On the 13th of March every year we say Happy Birthday to Riesling and celebrate International Riesling Day!
The brainchild behind this delicious day on the wine days calendar was the Wines of Germany trade group who in 2019 declared that the 13th of March 1435 was the official birthday of Riesling. Which by my calculation makes Riesling 588 years old this year in 2023!
The 13th of March 1435 is the date when the Riesling grape was first documented. This ‘documentation’ was found in a cellar log in the Hessische Bergstrasse wine region in Germany (southeast of the famous Riesling region – Rheingau).
The cellar log noted down the purchase of six “Riesslingen” vines by Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen in Rüsselsheim. It was then in 1552 that the first recorded spelling of Riesling that we know today was made by German botanist Hieronymus Bock.
So that’s just a little bit about Riesling and why we celebrate International Riesling Day on the 13th of March everywhere. If you’re keen to read more about the history of Riesling, definitely check out this article by Wine Spectator.
Fun Facts About Riesling
Here are a few cool tidbits about this versatile noble grape variety:
- Riesling is grown on every continent besides Antartica
- It can be consumed young and can age exceptionally due to its naturally high acidity which keeps it fresh and vibrant for years
- It can be made still or sparkling and sweet or dry, plus you can even find some skin contact orange wine made from Riesling too!
- From lemon and lime, to florals, minerals, herbs and fruits, Riesling is an aromatic wine with plentiful flavour juicy flavours of apples, pears and many orchard fruits
- When Riesling ages it can take on aromas of things like petrol and lanolin
- Riesling is an epic match for food – it is an incredible compliment to spicy food (Indian and Asian spices are perfect) and it can also go well with duck, shrimp and vegetables like eggplant and carrots
5 Rieslings to Try
There’s no doubt I drink my fair share of Riesling, I absolutely love it. Plus I am currently living in one of the states of Australia who produce such good Riesling – Tasmania! I am also a sucker for Great Southern Riesling too – sooooo good!
So here are 5 Rieslings I have tried in the last 12 months which I would highly recommend to sip for International Riesling Day 2023:
Coal Valley Vineyard 2020 Riesling – Tasmania
My parents were visiting over the Christmas period and my Dad cooked up an epic degustation with the wines matched by yours truly. I chose this Coal Valley Vineyard Riesling to match with the first course which was a Thai Curry Soup and it was superb!
We bought it for about $37 from the cellar door and it’s so darn refreshing and vibrant. It’s bright, juicy and crisp with plentiful cirtussy notes. I need more of this in my life.
3drops 2022 Riesling – Great Southern, WA
The Great Southern in WA had to be one of my favourite regions for Aussie Riesling. It’s just so darn good. A big thank you to Jo Bradbury who sent this sample my way.
Super thirst quenching, satin-smooth and one bottle is just not enough to put it simply.
It’s a straw green colour in the glass with fresh tangy apples, just squeezed lime juice and a hint of lemongrass on the nose. I simply love the texture of this Rizza, so smooth and all the elements are in perfect harmony. Juicy finish which pops with flavour. More please!
Perfect with our lentil and chickpea curry with garlic naan.
Tahbilk 2022 Riesling – Nagambie Lakes, VIC
Tahbilk’s latest release definitely wooed my taste buds. I was sent a bottle as a sample to taste and enjoyed it so much we went out and bought more. I found it a light lemon-lime colour with aromas of fresh herbs and florals alongside sweet pears and lime. It’s undeniably thirst quenching, juicy and moreish.
Castle Rock Estate 2021 Riesling – Great Southern, WA
I was kindly sent this 2021 Porongurup Skywalk Riesling as a media sample. It retails for approximately $20. Definitely food friendly and also cellar worthy.
In the glass it’s a hay like colour with plentiful lemon-lime citrus characteristics, notes of apricot, musk sticks and minerality. In the mouth it’s fresh, juicy and crisp. A fantastic aperitif wine and it’s also does Asian cuisine justice.
Ben Haines White Blend 2021 – Yarra Valley, VIC
Okay so this one is a blend of Riesling, Semillon and Viognier, but oh my it was so good and definitely worth a mention here! Read my tasting note below.
Do you have a favourite Riesling? Let us know all about it below in the comments!