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The Bath & Wiltshire Parent’s wine columnist, Ben Franks FRSA, shares his favourite Rieslings from Novel Wines to try.

For as long as I’ve been in the wine trade I’ve been in love with Riesling wines. Unfortunately in the UK we think of Riesling a sweet, cheap German wine with candied citrus and wincing sweet acids. However, when you buy dry and you buy from great producers – in Germany and beyond – Riesling remains one of the world’s most exciting grapes.

The magic of any good wine is a balance between the intensity of fruit, coming from the grape’s ripeness, and acidity, which gives freshness. Riesling does this better than most wines because its acidity can be so piercing. The wines often live a long time thanks to this very trait, so you can enjoy fruitiness in its youth and honeyed stone fruits in its age.

Anton Finkenauer Kreuznacher Riesling QbA Trocken

For newcomers to Riesling who might normally sip Sauvignon Blanc, looking somewhere like the Anton Finkenauer Kreuznacher Riesling QbA Trocken (£11.99, Novel Wines) from the lesser known Nahe region is a good start. Soft lemon citrus and a rounded finish that makes for easy drinking. It’ll pair well with any fish dish or something deep fried.

Waldschutz Kamptal DAC Riesling

If you find you really like the citrus notes in Riesling, it can sometimes be worth heading south to Austria’s Kamptal Valley, a cool climate area that offers Riesling at good value for money. Waldschutz Kamptal DAC Riesling (£16.99, Novel Wines) from young winemaker Ralph Waldschutz is very refreshing style and a favourite by the glass.

Heumann Rajnai Rizling
Sabar Rhein Riesling Leszner

You might be surprised to hear one of my favourite Riesling hotspots is Hungary. A new discovery I’ve recently made is the Heumann Rajnai Rizling (£16.99, Novel Wines) from Swiss-German couple Evelyne and Erhard. It has lime blossom aromas and more layers of stone fruits with some tropical hints like kiwi, as opposed to loads of citrus. The volcanic Sabar Rhein Riesling Leszner (£14.99, Novel Wines) from Hungary’s Lake Balaton region is another top example of fruitier, richer but dry Riesling. These wines work well with roast chicken, pulled pork or even BBQ food.

Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling

We can’t miss off the New World as there’s some amazing Rieslings being made outside of Europe. One of my favourites is Larry Cherubino Ad Hoc Wallflower Riesling (£18.99, Novel Wines) from Australia. Cherubino is a real talent and often found making wines from Italian grapes in the Aussie climate, which has given him plenty of experience in balancing the precision of European winemaking with the fruit-driven ripeness of the New World. Wallflower is a crisp but intense wine, matching delightfully well with spicy dishes like hot and sour soups.

Bibo Runge Revoluzzer Riesling

If you really get into Riesling then try something special. The apex of Riesling lies in two of Germany’s best known wine regions, the Rheingau and the Mosel. Rheingau Rieslings are much fuller bodied with lots of stone fruits and a deep complexity to match their acidity and freshness. Bibo Runge Revoluzzer Riesling (£38.99, Novel Wines) comes from winemakers Walter Bibo and Kai Runge and spends a whopping 36 months maturing in oak. It’s a special wine to really savour.

Scharzhof QbA Riesling

In the Mosel, you will find celebrity winemakers like the great Egon Muller. Here in the Mosel you have steep slate valleys and all the fruit is harvested by hand out of necessity – you won’t get tractors up these hillsides. The result is a retention of exceptional acidity and brightness. This is often offset with a little residual sugar, giving you sweet piercing lime flavours and zesty green apple. Muller’s namesake Scharzhof QbA Riesling (£49.99, Novel Wines) is beautiful, albeit still young and will age for years and years, if you’ve got the patience. Muller label wines tend to be incredibly pricey, so the Scharzhof is a good place to start as it won’t put too great a hole in your wallet.

If you give these Rieslings a chance this summer, you’ll see just why I fell completely in love with the variety. Enjoy!

You can find more recipe and wine pairing articles over at, along with over 300 truly unique wines sourced by Ben and his team.