Riesling - the struggle is real.

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
User avatar
Adam Frisch
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 1312
Joined: July 15th, 2019, 5:04 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Has thanked: 179 times
Been thanked: 125 times

Riesling - the struggle is real.

#1 Post by Adam Frisch »

I'm hoping we can have an open-minded discussion about the future of Riesling sales vis-a-vis styles. I know it gets protective at times.

First, a few microcosm market observations:

1. My local market store carries 4 of my wines. Affluent area, lots of disposable income. Prob elevated wine knowledge. When I check back how sales have gone; the rosé keeps selling out, the Mission almost as much, the Alicante had not sold very well and the Riesling almost nothing at all. One explanation could be that had it been a Keller with pedigree it would have sold much better in this area, but I think we all know that's not the real reason. It's Riesling itself. They will actually chose a grape they've never even heard of before, like Mission, before they get burned by Riesling again. [wow.gif]

2. Another wine bar vendor that sells my Riesling by the glass (at a pretty competitive price of $12), says it's almost impossible to get a sale unless you really explain, hold their hand, sell and assure them it's not sweet. Huge resistance.

So, you see where I'm going with this, right? [wink.gif]

Here are some numbers from the Australian wine market, more known for their bone dry style of the variety: - Riesling is the 6th largest selling or sampled grape amongst domestic white wine drinkers. Without even looking at the US statistics, I know for sure there's no way Riesling is in 6th place here. Is it even in the top 10? Casual research suggest it's not, but varietal figures are not published. So it seems to be clear to me, that if you commit to a standard of dry Riesling, and keep pushing and educating, sales will increase like they have in Australia. I doubt Riesling was in 6th place 20-30 years ago there.

As lovers of the grape, we always want it to get a broader audience. I'm perhaps myopic in my camp and would love to hear your thoughts on why and how its market could be grown in general? What are the sales figures in Germany? Austria? Increasing? Decreasing?


riesling1.jpg
Riesling2.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Adam Frisch on April 23rd, 2021, 2:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Sabelli-Frisch Wines

Owner, proprietor and winemaker at Sabelli-Frisch Wines. I make wine from low-impact vineyards, focus on rare, forgotten, under-appreciated or historic grape varietals. Mission grape is my main red focus. IG: sabellifrisch

User avatar
David_K
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1079
Joined: July 17th, 2014, 7:01 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Has thanked: 69 times
Been thanked: 34 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#2 Post by David_K »

You have a problem.
K@ntrОwi╦z

User avatar
J. Rock
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1166
Joined: March 11th, 2019, 4:53 pm
Location: The [West] Valley
Has thanked: 128 times
Been thanked: 64 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#3 Post by J. Rock »

Almost everyone I know that's had Riesling enjoys Riesling (although maybe some like sweeter and some like drier). However, I think that you're right that a lot of people (Americans at least) aren't actually familiar with what Riesling is or could be. I think a lot of it comes down to consumer education and marketing.

Also, even with respect to more educated consumers, I wouldn't be surprised if it's harder for most domestic Rieslings to compete next to their German counterparts based on general reputation and the fact that the German Rieslings are often priced quite reasonably.
J o r d a n

WOTY 2020: 1982 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest Rutherford Gold

User avatar
Otto Forsberg
Posts: 2134
Joined: December 28th, 2017, 4:26 am
Location: Finland
Has thanked: 130 times
Been thanked: 204 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#4 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Adam Frisch wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 1:56 pmWithout even looking at the US statistics, I know for sure there's no way Riesling is in 6th place here. Is it even in the top 10? Casual research suggest it's not, but varietal figures are not published.
Apparently in 2019 it was 4th in white varieties, after Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc.

https://usawineratings.com/en/blog/insi ... es-208.htm

[shrug.gif]
IG: force.berry / CT: forceberry

User avatar
AndyK
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 569
Joined: February 17th, 2018, 4:29 pm
Location: San Francisco
Has thanked: 36 times
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#5 Post by AndyK »

I think the problem is that it's domestic Riesling, not German/Austrian/Alsatian. I'm a big Riesling drinker, but I would never order a domestic Riesling by the glass. I'd much rather try the Mission (whatever that is...) if I'm feeling adventurous...

