RIESLING GETS AN UPDATE
Riesling’s biggest problem has long been the public perception that it is a cloyingly sweet white wine. Of course, Riesling wines are quite diverse and complex – but how do you convince consumers of this when the stigma has been around for decades? Enter the International Riesling Foundation (IRF), a non-profit industry group formed to promote the grape. As part of a new marketing initiative from IRF, Riesling bottles being sold in the US this year will feature a Riesling Taste Profile designed to help consumers assess the taste of a bottle before opening it. Divided into the four categories of Dry, Medium Dry, Medium Sweet, and Sweet, the profile aims to make people aware of the range of styles Riesling can be made in. Wineries in the five largest Riesling-producing US states have signed up to the program, along with producers from other countries including Germany and Canada. Nicolas Quillé of Washington’s Pacific Rim Winery has been using the scale on his back labels since late 2OO8 and saw business grow 5O% in 2OO9.