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Riesling: a wine for those who hate wine

In our world, there are people who do not like wine. Now this idea can make most of us gasp and scream “Grape Scots!”: Someone who says they don’t like wine is like someone who says they don’t like to breathe. But it’s true. Some people find the merlot too sour or the port too sugary and end up thinking there is no wine they can call their own. Fortunately for these people, there is Riesling.

Made from white grapes, Riesling is one of the sweetest wines out there, as a wine that pays for your food and opens the cork for you. However, not all Rieslings are like this: they can also be dry. Most German Rieslings are drier than those made in the US But, even the driest Riesling has some sweet spots and is often not really “dry” in the wine drinker’s definition of the word.

When it comes to white wine, many think that Riesling is the king or, as he likes to call himself, the best grape (we didn’t say that Riesling wasn’t a bit cocky). It is a wine that has a considerable flavor and acidity without necessarily having a high alcohol content; some Rieslings are as low as eight percent by volume (for comparison, most wines are around twelve percent). With flavors ranging from peach to cantaloupe, molasses to apricot, the best Rieslings always hit the spot, and they get it right.

Typically considered a German wine, Riesling’s previous production was based primarily in Germany, with smaller quantities produced in Italy, Austria, and Alsace. Currently, it is also produced in the United States (particularly the Northwest and New York), Australia, New Zealand, Romania, Chile, South Africa, and Canada. However, no matter where it’s produced, Riesling can require a bit of maintenance – like a wine that thinks it’s all that and a bag of cork chips – and it can be difficult to grow. In climates that are too cold or climates that are too warm, harvesting the grapes to make Riesling is generally unsuccessful. So it only thrives in climates that are mature … uh, right.

Riesling is multi-talented when it comes to pairing it with food, making it perfect for the beginner who is sipping a bottle of wine for a test drive. It pairs well with white meats, both poultry and fish, and unlike many wines, it can even stand up to Thai and Chinese food. Due to its sweet nature, Riesling also gets along well with salty food – a lick of salt and a bottle of Riesling could put sweet and savory lovers in a purely happy state.

The most expensive Rieslings are dessert wines that are harvested late. In the case of these wines, the grapes are left hanging on their vines for longer than usual. Either by evaporation or by freezing, the water in the grapes is removed and the end result is a wine with more acid, more sugar and an explosion of flavor. Often times, along with desserts, such as baked breads or fruits, some people also drink Riesling on its own, believing that its flavor is enough to appease their sweet tooth.

Riesling is a difficult wine to dislike, especially for people who generally dislike wine because of its bitterness. Tasting just one glass will get you hooked. Come on, I dare you … you have no Riesling, er reason, not to.

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