Comparing it to data from Australia is probably not a good idea, domestic Riesling is a relatively big thing there.
k0berl

User avatar
Eric Ifune
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4018
Joined: June 19th, 2009, 7:43 pm
Been thanked: 26 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#6 Post by Eric Ifune »

People think it's like the dreck "Zeller Schwarze Katz" they drank in college. Even though they're not Riesling.

User avatar
J. Rock
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1166
Joined: March 11th, 2019, 4:53 pm
Location: The [West] Valley
Has thanked: 128 times
Been thanked: 64 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#7 Post by J. Rock »

What shops in/around LA carry your Riesling? While I'm too cheap to pay for shipping a single bottle, I'll be happy to try it out if it's at a shop near me or one I regularly order from.
J o r d a n

WOTY 2020: 1982 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc Late Harvest Rutherford Gold

User avatar
Gabe Berk
Posts: 467
Joined: October 24th, 2018, 9:51 am
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 8 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#8 Post by Gabe Berk »

Sub Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Semillon or even Pinot Gris for Riesling. While Rieslings are probably my favorite whites, they are not a varietal to make money on in the US market. Good luck!!!

K N Haque
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 328
Joined: July 28th, 2020, 7:29 pm
Has thanked: 48 times
Been thanked: 55 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#9 Post by K N Haque »

There is a lot to unpack here. First off, as far as consumption in Germany, most of what anyone could ever wish to know can be found in the German Wine Institute's annual report: https://www.deutscheweine.de/fileadmin/ ... k_2020.pdf (it's bilingual). One thing they don't do (as far as I see) is break down consumption by varietal, but Table 27 shows that 45% of all wine consumed by Germans is from their own country, a number that has been steady since at least 2015 (since that is the oldest the table goes back to) Since other tables show that Riesling is the most-planted variety in Germany, a whole lot of that German wine will be Riesling.

Of course, Riesling suffers in its marketability because of its perceived sweetness, though we all know it can be vinified bone-dry or lusciously sweet or anywhere in between. It is certainly the case that German drink drier Rieslings than they did 20 twenty years ago, partially because winemaking plus climate change has made dry riesling more attractive in many parts of Germany. But I cannot emphasize enough that what Germans mean by dry is not what Adam means by dry, as many of you already know!
K @ m @ @ l

R. Frankel
BerserkerDay Council
BerserkerDay Council
Posts: 2123
Joined: January 24th, 2014, 11:07 pm
Has thanked: 30 times
Been thanked: 48 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#10 Post by R. Frankel »

Agreed with KN there is a lot going on here. Riesling in general has a real perception problem in the US. Long term (IMHO) the only way to broadly combat that is with steady marketing from industry associations, or perhaps by the dumb luck of some famous person deciding to promote it (e.g. Kim Crawford and NZ Sauvignon Blanc). Likely the only group to try this is from Germany, not sure that helps domestic Riesling much.

For domestic producers who cannot possibly produce enough branding $$ to move the market, it really seems like the only way to really drive sales is by building direct relationships with customers. Placing bottles in random stores or restaurants is going to be rough as you still have to overcome all the barriers blocking sales of wines made from out-of-fashion or unknown varietals. Maybe if you price super low you could get some sales but how viable is that? Mass scale producers can always undercut you.

Not that building direct relationships with customers is easy, but is there another way? I'd love to see someone from the biz who sells unusual varietal wines chime in here on what has worked for them.
Rich Frankel

User avatar
Mattstolz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2828
Joined: June 26th, 2017, 7:46 pm
Location: South Carolina
Has thanked: 76 times
Been thanked: 94 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#11 Post by Mattstolz »

I wouldn't be surprised if Riesling is in the top 6 in the US. probably about the same order as Australia even. which grape below riesling in Australia do you think is above it in the US? Chenin has got to be the only real contender, but there are a lot of people out there who like sweet wine as well and will drink Riesling.

but I think its also possible that Riesling is actually #5 here and semillon/sauv blanc blends are lower. my guess is there's not as many people making Bordeaux blanc blends here as in Australia, and the pinot Grigio crowd is probably not also a Graves crowd.

