Grüner Veltliner vs. Riesling: The Untold Similarities, Differences & Selection Criteria

Many questions arise about this pair of Grüner Veltliner and Riesling. How are they similar, and how are they different? 

Which one will I prefer over the other? Let’s explore the answers to all those questions together!

 

Is Grüner Veltliner The Same As Riesling?

Although they have their similarities, Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are not the same. Their differences in notes, origin, and style set them apart from each other. 

While these two are not the same and may have their differences, they are both great choices if you’re looking for a time to pair with the cuisine you’ll serve at your next dinner party!

 

What Is Similar About Grüner Veltliner And Riesling?

There are a few characteristics we find similar in these wines, the most obvious being that they are both white wines that are known to go really well with food in general. 

They also both carry mineral notes and have roughly the same amount of alcohol content. Grüner Veltliner and Riesling are both also very high in acidic content!

 

What Is The Difference Between Grüner Veltliner and Riesling?

These wines differ in notes, style, and origin. For example, Grüner Veltliner is most commonly made into a dry wine that carries asparagus, white or black pepper, and starfruit notes. 

This wine also originates from Austria but is now known to be grown in other locations such as Slovakia. 

Riesling is a wine that is most commonly made in not one but three different styles. This dry, semi-sweet, or sweet wine can carry base notes (aside from its floral and mineral notes) of lemon, lime, honeycomb, pineapple, and apricot. 

The wine originates from Germany but is now grown in regions like Australia, Italy, the United States, and even Slovakia!

 

Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Due to its savory notes, Grüner Veltliner is considered to be drier in taste compared to a Riesling. However, thanks to the Riesling’s floral, honeycomb, and lemon – it’s made out to be much sweeter than the Gruner Veltliner.

 

Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

Grüner Veltliner and Riesling have around the same alcohol content. 

However, it’s Grüner Veltliner that is considered to be more versatile within the percentages, averaging at 11-13.5% alcohol by volume. On the other hand, Riesling will typically average at around 12% alcohol by volume.

 

How Do I Choose Between The Two?

Choosing between the two is all about preferences. If you are one to prefer more savory, dry white wines, you’ll likely prefer the Grüner Veltliner over the Riesling. However, you’ll definitely prefer Riesling if you favor semi-sweet white wines with floral and citrus notes.

 

What’s A Good Selection For a Gruner Veltliner?

 

  • 2014 Knoll Wachau Loibner Grüner Veltliner Kreutles Federspiel Circa Vino, Tucson 
  • 2017 Hirtzberger Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Rotes Tor, Wachau

 

What’s A Good Selection For Riesling?

 

  • 2018 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett Riesling Joh. Jos. Prum Mosel, Germany
  • 2019 Almost Dry Riesling Montinore Willamette Valley, Oregon

 

Final thoughts on Grüner Veltliner vs. Riesling

While not the same, these two wines hold similarities in their mineral notes and alcohol content. 

However, their differences in notes, origin, and style set them apart from each other. While their alcohol content lines up in close similarity, it’s the Riesling that is found to be sweeter in taste compared to the Gruner Veltliner.