What to Drink Now

Episode IX: Rich Whites


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Yes, Riesling. I know what you’re saying. “Riesling should be with the aromatic whites.” Well, yes it should. “Riesling should be with the light, crisp white wines.” Well, yes it could. So why then is Riesling here with the rich white wines? Simply because many, if not most, Rieslings are endowed from birth with a bit or more of residual sugar. There is no denying that sugar adds weight and richness to wines, so for most people, I think this would be a sensible place to include Riesling.

Incidentally, since we are talking about the evolutionary tendencies of these rich wines, it is worth pointing out that the sugar in wines tends to disappear over time.  Lightly sweet wines turn almost dry, and sweet wines turn lightly sweet, which also means that richness based on residual sugar will fade with time, so if you’re looking for a rich Riesling, look for either a young wine or a particularly sweet version.

Riesling is grown around the world and the grape has an uncanny ability to reveal the terroir on which it is grown, while at the same time, having the annoying habit of not really telling you how sweet it is on the label. As such, Riesling should have its own treatise here and that will come with time, but for now let this suffice: Riesling is delicious and straddles so many genres of wine that everyone should be out trying a few. If you find that you like Riesling but you’re looking for something new, why don’t you try a little…

Photo courtesy fortinbras via Flickr/CC

Mentioned in this article


  • viognier?

    Oct 17, 2011 at 1:58 PM

  • Snooth User: dyye
    314202 79

    One of our favorites uses Marsanne for blending. Here in Washington Alexandria Nicole's Shepherds Mark From Prosser,Washington. It is a blend of Rousanne,Vionier and Marsanne.

    Oct 17, 2011 at 2:26 PM

  • how about petite manseng?

    Oct 17, 2011 at 3:10 PM

  • Excellent article. A few wines I need to try!
    I too enjoy the richness of Viognier! Satin Sheets for the tongue is what I call my favorite Viognier.

    Oct 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

  • Snooth User: redwine89
    503255 74

    Alexandria Nicole should get more credit than they do, their Viongier is beautiful, every wine I have tried I found a reason to fall in love.....

    Oct 17, 2011 at 3:58 PM

  • Snooth User: whauptman
    864967 2

    A white wine that often gets overlooked is Albarino from northwest Spain. Fruity and weighty, I love the apple flavors that often come through. I drank a great deal of it while in Spain and can't understand why it is not more popular.

    Oct 18, 2011 at 4:10 AM

  • Albarinos from NW Spain are deeelicious. They may be scarce as often hand picked on very hilly slopes, that make mechanising the grape collection too risky. Well said!
    If you ever go back and see Txakoli you might like that too, its more like a cider-ish vinho verde
    Others that are a little hard to find but usually excellent are Vermentino from Italy, Sardinia and Corsica, and Muscat wines, which go all the way from dry and spicy to Vin Doux/grains nobles sweeter styles, which often pair well with cheese. These are all aromatic and full wines that are unjustly overlooked IMHO.

    Oct 18, 2011 at 4:41 AM

  • Snooth User: tlogue
    848047 0

    why can't I get to the actual wine recommendation at the end of each section?

    Oct 18, 2011 at 8:36 PM

  • What wine recommendation is that?

    Oct 19, 2011 at 5:02 AM

  • I thought Kerner was a recent (new) clone grape. Iit seems an odd choice as it is rarely seen on sale, compared to say Viognier, which is turning up everywhere, and is usually aromatic and high in alcohol

    Oct 19, 2011 at 5:05 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 233,913

    I've included Viognier in the Aromatic Whites section of this series which can be found here \:http://www.snooth.com/articles/what...

    Yes Kerner is a relatively recent addition to the grape growers arsenal, having been released tot he market in only 1969 but how many of us have been drinking any of these wines from an earlier date? The point of these articles is to point people to grapes, common and uncommon, that might appeal to their palate.

    Oct 19, 2011 at 9:54 AM

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