Sorting through data can be a tricky proposition. For instance, on July 6, we brought you news that Riesling sales were up 24 percent in the United States.
Our source was Scantrak, a service of the ACNielsen company, which specializes in gathering and evaluating information in a wide array of industries, including television and politics.
But another source indicates that the upsurge may be as high as 30 percent, and it’s a fact not lost on some of the larger wine companies in America.
A “Riesling Rendezvous” was held recently in Seattle. There, several companies revealed their annual case production totals for Riesling, and the numbers prove just how popular this variety has become here in the United States and around the world.
The U.S. leaders:
1. St. Michelle Estates — 710,000 cases
2. Constellation Brands (Columbia, Covey Run, Hogue) — 390,000 cases
3. Kendall-Jackson — 180,000 cases
4. Brown-Forman (Fetzer, Jekel and sources in Germany) — 125,000 cases
5. Pacific Rim — 120,000 cases
That’s A LOT of Riesling. And it doesn’t even include the many fine bottlings now being made in such places as Michigan and the Finger Lakes region of New York.
What’s responsible for the urge in popularity? Two common theories:
1. Most American Riesling is made in an off-dry or semi-sweet style, which caters to those who enjoy sweet treats.
2. It’s very good with spicy fare, which means it can be enjoyed with a wide spectrum of ethnic cuisine, from Tex-Mex to Chinese to Thai.