Riesling is a grape variety and varietal appellation of wines from Alsace (France), Austria, and Germany, among others. Riesling wines are traditionally sweet to medium sweet, but those from Alsace tend to be dry or nearly so. Dry German Rieslings are increasingly popular in Germany, and are labeled as trocken. Other names for true Riesling are Johannisberg Riesling (named after the famed Schloss Johannisberg) and White Riesling. Many grapes that incorporate the name Riesling are not true Riesling. For example, Grey Riesling is actually Trousseau Gris, an unrelated but not entirely dissimilar grape.
Rieslings are now also produced in the New World, notably Australia, where the grape is used to produce a distinctive crisp, dry and fruity wine. Peter Lehmann is notable for his production of quality Australian riesling.
The most highly regarded wines made from Riesling are dessert wines, produced by letting the grapes hang on the vines well past normal picking time. Through evaporation caused by the fungus Botrytis cinera or by freezing, as in the case of ice wine/eiswein the water is removed and the result is a wine with more of everything. These concentrated wines have more sugar (in extreme cases hundreds of grams per liter), more acid (to give balance to all the sugar), more flavors, etc. Due to their concentration they are among the longest-lived of all wines.
Riesling is a very versatile wine to have with food, because of its balance of sugar and acid. It can pair with white fish just like a dry wine, or with pork, and it is one of the few wines that can stand up to Thai and Chinese food. Riesling's typical aromas are flowers, tropical fruits, and stone (such as slate, quartz, etc.)