JackW e i s s b e r g
Posts: 85
Joined: June 9th, 2017, 1:39 pm
Has thanked: 16 times
Been thanked: 9 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#12 Post by JackW e i s s b e r g »

I live in LA as well, and agree it's not a common "like" in places we go. My wife loves it, even on the sweeter side, and when we order a glass of it out, the server is always surprised and usually wants to see it on the list to make sure they (and we) understand what we're asking for. So we show, and point, they nod, and life goes on. It makes me worry that the bottle has been sitting open for 2-3 months... But it's always fine in the glass.

And for an aperitif - a light, "ease in" taste of goodness early evening, it works so well....

There are a few exception spots that seem to get that it belongs - like an Asian restaurant called Lukshon that would have Tatomer on their "tap" by the glass. But it's not common, and I have no doubts it doesn't move in so many places.

Maybe if Post Malone had a label..... Adam - maybe that's a joint venture for you - I'm pretty sure Post doesn't know much about fermentation techniques or barrel selection, but I'm pretty sure he can sell the end product.

User avatar
Jim Brennan
Posts: 5459
Joined: April 17th, 2009, 6:10 pm
Location: People's Republic of Illinois
Has thanked: 58 times
Been thanked: 33 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#13 Post by Jim Brennan »

I'd like to see a campaign like "That moscato you're drinking is shit, drink Riesling instead."

maureen nelson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2860
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 5:12 pm
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#14 Post by maureen nelson »

Eric Ifune wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 2:42 pm People think it's like the dreck "Zeller Schwarze Katz" they drank in college. Even though they're not Riesling.
Hey, I started on that!

Tom G l a s g o w
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 9281
Joined: February 19th, 2010, 2:01 pm
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#15 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

maureen nelson wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 5:20 pm
Eric Ifune wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 2:42 pm People think it's like the dreck "Zeller Schwarze Katz" they drank in college. Even though they're not Riesling.
Hey, I started on that!
Late bloomer?

User avatar
JDavisRoby
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 1738
Joined: June 19th, 2018, 12:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Has thanked: 227 times
Been thanked: 63 times
Contact:

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#16 Post by JDavisRoby »

Charles Smith seemed to do pretty well with Kung Fu Girl once upon a time. No clue how it sells since he sold.
Joshu@

Doug Schulman
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5679
Joined: October 21st, 2009, 9:42 am
Location: MA
Has thanked: 22 times
Been thanked: 27 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#17 Post by Doug Schulman »

JDavisRoby wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 5:42 pm Charles Smith seemed to do pretty well with Kung Fu Girl once upon a time. No clue how it sells since he sold.
Extremely well. And I think Chateau Ste. Michelle is still the largest single producer of Riesling in the world, with huge domestic sales of sweet Riesling.

User avatar
JDavisRoby
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 1738
Joined: June 19th, 2018, 12:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Has thanked: 227 times
Been thanked: 63 times
Contact:

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#18 Post by JDavisRoby »

Doug Schulman wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 5:57 pm
JDavisRoby wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 5:42 pm Charles Smith seemed to do pretty well with Kung Fu Girl once upon a time. No clue how it sells since he sold.
Extremely well. And I think Chateau Ste. Michelle is still the largest single producer of Riesling in the world, with huge domestic sales of sweet Riesling.
According to an article from when he sold they did 198,000 cases in 2014 at $12 MSRP. It was the biggest seller in the portfolio he sold to Constellation.
Joshu@

Tom G l a s g o w
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 9281
Joined: February 19th, 2010, 2:01 pm
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#19 Post by Tom G l a s g o w »

Does anyone really think this thread is about Riesling sales volume? And not idiosyncratic tastes re: Riesling?

User avatar
larry schaffer
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 9165
Joined: January 28th, 2009, 9:26 am
Location: Santa Ynez Valley, CA
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 191 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#20 Post by larry schaffer »

Hey my friend , it could be worse - I make a dry domestic Gewurztraminer . . .
larry schaffer
tercero wines

User avatar
Rodrigo B
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 1470
Joined: June 9th, 2020, 11:21 pm
Location: New York
Has thanked: 67 times
Been thanked: 243 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#21 Post by Rodrigo B »

The perception that all riesling is sweet was such a novel concept to me when I started off learning more about wine.

