Riesling Taste Profile

Updated: Jun 9, 2020

Image of two glasses of Riesling with Riesling bottle and steep sloping vineyards in the Mosel Valley in Germany.

German Reisling is served from the typical elongated bottle used for Riesling. In the background are the steep vineyards in the Mosel Valley in Germany.

The Riesling taste profile is made up of a unique combination of color, flavors, aromas, and structure. These elements are referred to as wine characteristics. Riesling has hallmark characteristics that will help you identify the wine by sight, smell and taste and you won’t even have to look at the bottle.

Unique Characteristics

Each type of wine grape develops a unique combination of flavors and aromas. These flavors and aromas are influenced by things like their growing environment (climate and soil – aka terroir), the fermentation process (aka yeast converting sugar to alcohol), and maturation (such as aging in oak barrels).

As you will see, Riesling has quite a range of characteristics. It exhibits a wide range of flavors and the full range of sweetness levels from sweet dessert wine to bone dry. How early or late the grapes are harvested determines the sweetness levels. The early harvest of under-ripe grapes with low residual sugars means the wine will be dry. Late harvests will have full to overly ripe fruit with high levels of sugars and are used to produce sweet wines.


The color for white wine ranges from Pale Straw to Medium Straw to Deep Gold. Wine that has a pale straw color is from cooler regions. Wine with a deep gold color is from warmer regions, has been aged in oak, and/or is older wine.

White wine color ranges from pale straw to medium straw to deep gold. Riesling is a pale straw color.

Riesling Wine Color: Pale Straw.

Flavors & Aromas

Look for Fruit, Floral, Herbal, and Spice notes to identify flavors and aromas in wine.