riesling wine is uncommon, so don’t count on experiencing these flavors.
  • Levels of Acidity. Some people worry that a sweet wine will be overwhelming. As Andrea Robinson points out, the levels of acidity found in Riesling balance the residual sugar.

2) Semi Sweet Riesling: What Food Pairings Work Well?

Several good pairings work well with semi sweet Riesling. Unlike dryer-style Riesling wines, the natural sweetness in these wines gives you several options.

Some popular food pairings for sweet Riesling:

  • Spicy Food. Coming up with good food pairings for spicy food is tricky. Fortunately, Riesling wine is up to the challenge. Whether you want Thai, Indian or Vietnamese spicy food, a sweet Riesling is a great choice.
  • White Meat. A Riesling goes well with pork, goose, and chicken.
  • Seafood. Like most white wines, Riesling wine goes well with fish and sushi, especially salmon and trout.
  • Desserts. You can enjoy a sweet Riesling as a dessert course (i.e., as a dessert wine) on its own or combine it with other desserts. For more ideas, check out my post on “Wine Chocolate Pairing” to learn seven steps to take dessert to a new level.”

3) Semi Sweet Riesling: Which Wine Region Produce It?

The most significant wine region for Riesling wine is Germany. For many years, German Riesling has won considerable recognition for its extraordinary Riesling wines.

In addition to German wines, I also recommend looking for a late-harvest wine from Alsace and Ontario as well. Even better, pick up an ice wine from Canada. Icewine is an excelling dessert wine that deserves more attention.

Before we conclude, let’s look at the numbers from wine searcher to see which countries produce this wine.

  • Germany. Germany is the number one Riesling wine region (59% of global production). Within Germany, Riesling is made in Mosel, Saar, and Ruwer. In addition, Pfalz is a leading Riesling wine region.
  • USA. The United States produces 13% of the world’s Riesling wine. The Finger Lakes region of New York is the best known Riesling wine region on the United States east coast. On the west coast, the Pacific Northwest also makes good Riesling wine. Of course, the Napa Valley also produces Riesling.
  • France. Enjoying a bottle of Riesling from the Alsace wine region is worthwhile. France produces 8% of the world’s Riesling production.
  • Austria. The German-speaking country is home to 8% of the world’s Riesling production. What wine region should you look for on an Austrian Riesling? Leading options include Wachau, Kremstal, and Kamptal, as well as Traisental.
  • Australia. Despite its small volume (6% of global production), it is worth checking out wine from the Clare Valley and the Eden Valley. The Clare Valley is located in South Australia, and it is home to nearly fifty wineries. Likewise, the Eden Valley is also located in the state of South Australia. On the wine bottle label, you might also see the description “Barossa Valley” – another good option for Riesling.
  • New Zealand. The vast majority of New Zealand Riesling is grown in the South Island wine region. Riesling is considered New Zealand’s fourth most popular wine.

4) Semi Sweet Riesling: What Time Of Year To Drink It?

Semi sweet Riesling is a popular wine in the winter months. In particular, buying high-quality Riesling wines for Christmas is a popular choice. That’s not the only option in your wine journey. Many wine enthusiasts also enjoy this type of sweet wine in January and February. In the winter months, sweet Riesling is a compelling dessert wine. If you have tried port and do not like the high alcohol level, you should explore the amazing wines made from Riesling.

Of course, wine enthusiasts also think about their food pairing. As mentioned above, the residual sugar in the bottle of wine means it is a good choice

5) What Are The Best Sweet Riesling Available Under $70?

We’re living through a renaissance in Riesling wine, so you have more options for affordable wines than ever before. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top wines on the market.

Riesling Wine From France:

The Alsace region has made excellent Riesling wine for such a long period that Riesling is sometimes considered a leading French grape.

Hugel Estate Riesling 2015 ($35)

Curious to see what a hearty mineral texture is like in a wine? Pick up this French Riesling. In addition to minerals, this 14.07% alcohol level wine offers citrus notes and a medium body. This wine also shows the effect of extra ripening time (i.e., extra time on the vine).

2017 Domaine Ostertag Riesling Heissenberg ($62)

With an average critics score of 94 out of 100, this Riesling wine from Alsace is a great choice. In style, you can expect flinty notes and lemon zest in your glass.

Riesling Wine From Germany

Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Kabinett 2017 ($22)

Recommended by Liquor.com, this German wine is an excellent low alcohols option (9%  alcohol by volume). The tasting notes highlight kiwi, citrus notes, and apples.

Leitz Dragonstone Riesling 2018 ($21)

Are you looking for an entry-level wine in the Riesling world? The Dragonstone has recognition in the inexpensive wines category. This 10.5% alcohol wine comes from the Rheingau wine region of Germany. The tasting notes highlight citrus notes, flavors of peach and pear. This semi-dry wine goes well with cured meats and pork dishes.

New World Riesling

Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling Reserve 2018 (New York) ($31)

While our focus has been on semi sweet Riesling, you might find it interesting to contrast dessert wine with a dry Riesling. In this Finger Lake Riesling, you will taste pineapple, lemon, pear, and apple. Unlike the German wine mentioned above, this wine has a much higher alcohol level (i.e., 12.7%).

Bryn Mawr Vineyards 2018 Estate Riesling (Oregon) ($25)

Turning to the Pacific Northwest, the Willamette Valley offers excellent Riesling. Forbes points out that the 2018 vintage is a slightly sweeter style than previous vintages.

Continue Your Wine Journey: Two White Wine Ideas

Are you looking to build your wine knowledge in the world of white wines? You have a few options. You can continue to explore Riesling compares to other white wines in my guide to Riesling vs Chardonnay.  Once you have a few good white wines on hand, invite a few friends over for a wine tasting at home. Whether you keep exploring wines through wine tastings or wine trips, keep one tip in mind. Take notes of the wines you enjoy so that you find more wines you like.

Semi Sweet Riesling: It’s Not Just A Dessert Wine
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