What is Riesling Wine? A Closer Look at the Queen of German Wines

What is Riesling Wine?

Riesling ("reez-ling") is a German style of wine produced from Riesling grapes. It's usually a white wine, but can also be found in Rosé or red varieties. Unlike many white wines, Riesling has a lower alcohol content. Riesling wine is renowned for its crisp, refreshing taste with sweet fruity notes, commonly of green apples, ripe peaches, and a hint of lime. Its distinctive aroma often carries a trace of floral essence, making it a delightful and versatile choice for wine enthusiasts.

What does Riesling Wine Taste Like?

Riesling typically boasts flavors of green apples, ripe peaches, and zesty limes. It often carries subtle undertones of jasmine, honey, and even petrol in aged varieties. Generally, Riesling is light-bodied and ranges from dry to sweet, sometimes revealing tropical notes or a crisp minerality. It occasionally presents a delicate effervescence. The alcohol content is typically around 7-9% alc by volume, making it a delightful and refreshing choice for wine lovers.

What does Riesling Wine Smell Like?

The distinctive aroma of Riesling is often attributed to a compound known as terpenes, which imparts a delightful floral and citrusy scent. The bouquet typically features notes of jasmine, honeysuckle, and lime zest. In older Riesling wines, a unique petrol-like aroma may also be detected, which wine enthusiasts consider a sign of maturity and complexity in the wine.

What are the styles of Riesling?

Riesling is a versatile wine that can be crafted into various styles, each with its unique characteristics. Here are some of the different styles of Riesling:


This style of Riesling is dry with high acidity. Originating from Germany, Trocken Rieslings have a strong aroma of green apple, citrus fruits, and often a mineral-like quality. They are typically full-bodied and can have an alcohol content higher than other Riesling styles.


Halbtrocken and Feinherb Rieslings are off-dry styles that carry a slight sweetness balanced by high acidity. The taste often includes flavors of ripe peaches, apricots, and honeydew melon.


Spätlese (meaning 'late harvest') and Auslese ('selected harvest') are sweet styles of Riesling. These wines are made from grapes left on the vine for longer, resulting in a richer, sweeter wine with flavors of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango.


Ice wine is a type of dessert wine produced from grapes that have been frozen while still on the vine. The sugars do not freeze, but the water does, resulting in a concentrated, often very sweet wine. Riesling Ice Wines are known for their rich honey and apricot flavors.


Unlike many white wines, Rieslings have great aging potential. As they age, Rieslings develop complex flavors and often acquire a distinctive petrol aroma, which is considered a sign of a mature Riesling.


Kabinett Rieslings are made from fully ripe grapes and are typically lighter in body and lower in alcohol. They can range from dry to off-dry and often have a crisp, refreshing taste.

Riesling Wine Food Pairings





-Smoked Sausage


Herbs & Spices





-Lemon Zest


-Goat Cheese


-Blue Cheese








-Bell Peppers

Riesling FAQs

Does Riesling age well?

Yes, high-quality Rieslings are known for their exceptional aging potential. Some Rieslings can be aged for decades, developing complex flavors over time.

What is the ideal serving temperature for Riesling?

The ideal serving temperature for Riesling is between 45-55°F (7-13°C). A cooler temperature helps to highlight the wine's crisp acidity and fruity flavors.

How is Riesling different from other wines?

Riesling is known for its high acidity and aromatic qualities, often with flavors of green apple, pear, and lime. It's also one of the few white wines that ages well. Riesling usually has an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of 8-12.5%, depending on whether it's dry or sweet.

How many calories are in Riesling?

The calorie content in Riesling can vary, but generally, a 5 oz serving of dry Riesling contains about 120-130 calories, while the same serving of sweet Riesling may contain around 150-200 calories.

About Us


We started Batch Mead in 2019 to leave our Silicon Valley tech careers and pursue our real passion, MEAD!

We love locally sourced honey, apples and other ingredients. We focus on small batches to keep taps rotating and deliver delicious meads and hard ciders.

We believe mead is an experience, and our tasting room reflects all the notes of that ideal experience.

We recently won Best in Show from the San Diego International Beer Festival (2020, 2021 & 2022)! As well as several other wine, beer & mead awards!