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Jun 30, 2011 10:36 AM

Dry Reisling rec's?

I have been reading the Wine Bible and decided to step out of my Santa Cruz/ Southbay box and learn about some European wines. I decided to start with Reislings since it is a wine I know nothing about. I have had some dessert versions but have not had a dry one. Can a good bottle be found for $20 or so? I am in San Jose and have access to many shops. Also should I stick with German or are there options? Thanx

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  1. Ah! my favorite white varietal.

    Dry styles: Alsace, Germany, Austria, Australia, Canada and the US (e.g. Finger Lakes), with Dr. Konstantin Frank being a good place to start for domestic (to you). German and Austrian trocken bottles are hard to come by in Canada but you will likely have better luck since you're in the US. Alsace can be expensive, though pretty much anything that's not vendange tardive is dry. Wittmann from the Rheingau one of the better trockens you can come across.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wattacetti

      watta, I don't fnd Alsatian Rieslings expensive here except for the tete de cuvees. And they are my favorites among my beloved Rieslings!

      JJPrum is a tasty and affordable German one.

      1. re: ChefJune

        Ah. I live in the land of the SAQ, so we get to pay what the monopoly tells us is good for us. Our cheapest bottle is $16 or so for Dopff & Irion, most bottles are in the $30-50 range, and we have a relative dearth of higher-end bottlings.

        JJPr├╝m is my favorite Mosel producer, but I haven't come across a feinherb from them.

        1. re: ChefJune

          JJ Prum is one of the best makers of white wine period, but their wines never really dry; they require cellar time to show their potential. There are dry Rieslings from Germany, but in general, I prefer Alsatians

      2. Non-dry Austria rieslings are the exception, so Austria is a good place to start.
        For German, you want rieslings that are marked trocken or feinherb.
        Alsace is more of a crapshoot since they let the wines ferment naturally. A lot of them end up off dry. Trimbach is recognized as having some of the great dry rieslings in the world.
        K&L Wines would be a great source. I'd also suggest Age of Riesling, based in Berkeley. Owner Bill Mayer is a great guy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SteveTimko

          Yeah, Bill is awesome and could really hook you up. Ask if he has the 2008 Mosel Riesling Blauschiefer Trocken (Selection Age of Riesling). I think it's around $15 and yummy.
          Dee Vine in SF has a few choices as well.
          Another thing to do is check out your local wine bars/events and test drive different styles before you buy. Different people like different regions and it's really fun to explore all the possibilities.

          Austrian Rieslings to me are very mineral-driven as are some German Mosel wines.
          The Rheingau wines I've had taste rounder with a bit more fruit and the Nahe is just plain interesting and delicious.

          BTW, it's "The Summer of Riesling 2011" :
          and here's who's participating:
          1833, Monterey
          Ame, San Francisco
          Ana Mandara, San Francisco
          Bar Bambino, San Francisco
          Camino Restaurant, Oakland
          Farallon, San Francisco
          Fifth Floor Restaurant & Lounge, San Francisco
          Frances, San Francisco
          Heart, San Francisco
          Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco
          RN74, San Francisco
          Saison, San Francisco
          The Slanted Door, San Francisco
          Sons & Daughters, San Francisco
          The French Laundry, Yountville
          The Moss Room, San Francisco
          William Cross Wine Merchants, San Francisco
          (Sorry, nothing in San Jose
          )I want the button that says: "Piercing Acidity" and the "Riesling" temporary tattoo could be fun.
          Here's to the Noble Grape! : )

        2. There's a good thread on this very topic at:

          The Bonny Doon Pacific Rim is a very nice buy at about $10

          3 Replies
          1. re: Joltingjoey

            Thanx for the thread. I asked for reisling and got a different one. This search engine is too precise for me. Lots of good responses there!

            1. re: budnball

              You're also spelling it wrong. It's "riesling". easy mistake to make.

          2. Trefethen from Napa makes an amazing Dry Riesling. It's not widely available, but it should be available to you in the Bay Area. I'd suspect it costs around $17.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Mike B

              That's a delicious wine, Mike! I also like Eroica, the joint venture of Chateau Ste Michelle and Dr. Loosen.

              1. re: Mike B

                Just got a bottle of the 08 from K&L. really tasty stuff! Thanx for all suggestions

                1. re: budnball

                  Reminds me of my starter wines in the mid 1970s. We drank Mosels and Liebfraumilch from bota bags, while camping in the Florida pines and smoking bad pot. Tho Trefethen is much more dry, the flavour sent me back to my youth.

              2. Kim Crawford produces a respectable dry Reisling selling for under 8 bucks in Costco in Dedham MA..