Riesling is one of the classic wine grapes of the world and is grown in most countries where fine wine is produced. More than just the sweet white grape, it produces some of the most interesting and long-lived white wines on the planet. While Germany has certainly claimed this variety as its own, many countries produce quality offerings in a wide variety of styles.
Riesling can be produces in a wide range of sweetness levels, from dessert to bone dry. Germany produces the widest range of offerings, from light and crisp to syrup like elixirs that stand the test of time. Over the border in France, you will find a slightly drier version that can also age extremely well. In the new world, there are pockets of serious producers in almost every notable wine producing country, however, many fail to live up to the pedigree of their French and German counterparts.
Riesling can be found in every region of Germany, from the chilly northern Ahr region to the balmy southern region of Baden. Alsace, France of the Francophile outpost for fine Riesling, having a history inextricably linked to their German cousins. Italy has some notable plantings, as does Austria and some other Eastern European countries. The US has notable plantings in the pacific northwest, as well as New York State. Australia and New Zealand also boast quality offerings, while it can also be found in South America and South Africa.
Many people looking for a sweeter offering by the glass turn to the Riesling on a by the glass list. However, there are so many different styles of the grape and product knowledge of your particular offering is important for successful pairing and recommendations.