Riesling Wine Comparisons

The forgotten wines to me are from Germany – except I included one from Alsace accidentally. Alsace used to be Germany anyway….and a surprise wine from New York German wine producer. These wines are all Riesling varietals however.


Prum Riesling

$31- $33
Entry Level

Heaven in a Bottle. The granddaughter of J. J. Prum, Katharina Prum, is now heading the exquisite vineyards located in Mosel. Surprisingly, these are age worthy white wines, which many people pooh pooh, thinking that only reds are age worthy. I quote Jancis Robinson:

“There may be the odd exception to this rule in Germany whose white wines outnumber reds and have a great track record for age ability. Riesling, the signature grape of Germany, makes wines that, in my experience, are almost immortal. Not only do opened bottles of Riesling last weeks if kept reasonably cool, but the wines continue to improve in bottle for decades.”

– Vines, grapes and wines, Robinson, Jancis.  Viking Press


The “equation” that makes white wines age worthy is: high acidity, – for the novice that would be the flavor profile of lemons, lime, grapefruit, also combined natural grape sugar (alcohol level) and terroir.


Terroir of Germany is unique. The most sought after wines are located close to the Mosel river. This valley was formed over millions of years, exposing many different rock types along the way. Devonian gray slate is found throughout most of the region as are schist and shale. All three are referred to locally as Schiefer. Red, green, and blue variations can be found with winemakers like JJ PRUM.


Trimbach – Alsace

$17- $19

Easier on the Budget

This producer is probably the most well known Riesling that most folks  will see on the wine store shelves. Even then, the stores that carry Riesling or German wines, usually only carry swill. Those blue bottles that say it’s Riesling.


Riesling can be very dry and minerality in flavor profile. The wines lean toward floral notes not the big citrus flavors. They are versatile in food pairings. The terroir is micro climate. As this is Alsace … used to be Germany folks… it’s terroir is completely different from Mosel, where JJ Prum is located.


Hermann J. Wiemer


Finger Lakes NY

Try an Eiswein (Ice Wine) from any of these vintners. This vineyard has the similar longitude latitude as Germany – give or take…liberties. Herman J. Wiemer is a patient man.  He has been growing his vineyards for over forty years in the finger lakes region. This is really a beautiful place for wine lovers with wonderful wine tasting events and food festivals. It would put the Napa / Sonoma snobs to shame. No fires. And lots of water. No need to irrigate. do you know about Sedona that summer is for Rose?


New York has a very short growing season. It is starting to see brief periods of heat in the summer. This area is worth exploring in lieu of Napa.  Herman Wiemer is one of the first pioneers of this area. He has experienced the trials of growing different Riesling varietals that produce quintessential Riesling. They are more fruit forward than the German rieslings but still very dry.


“They say” in the wine industry that Americans drink – sweeter wines – just not in public. So, take a look in your friends fridge.  If you see YellowTail, RUN!

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