Growing up, my parents disliked riesling and avoided it for years because they assumed that it was all dry. Only after I started getting into wine and learning more about German wines and the Pradikat system did I come to understand a big portion of rieslings had some level of RS to them. Over the years I’ve managed to introduce them to the grape and remove that stigma and slowly bringing them down the pradikat scale. First spatlese, then kabinett, and then slowly waining them onto feinherbs. They still prefer some RS in whites.

The big challenge I see with riesling is that there's a much bigger wine education hurdle for consumers to clear in order for them to reliably seek out a style of riesling they enjoy. Riesling has so many faces, it's tough for many consumers to reliably and consistently find the style of riesling they enjoy without having some more additional wine knowledge and background. Compared to many other varieties, I'd argue that to reliably find rieslings one enjoys, that usually requires a fair bit more knowledge of things like RS, or pradikat levels in order to find a riesling in the style they like. I think things like more consistent labelling throughout helps a bit, but even then it's a challenge. Think of how many rieslings labelled as 'dry' you've tasted only to find some RS in there. For riesling, we're usually talking about those things, RS, sugar, etc in much more detail. That's a tough hurdle to clear and a lot more education that needs to happen for consumers. Not everyone is willing to put that work in.
B r @ g @

User avatar
ChrisJames
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 339
Joined: February 3rd, 2019, 7:35 pm
Location: Duvall, WA
Has thanked: 43 times
Been thanked: 51 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#22 Post by ChrisJames »

I know little to nothing about German and Alsatian wines. But I love Oregon wines and every year I buy around two cases from Ovum, a producer who focuses almost exclusively on small vineyard Riesling and Gewurztraminer from WV and southern Oregon. They take what the vineyards and vintage give them: sometimes they are very dry, sometimes they have a bit of RS. I always find them delicious and a great buy at $20-25. But I'm just a happy go lucky consumer.
Last edited by ChrisJames on April 23rd, 2021, 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Chris C a r y
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 264
Joined: May 25th, 2011, 1:44 pm
Location: Cowiche (Yakima), Washington
Has thanked: 60 times
Been thanked: 31 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#23 Post by Chris C a r y »

For the non wine geek, CSM, Kung fu girl, maybe Pacific Rim are Riesling in the US. For wine geeks, Germany, Alsace, maybe Finger Lakes are Riesling. West coast Riesling (and Gewurztraminer) over $6 is no man’s land.

maureen nelson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2860
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 5:12 pm
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#24 Post by maureen nelson »

Tom G l a s g o w wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 5:35 pm
maureen nelson wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 5:20 pm
Eric Ifune wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 2:42 pm People think it's like the dreck "Zeller Schwarze Katz" they drank in college. Even though they're not Riesling.
Hey, I started on that!
Late bloomer?
Forty years ago. At least.

User avatar
Kelly Walker
Posts: 2173
Joined: June 6th, 2009, 7:01 pm
Been thanked: 20 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#25 Post by Kelly Walker »

At todays HDH auction the following lot for 2 bottles sold for $1000:

2008 Westhofener Kirchspiel Riesling Grosses Gewachs, #44, Weingut Keller

Somebody loves Riesling.
I just want to celebrate another day of living
Rare Earth

Paul Fountain
Posts: 312
Joined: July 16th, 2014, 4:20 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#26 Post by Paul Fountain »

Adam Frisch wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 1:56 pm I doubt Riesling was in 6th place 20-30 years ago there.
I'm not sure if the figures are available (I might see if I can dig them out later), but I think if you went back 40 years, Riesling may have been ranked higher.
I do think that Riesling has made a bit of a comeback in Australia though, and there are a few reasons for it.

Lets start at the start first. The South Australian regions that are known for Riesling, i.e. the Clare and Eden valleys, were largely founded by German immigrants... We are talking the mid 1800s here, so there is a lot of history over which Riesling was established here.
In the 1980s and 90s there was a Chardonnay boom and that became the most widely planted white grape in Australia. I think that is still true today. By the time we got to the 2000s there was a backlash against Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc became dominant in the market as Australian winemakers tried to compete with the Kiwis. The popularity of Sauvignon blanc waned in the 2010s and it looked like Pinot Gris/Grigio was going to be the next big trend. It sort of happened but not quite so that left the door open for a bit of a Riesling comeback.

