Dry Rieslings

Not a sweet wine fan (except for the occasional port or sherry), I was pleasantly surprised a few years ago when I tried a dry Riesling. As much as I liked the cool, citrusy, nectarine palette, I found myself refraining from buying them as it was almost impossible to know whether I was getting a dry or sweet Riesling. (Very few offer any distinction on their bottles.) My safest bet was Chateau St. Michelle (WA, USA), but I knew there had to be more.


Inspired this week by an article in Zite, (which I maddeningly cannot find again!) I decided to take the plunge and buy a few bottles with crossed fingers that they were all dry.

The first was Schmidt Söhne “Clean and Crisp” Riesling from Germany.

wine bottle

Given that their other labels included “Crisp and Fruity” and “Sweet and Luscious,” I thought for certain that this would be a dry wine. Alas, I was very wrong.

Next up was McWilliams Hanwood Estate Riesling from Australia.


This was definitely dry, a bit heavier in color than the first, with intense citrus. It was quite good and I will likely buy it again.

The third and final (and favorite!) was the Pölka dot Crisp Riesling out of Germany. This wine just goes to show that you can’t judge a wine by its label. I tend to be turned off by “whimsical” wine labels, preferring more stately labels as with the McWilliams bottle. This Riesling came in two varieties: Sweet Riesling with the hot pink polka dot and the crisp, dry Riesling with the lime green dot.

polkadot bottle

A bit lighter in color than McWilliams, this semi-dry Riesling had lots of citrus as well as green apple and a hint of green grass. It was by far my favorite and it paired very nicely with Pappadeaux Creole Shrimp and Andouille Cheese Grits that we had for take-out last evening.

What are some other dry Rieslings that I should consider?

(While not the article I read on Zite, I did find this article from Bon Appetit while searching. It includes a very helpful breakdown of terms that will help you choose a dry Riesling.)


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