How Do You Pronounce Riesling

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re faced with a wine menu and struggling to say “Riesling” correctly? I understand completely. Being a wine lover, I’ve encountered that situation many times. But don’t …

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Have you ever been in a situation where you’re faced with a wine menu and struggling to say “Riesling” correctly? I understand completely. Being a wine lover, I’ve encountered that situation many times. But don’t worry! Today, I’m here to guide you in properly pronouncing this lovely wine.

First things first, let’s tackle the basics. Riesling is a white grape variety that originated in Germany. It is known for producing wines that range from bone dry to lusciously sweet, with a wide array of flavors and aromas. But how do you pronounce it?

Now, before I reveal the correct pronunciation, I have to admit that there is some debate among wine lovers. Some say “reese-ling,” while others argue for “reez-ling.” In my personal experience and conversations with wine professionals, the most widely accepted pronunciation is “REEZ-ling.”

But why the discrepancy? Well, it comes down to regional variations and accents. In Germany, where Riesling has its roots, the emphasis is placed on the first syllable, making it sound like “REEZ-ling.” Meanwhile, in English-speaking countries, the emphasis often falls on the second syllable, resulting in “reez-ling.”

Regardless of the pronunciation you choose, what truly matters is your enjoyment of the wine itself. Riesling is renowned for its versatility and ability to express terroir, making it a particularly exciting grape variety to explore. From the crisp and refreshing styles of the Mosel region to the richer and more tropical expressions from Australia or the United States, Riesling has something for everyone’s palate.

So, the next time you come across a Riesling on a wine list, feel confident in your pronunciation. Whether you say “REEZ-ling” or “reez-ling,” remember that what truly matters is the pleasure it brings to your taste buds. Cheers!

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John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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