The Riesling producers here have been pretty organized. The Clare Valley Riesling producers really drove the change to screw caps as an (almost) united group in the early 2000s. Events like Riesling Down under have helped - it's called something else in the US and Germany, but it rotates between the 3 countries. The turnout for those has been excellent. There have been other events that have championed the grape too, that have been pretty popular.
I think the emergence of other regions have helped too. Great Southern in Western Australia has been producing Riesling for a while but the consistency of vintages in Western Australia over the past 15 years has been pretty remarkable. I'd also say that in the last decade, the Canberra region and Tasmania have both become more prominent in general, and both produce high quality Riesling.

So I think there are some different factors that got Australia to where it is with Riesling.

User avatar
Claus Jeppesen
Posts: 1989
Joined: April 27th, 2010, 2:42 am
Been thanked: 8 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#27 Post by Claus Jeppesen »

[stirthepothal.gif] What struggle?
Riesling is unique in being able to appear in all variances from pure trocken to really sticky
And some of the wines belong to the absolute elite in the world
That's a true gift champagne.gif champagne.gif champagne.gif
Claus

Riesling and Slate

User avatar
J a y H a c k
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 14526
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 9:59 am
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 63 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#28 Post by J a y H a c k »

Is your wine available at retail in New York. I have some "civilian" friends who like dry Riesling and I would love to try it with them. However, be forewarned. About 15 years ago at a family gathering I served three Rieslings blind to family members who are reasonably knowledgeable about wines and taste profiles - one Riesling each from California, New York and Germany. The California Riesling was scored the lowest by almost everyone, including me, but that is only one anecdote. I'm not sure that the climate works well with Riesling.
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

Gary Schulte
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3112
Joined: May 27th, 2010, 7:30 am
Location: Southeastern New England
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 7 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#29 Post by Gary Schulte »

Adam - Do you know of a annual or biannual riesling conference/celebration/party that you could attend and talk to other riesling producers and find out what they have tried to get their wines to fly off the shelves?

User avatar
Mattstolz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2828
Joined: June 26th, 2017, 7:46 pm
Location: South Carolina
Has thanked: 76 times
Been thanked: 94 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#30 Post by Mattstolz »

J a y H a c k wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:19 am Is your wine available at retail in New York. I have some "civilian" friends who like dry Riesling and I would love to try it with them. However, be forewarned. About 15 years ago at a family gathering I served three Rieslings blind to family members who are reasonably knowledgeable about wines and taste profiles - one Riesling each from California, New York and Germany. The California Riesling was scored the lowest by almost everyone, including me, but that is only one anecdote. I'm not sure that the climate works well with Riesling.
we opened one of Bedrock's dry rieslings last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. is it GG level? maybe not. but really nice with peanut stew
Gary Schulte wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:32 am Adam - Do you know of a annual or biannual riesling conference/celebration/party that you could attend and talk to other riesling producers and find out what they have tried to get their wines to fly off the shelves?
RieslingFier! if only it hadn't been cancelled in 2020. alas

Hank Victor
Posts: 711
Joined: July 21st, 2018, 8:36 am
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#31 Post by Hank Victor »

larry schaffer wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 7:57 pm Hey my friend , it could be worse - I make a dry domestic Gewurztraminer . . .
[snort.gif]
- ITB
Take a chance, Columbus did..
v1cT0r bR1m0

User avatar
Dan Hammer
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 6022
Joined: June 3rd, 2009, 11:05 am
Location: flight Level 3 seven thousand. NYC Metro
Has thanked: 84 times
Been thanked: 25 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#32 Post by Dan Hammer »

Rodrigo B wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 8:16 pm

The big challenge I see with riesling is that there's a much bigger wine education hurdle for consumers to clear in order for them to reliably seek out a style of riesling they enjoy. Riesling has so many faces, it's tough for many consumers to reliably and consistently find the style of riesling they enjoy without having some more additional wine knowledge and background.
That's it in a nutshell. While Berserkers are interested in this topic, the other 99% of the wine buying public couldn't care less. They'll drink a pinot grigio or chardonnay before ever drinking any variety of riesling.
This space for rent.

