In her book, Vines, Grapes & Wines, Jancis Robinson reveals a surprising discovery that many human noses find some examples of Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc very hard to differentiate.

The similarly aromatic crisp profile of these grape varieties makes it easy to see what might cause this confusion, but the surprise arises due to the very different receptions to these two wines.

Riesling is somewhat of an unpopular wine in the UK, perhaps owing to its association with the mid-1970s when there was a relative lack of sophistication amongst British wine drinkers and limited choice on the high street.

Off-dry incarnations of German Riesling alongside their country “cousins”, Piesporter and Liebfraumilch, were widely available but didn’t make for particularly enjoyable drinking. Their popularity was also hindered by the angry-looking depictions of eagles or kitsch castle scenes emblazoned on their labels, and unappealing Teutonic font.

Those labels can still be found today, but there has thankfully been a commercial realisation in Germany that this anachronistic sweet style is no longer commercially viable and that the UK consumer overwhelmingly prefers drier whites.

German producers have always produced dry Rieslings of conspicuous quality and elegance, they just rarely exported them to the UK due to a lack of interest. With the demise of the off-dry style, it’s time Britain reacquainted itself with the “new” Germans.

To find the drier style, look for the term “Qualitätswein” on the label to indicate the wine’s level of sweetness. Bottles with the word “Trocken” on the label will have less than nine grams per litre of residual sugar, a similar level to other popular dry wines.

I adore the crisp acidity of a Riesling balanced with its fruity flavour, and, with more modern labels appearing in the market, the rise of German Riesling could be something to look out for in the future. You never know, it might come to replace Sauvignon Blanc as your favourite tipple.

 Here are some delicious examples that I would encourage you to seek out.

The biodynamic one:

Sybille Kuntz Riesling Qualitätswein Trocken – £15.99 from de Burgh Wine Merchants

The big one:

Riesling Troken Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt – (Magnum) £49.00 from Yapp Bros

The fun one:

Allendorf ‘Save water drink Riesling’ Dry – £13.35 from The WineBarn