By Shane Dunning, of WoodWinters wine merchant and wholesaler based in Bridge of Allan and Edinburgh.


I think it is fair to say that in the UK a large percentage of the wine buying public have issues with German wine. Most people, when quizzed, would admit to having preconceptions about German wine mainly based on bad experiences with semi-sweet supermarket whites like Liebfraumilch, Black Tower and Blue Nun. There's no doubt that until relatively recently the only German wines available in supermarkets were indeed of that type with possibly one token dry wine that gathered dust on the shelves.

Germany has always had a great history of incredible dry white wines made from the fabulous riesling grape variety and succulent, fragrant red wines made from spatburgunder, aka Pinot Noir, they just very rarely made it into the UK. Riesling has suffered by comparison with the bad old German wines that flooded the UK supermarkets, most of which never contained riesling. Good quality dry riesling has mouth-watering flavours of lime, pear, crisp green apples and crisp, food-friendly acidity

You should now be able to find good quality dry German rieslings on the shelves of good independent wine merchants and some supermarkets. Dry riesling is a great alternative to sauvignon blanc and is generally better with a wider variety of foods.

Wine Tip:

German wine labels are often hard to decipher, if you would like to try a dry riesling look for the word Trocken on the label.

Two to try:

Riesling Trocken 2009 Reichsrat Von Buhl £11 Available from WoodWinters, Telegraph Wines & Averys.

Delicious full-flavoured fully dry white from the Phalz, great with smoked mackerel and potato salad.

Riesling Trocken 2009 Dreissigacker £12 Available from WoodWinters, The Sampler & Bennetts Wines.

Lighter and more fragrant than the Von Buhl and delicious with Thai and Chinese cuisine especially prawns with a hint of chilli.