Hank Victor
Posts: 711
Joined: July 21st, 2018, 8:36 am
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 5 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#33 Post by Hank Victor »

I don't think riesling's struggle should be only attributed to sweetness. Obviously the perception of the grape has been negatively impacted due to the ocean of low quality sweet German wine produced and marketed in the states, as well as the overall shift of wine style preference over time. But just because a Riesling is dry doesn't automatically mean its going to be good or enjoyable, there are plenty of, uninspiring low quality dry riesling wines being produced all over the globe. The crusade against sweetness has lead many producers especially in the new world to produce these "bone dry" thin wines that taste like your chewing a vitamin c pill, lack body, and fruit concentration.

What should riesling producers do to gain more market share? Keep on promoting the wide variety of styles that the grape is capable of making. Keep promoting the classic wine regions that excel at producing high quality riesling wines, and continue getting wines in front of consumers and professionals to expand their knowledge.

Riesling being the #4 or #6 white grape consumed in America is good! It will never overtake chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, or pinot grigio since those grapes can be planted in a wider range of climates or at higher yields.
- ITB
Take a chance, Columbus did..
v1cT0r bR1m0

User avatar
Brian S t o t t e r
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2879
Joined: April 21st, 2015, 6:05 am
Location: St. Louis, MO
Has thanked: 161 times
Been thanked: 145 times
Contact:

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#34 Post by Brian S t o t t e r »

I agree with many of Hank's points, but even more global than the sweet vs. dry debate is that riesling's problem is education and awareness. In the second half of the 20th century, the mainstream hadn't taken riesling seriously because much of what you saw in the US market was liebfraumilch at a time when CA chardonnay was shown to be competitive with white Burgundy. Yes there needs to be more education to show how versatile the grape is, such that it can be appealing to the dry white wine drinkers as well as make some great sweet wines. But unless it has its 'Judgement of Paris' moment I don't think it'll overtake chardonnay either (at least in the US).
CT and IG: rieslinghoarder

2021 WOTY Candidates:
2019 Hofgut Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese feinherb “Meyer Nepal” #11
2015 Kelley Fox Wines Pinot Noir Maresh Vineyard Red Barn Blocks
1997 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese
2019 Emrich-Schönleber Halenberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs

Uli K.
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 90
Joined: June 10th, 2020, 10:26 pm
Has thanked: 73 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#35 Post by Uli K. »

Mattstolz wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:46 am
J a y H a c k wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:19 am Is your wine available at retail in New York. I have some "civilian" friends who like dry Riesling and I would love to try it with them. However, be forewarned. About 15 years ago at a family gathering I served three Rieslings blind to family members who are reasonably knowledgeable about wines and taste profiles - one Riesling each from California, New York and Germany. The California Riesling was scored the lowest by almost everyone, including me, but that is only one anecdote. I'm not sure that the climate works well with Riesling.
we opened one of Bedrock's dry rieslings last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. is it GG level? maybe not. but really nice with peanut stew
CA climate is varied enough to have areas that are well suited to making great Riesling. The North Coast (Mendocino specifically) produces my favorites. I’ve had Toulouse and Bedrock recently, both exemplary. Will try Desire Lines next.
U. K 1 u m p p

User avatar
Dave McIsaac
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 5173
Joined: November 29th, 2010, 1:13 pm
Location: Back in the Burgh
Has thanked: 15 times
Been thanked: 28 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#36 Post by Dave McIsaac »

Mattstolz wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:46 am we opened one of Bedrock's dry rieslings last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. is it GG level? maybe not. but really nice with peanut stew
Wait.....peanut stew?? Do tell!
You're the man Dave! I think i speak for all of us when i say that..😎 - John Cabot, BDXI

User avatar
Greg Kramer
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 246
Joined: November 3rd, 2009, 10:39 am
Location: New York
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 8 times
Contact:

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#37 Post by Greg Kramer »

What amazes me is not only the pervasive aversion to Riesling but the intensity of it. I have a client for whom I select wines several times per year. We focus on one producer per order with our winery direct shipping program. She approved every invoice I sent her and most included wines of which she was unfamiliar.

