Winebird’s top 10 Vinalogies

8: Riesling – Runways and rubber boots

A German supermodel in lime-green rubber wellies. What a picture! This kooky vision of loveliness sums up what Riesling is all about. With long, lean limbs and golden curls like spun sugar, this fresh-faced beauty can take barrelfuls? of sugar without ever becoming flabby. Suiting any style you throw at her, from uber dry to sweet and pretty, she’ll always exude that inimitable character that could never be anyone else. A national heroine for her distinctive, world-famous beauty, Riesling is the German supermodel of the wine world.

Think freshly squeezed lime with the faint aroma of hot rubber. In a good way. These are the classic markers for the distinctive Riesling grape variety and they get increasingly bold with age. Try it lip-pursingly dry or with a sprinkling of sugar, but even as a full-on dessert-style wine, Riesling’s high acidity – just like a supermodel’s metabolism – will give it that clean and lean feel despite the sweetness.

One problem that wine drinkers often have with Riesling is understanding the label on the classic German wines; there’s a lot of information and it can be tricky to know how dry or sweet the wine is going to be. Some winemakers now use ‘dry’, ‘medium dry’, ‘medium-sweet’ and ‘sweet’ on their labels, which helps, but otherwise, there’s a fair bit of translation involved.

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