CANANDAIGUA, N.Y., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than a million cases of Riesling wines marketed in the United States this year will include a "Riesling Taste Profile" designed to make it easier for consumers to predict the taste they can expect from a particular bottle of Riesling.
The Riesling Taste Profile was created by the International Riesling Foundation (IRF), a global nonprofit organization formed to promote Riesling as the world's most noble white wine variety. The need became apparent when IRF-commissioned market research by Wine Opinions reaffirmed that many consumers still think of Riesling only as "a sweet white wine" despite the wide range of tastes it can represent.
Major producers in the largest Riesling producing states -- Washington, California, Oregon, Michigan and New York -- will be using the Taste Profile, along with some wineries from other states and countries including Germany, Australia and New Zealand.
A partial list of wineries using the Taste Profile, as well as graphic depictions, is available under "Latest News" at www.drinkriesling.com. Full information about its use, and examples, are under the "Riesling Taste Profile" section.
Riesling was the fastest growing varietal in the United States in 2009, with an 8.3% increase in sales, according to data from the Nielsen Company. Widespread use of the Riesling Taste Profile is likely to accelerate that growth by making Riesling more understandable, predictable, and consumer-friendly.
"Riesling may be made in many styles from bone dry to sweet, and this versatility can be both a strength and a weakness," said California wine journalist Dan Berger who spearheaded the IRF project in consultation with many Riesling wine makers. "Riesling's many styles can fit almost any taste preference and food pairing, but consumers may be put off if they are expecting one taste and get another. The taste profile will enhance Riesling's strength by letting consumers know the basic taste before they open or even buy the bottle."
"This is a very important project, and we're grateful to Dan Berger and others who spent many hours on this," said Jim Trezise, President of the IRF. "With Riesling's surging popularity among consumers, making this versatile wine more understandable and user-friendly should accelerate its growth."
The IRF Riesling Taste Profile is also being adopted by major international wine judgings such as the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits, and Riverside International, competitions, as the basis for their Riesling categories.
The IRF's mission is: "To increase awareness, understanding, trial and sales of Riesling wines through a comprehensive, integrated system of industry cooperation, research, trade education, and consumer communication."
SOURCE International Riesling Foundation