I just sent her a list for wines from a new producer for us from the Langhe. It included Barolo, Barbera, Langhe Nebbiolo and a Rosato. She prefers to keep the pricing reasonable, so instead of adding Cru Barolo, I included their 2 Rieslings (one is single vineyard). While they won’t worry any top German or Alsatian producers, I think they are quite good at least and very varietally true.

She responded by asking if I could replace them. I told her that would mean raising the price considerably or doing multiple bottles of something. I assured her they are completely dry😉

She apologized for the resistance, said she’s heard good things about Riesling, is open to exploring it - but leave them out and give her extra Rosato.

This program is designed to help clients get introduced to new producers and wines. In most cases, they get one bottle of each wine. Not much risk. Yet even so, she could not bring herself to buy Riesling. [truce.gif] Not really. I sell plenty of things that are tough slogs. As mentioned above, if you can get them to taste, there’s hope
ITB - online retailer
VDLT Wine is a Community of wine lovers and small, artisanal wine producers

Todd Hamina
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 4771
Joined: February 3rd, 2009, 2:16 pm
Location: McMinnville, OR
Has thanked: 76 times
Been thanked: 53 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#38 Post by Todd Hamina »

Want to sell Riesling? Put it in a blend... raise the price. You're welcome.
Vineyard Specialist at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest Real Estate & Co-Owner at Biggio Hamina Cellars
-Toddhamina

K N Haque
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 328
Joined: July 28th, 2020, 7:29 pm
Has thanked: 48 times
Been thanked: 55 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#39 Post by K N Haque »

Let's not forget to always look on the bright side of life (as consumers; if I were a producer like Adam, I might feel differently). This struggle means accessibility. There are very few dry Riesling above $100 even in the U.S. after import costs. Though the higher end of the higher end of the prädikat scale can get expensive, there really isn't anyone other than Egon Müller making three-digit Kabinett or Spätlese, either.

If you consider Riesling as the contender to chardonnay for making the world's "best" white wine, and you look at the prices White Burgundy, you might be ok with Riesling struggling a bit for recognition.
K @ m @ @ l

User avatar
Robert Dentice
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 2603
Joined: March 5th, 2009, 11:40 am
Has thanked: 64 times
Been thanked: 83 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#40 Post by Robert Dentice »

Adam - I will come back to you with a more thoughtfully composed comment. As someone who just started a curated German wine service that has sold out every offer despite only starting the company last August and who is forced to chase around sold out German Rieslings around the globe for my person collection I would suggest that there is very high demand for Riesling.

I will 110% agree Riesling is HARD to sell for many reasons that I have thought about endlessly but it will take me more time than I have to explain here because I just spent two hours sorting out the 50 people on the waitlist for Rieslingstudy 005!
ITB - source | material

Bdklein
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 6783
Joined: November 10th, 2013, 1:16 pm
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#41 Post by Bdklein »

My wife know less than I do about wine, which isn't very much. I said "what are your thoughts on Riesling"? She says "I don't like Riesling". Case closed .


P.S. She can't drink red wine, so I will probably get a Riesling for her birth year wine for her 50th later this year.
B r u c e K l e i n

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 18822
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham
Has thanked: 49 times
Been thanked: 115 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#42 Post by John Morris »

maureen nelson wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 5:20 pm
Eric Ifune wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 2:42 pm People think it's like the dreck "Zeller Schwarze Katz" they drank in college. Even though they're not Riesling.
Hey, I started on that!
Let's not forget Mateus Rose!
"We only listen to the end of sentences out of politeness. In life, there’s only talking and waiting to talk." — @EdwardZwick1

"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 18822
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham
Has thanked: 49 times
Been thanked: 115 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#43 Post by John Morris »

My take:

1. Riesling isn't trendy among the masses. Merlot is or was; sauvignon had its day. Pinot was shunned until Sideways. It's been hot since then.

2. Hence, most consumers have little experience with riesling in any form.

3. Americans say they like dry, so they shun wines they are warned are sweet.

4. Meanwhile, riesling has developed a much more serious following among serious wine folks over the past 20 years.
"We only listen to the end of sentences out of politeness. In life, there’s only talking and waiting to talk." — @EdwardZwick1

"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

Todd Hamina
BerserkerBusiness
BerserkerBusiness
Posts: 4771
Joined: February 3rd, 2009, 2:16 pm
Location: McMinnville, OR
Has thanked: 76 times
Been thanked: 53 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#44 Post by Todd Hamina »

#3 is huge, but Americans (in general not Berserkers...,) crave sugar. They just don't want to admit it.

