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Riesling: Try It Dry
Germany's mild, wet climate and a wine-making tradition that dates back 2,000 years combine to produce some of the world's finest white wines.
The king of German varietals is Riesling. Grown on the banks of Germany's many rivers, most notably the Rhine, the grape produces wines of stunning variety and quality. Rieslings are noted for their strong acidity, sometimes-flowery aroma, and often mineral-tasting notes—stemming from the grape's susceptibility to influences from the soil. Riesling made its name throughout the world through sweet (lieblich) wines, but many Germans prefer them dry (trocken). Importers, especially in the United States, don't bring over many dry German Rieslings, so take the opportunity to sample some while in Frankfurt.
Sip it Here
The Bockenheimer Weinkontor (Schlossstr. 92 069/702–031 www.bockenheimer-weinkontor.de Bockenheimer Warte [U-bahn]) is nearby the Messegelände (Exhibition Center), in the Bockenheim area. Through a courtyard and down a set of stairs, the cozy bar offers 15–20 reasonably priced local wines by the glass. The trellis-covered back garden is a treat.
For prestige wines, head to Piccolo (Bornheimer Landstr. 56 069/9441–1277 www.weinbar-piccolo.de Merianplatz [U-bahn]), where the bilingual staff make solid recommendations. Try a glass from the Markus Molitor or Alexander Freimuth wineries. Along with wine, they serve a range of snacks and main courses. The space is small, so make reservations if you plan to dine here.
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