This is a public service announcement: Wine that is refreshing, fragrant, and fun does not have to be pink. In fact, if what you want is relief from the great pink wave that has swamped the summer of 2017, we feel you. That’s why we called John Winthrop Haeger—historian, wine lover, and author of Riesling Rediscovered, a book that deep-dives into the grape and the producers who are making the best bone-dry versions around the world.
Over the past 20 years, Riesling has experienced a rebirth, going from sticky sweet to dry and refined with pinpoint flavors. Sommeliers and wine geeks rave about the “transparency” of the grape and how well it reflects terroir. And outside the United States., many Rieslings have even ascended to cult status. But here? The wines remain largely overlooked—and that’s good news for those who love them. Some of the best, small-production releases can be found online or on the shelf.
We asked Haeger to name his 10 most exciting Rieslings, and he responded with discoveries from around the world—from Germany and Austria to Italy and the United States. “They all attracted my attention in some significant way,” he says, “whether it’s the hedonistic properties of the wine or because it’s unexpected for the region it came from or a harbinger of things to come.”