4 is super true, but is a niche audience.

I love Riesling, but would never advise anyone to plant it. Ever.
Vineyard Specialist at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Northwest Real Estate & Co-Owner at Biggio Hamina Cellars
-Toddhamina

User avatar
J a y H a c k
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 14526
Joined: May 29th, 2009, 9:59 am
Has thanked: 8 times
Been thanked: 63 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#45 Post by J a y H a c k »

Mattstolz wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:46 am we opened one of Bedrock's dry rieslings last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. is it GG level? maybe not. but really nice with peanut stew
Peanut stew? WTF?
Yes, that's a DM of 1978 Mouton!

You can read my Financial Institutions Law Blog at https://www.gdblaw.com/blog?practiceID=4985.

Brian Glas
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 299
Joined: April 25th, 2018, 8:01 pm
Location: Seattle
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 16 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#46 Post by Brian Glas »

I just wish our numerous Thai restaurants would get more serious about wine. Most of them when I ask for a wine list they just say that have the Ste. Michelle Riesling. It would be a nice to have a few more selections as Riesling is a great pairing with spicy Thai food. We used to go (PreCovid) to Wild Ginger in Downtown Seattle not for the food (it was ok but nothing special) but for the 20 page list of German Rieslings they would sell at reasonable prices and the staff there treated us like VIPs.

Steve Brickley
Posts: 1245
Joined: April 16th, 2011, 9:31 am
Location: SF Bay Area and Nice France
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#47 Post by Steve Brickley »

larry schaffer wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 7:57 pm Hey my friend , it could be worse - I make a dry domestic Gewurztraminer . . .
No, you make wonderful dry domestic Gewurz. There is a difference.
Steve

Sarah Kirschbaum
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4001
Joined: September 20th, 2010, 11:53 am
Has thanked: 56 times
Been thanked: 225 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#48 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

J a y H a c k wrote: April 24th, 2021, 9:18 am
Mattstolz wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:46 am we opened one of Bedrock's dry rieslings last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. is it GG level? maybe not. but really nice with peanut stew
Peanut stew? WTF?
Usually an African dish, not sure which exact region. But peanut sauce or soup is the only absolute wine killer I know of. Nothing is good with it.
Sort of ITB - my husband imports a small amount of sake and I help out

User avatar
Mattstolz
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2828
Joined: June 26th, 2017, 7:46 pm
Location: South Carolina
Has thanked: 76 times
Been thanked: 94 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#49 Post by Mattstolz »

Dave McIsaac wrote: April 24th, 2021, 7:40 am
Mattstolz wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:46 am we opened one of Bedrock's dry rieslings last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. is it GG level? maybe not. but really nice with peanut stew
Wait.....peanut stew?? Do tell!
linked below
J a y H a c k wrote: April 24th, 2021, 9:18 am
Mattstolz wrote: April 24th, 2021, 5:46 am we opened one of Bedrock's dry rieslings last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. is it GG level? maybe not. but really nice with peanut stew
Peanut stew? WTF?
https://www.mydigitalkitchen.ca/2018/01 ... ntil-stew/

typically I would say Sarah is right. but I did think the drier Bedrock riesling did a pretty good job.

I should add that my version of the dish is in no way authentic. a real peanut stew (which I am confident Sarah makes better than I do) may indeed be much worse for pairing with wine than my version. lol

maureen nelson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2860
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 5:12 pm
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 32 times

Re: Riesling - the struggle is real.

#50 Post by maureen nelson »

John Morris wrote: April 24th, 2021, 8:56 am
maureen nelson wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 5:20 pm
Eric Ifune wrote: April 23rd, 2021, 2:42 pm People think it's like the dreck "Zeller Schwarze Katz" they drank in college. Even though they're not Riesling.
Hey, I started on that!
Let's not forget Mateus Rose!
Now, that I wouldn’t drink. But I started on Ripple “Pagan Pink”!

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”