Guide To Dry Riesling | 7 Best Under $20

Dry Riesling

Generally, people associate Riesling with sweet wines. It’s the first and the major misconception about DRY Riesling! 

While many bottles have that sweetness you either love or hate, Riesling is also incredibly versatileThere are many types of Riesling, and not all of them are sweet grape juice– Dry Riesling, for instance.

It goes well drunk on its own during summertime. It also makes a fantastic wine with chicken, fish, and light sauced pasta dishes!

Table of Contents

What is Dry Riesling?

Dry Riesling is a type of white wine that is characterized by its dryness and high acidity.

It is made from the Riesling grape, which is a white grape variety that is native to Germany.

Dry Rieslings are typically made with little to no residual sugar, giving them a dry, crisp taste. And they are often fermented in stainless steel tanks, which helps to preserve their crisp acidity.

Dry Riesling Wine Regions

Finger Lakes, New York 

Thanks to German immigrants who introduced their Riesling winemaking tradition in the US. And thanks to these glacial lakes that keep the temperatures moderate around the surrounding areas. Riesling is the flagship variety in Finger Lakes, despite the cold winters. Look for Riesling bottles labeled ‘dry.’ 


Alsace, France 

Riesling is the most well known grape in this region in France found along the Rhine River. Riesling vines dominate more than 25% of Alsace vineyards. There are over 50 Grand Cru vineyards in this region, making some of the best dry Rieslings in the world.



Where you can find the most natural Riesling flavors in a bottle. German Riesling is rarely exposed to oak or blended with other varieties. Visit the Mosel Valley, which grows one-third of the country’s Riesling. Go to Rheingau and Pfalz regions for some of the driest Riesling styles.


Honorable mentions: Oregon, Australia, South Africa, California, Austria

How to Read a Dry Riesling Label?

dry Riesling labels

If it says, ‘Dry’ or ‘Dry Riesling,’ then that’s a safe bet. If you are in the US, Riesling bottles from Washington and Oregon are also great states to get dry Riesling. Although their bottles have different sweetness levels, the vast majority of their Rieslings are dry.

The label ‘Trocken’ on a German Riesling also means dry wine, literally. The stylized symbol of “GG” on the bottle or the phrase “Grosses Gewachs” means you’re holding a delightfully top-class DRY German wine.

In France, Alsace almost exclusively produces dry wines. Alsatian Riesling is typically dry and crisp, the same dry profile the German Riesling variety. ‘TRADITION’ labels in Alsace Rieslings also mean traditional winemaking philosophy – creating DRY, full-bodied wines.

Quick Notes About Dry Riesling

Dry Rieslings have similar taste profile to Sauvignon Blancs, but they are more known for these descriptions:

Clean, Crisp, Refreshing Acidity, and Steely

* Its acidity level is almost (but not quite) in orange juice or lemonade levels, leading to a refreshingly crisp taste with a juicy finish.

Dry Riesling Food Pairings

  • Try to pair with creamy sauces to give contrast and cut through the creaminess.
  • Try with fish dishes, especially smoked or raw fish
  • Sushi is a fantastic pairing
  • Try pairing with pork
  • Try pairing with fried and spicy foods; it will balance the complex flavor with its fruit and mineral layers.
  • Pair with German foods

Top 7 Best Dry Riesling Under $20

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Herman Weimer Dry Riesling pinot noir cabernet sauvignon

From the winemaking pioneer vineyard in Finger Lakes – one of the best versions of Dry Riesling from the United States. It spotlights all the unique characteristics of the three vineyard sites in the region. It has an exquisite balance of juiciness and a clean mineral finish.

Tasting Notes: grapefruit, tangerine, citrus, orange blossom

Ravines Dry Riesling

Another elegant expression of the intricacies of Riesling grapes from Finger Lakes. It’s vibrant and floral on the nose, with ripe fruit of apple, pear notes and lingering honeysuckle on the finish. If you want something pure and delightful on a hot summer’s day, you won’t go wrong with a glass of this wine or a bottle if you wish!

Tasting Notes: lime, pear, peach, flint, green apple

One of the most exquisite Rieslings from Germany, made from grapes from the slopes of Pfalz. Think of fresh citrus flavors that stay plump and juicy, and you will love this one – best paired with soft cheeses and cured meats to brings its full flavor!

Tasting Notes: citrus, green apple, pear

Dr. Heidemanns Dry Riesling Single Vineyard

Another German Riesling, but this time from the Mosel region, is well-known for its Rieslings with lime and honeydew aromas and intense bright acidity. This bottle is the epitome of a Mosel Riesling in terms of flavor and aroma – fragrant, dry, and crisp.

Tasting Notes: apple, pear, lemon, citrus, slate

Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling

One of the most popular wineries in the Finger Lakes, this Riesling is a balanced and tropical dry white wine with fresh acidity and excellent persistence with hints of citrus. But beyond the crispness, there’s a unique subtle creaminess that will keep you reaching for a second taste.

Tasting Notes: lime zest, green apple, citrus, minerals

Here’s a favorite Riesling from Alsace with a promise of unending freshness. It’s one of my best choices with spicy food and rich fish.

Tasting Notes: apple, honey, citrus, lime, lemon

Lucien Albrecht Riesling Tradition

Another signature wine from Alsace, France – a great Riesling and a pleasant option for any occasion or an ordinary day when you want to splurge (on a budget!). Its fruitiness paired well with my favorite spicy shrimp recipe, fantastic for your wine stash!

Tasting Notes: apple, white fruit, pear

If sweeter Rieslings are more your thing, please check out list for Best Sweet Rieslings!

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