Europe Germany Travel Wine

Sweet On Riesling: Best Summer White Wine

There are so many reasons to enjoy summer, and here are our chief reasons among them (as of June 2018): warm water, the World Cup and wine. If you can manage it, swimming in a salty, summer ocean with world-class soccer on nearby while enjoying a glass of something cool is the best of all worlds. And we do think that something to wet your whistle should be a sweet white wine that we here at WineNight are very sweet on. The oh-so-versatile and becoming ever more popular German wine, Riesling.

Ox-bow Bend on the Mosel River at Leiwen
Photo: Anthony Mak

What we love about Riesling wine is fourfold.


Riesling is one of the most complex white wine grapes around; its smell is really amazingly robust. It ranges from the sweet like honey or beeswax to the fruity like pear and citrus to the “I can’t believe I’m smelling this and I kind of like it” diesel fuel.



As for taste, it’s one of the sweetest wines, but it can also be one of the most dry whites around. If you’re not sure what you like yet, ask your local wine owner to pick out both and do a little at home taste test to find out! This wine’s taste also runs the gamut from nectarine, apricot and pear to jasmine to a really unique taste that is best described as petrol. It’s kind of like gas but gad that tastes good. Confusing, but true.


Your Riesling and food pairings are virtually limitless: Mexican to Indian, pork to veggies. This is your go-to “I don’t know a thing about pairing wine, so I’ll just buy this Riesling” bottle. The best foods to pair it with are definitely more spicy foods, though. Below are our recs to pair up your Riesling with.

  1. Indian food – especially with spices like tumeric and curry
  2. Thai food – especially with ginger, basil or peppers
  3. Pork, bacon, chicken – especially bratwurst
  4. Roasted veggies


We like a little extra dinero in our pockets. So for those looking to spend AND save, Riesling wine is incredibly value-friendly. There’s really nothing more to say about this because good and cheap wine speaks for itself. Below are a few of our faves for under $20 you can purchase from Flatiron Wines:


If the taste, aromas, pairings, and price of Riesling wines sounds like your kind of thing, or you just really love this white grape and want to learn more about it, we recommend you begin drinking bottles from Germany first. The grape originated in the Rhine region after all, (you don’t get much more GDR than that), and they’ve pretty much perfected the art of Riesling.

If you’ve been there and done that in Germany, then the next stop in your Riesling journey is to move into the region of Alsace, France. The region isn’t too far from Germany, so we’re not making any huge geographical leap. But the taste of the wine they produce is different enough that you’ll be able to taste the difference between the two. As they say of Alsatian cooking: it has German ingredients with French flair. This maxim also holds true for Alsatian Riesling wines.

What are your favorite wines from Germany? Are they all Rieslings? What are you favorite Rieslings under $20? Tell us in the comment section below!

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