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

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Viognier and Riesling are two white wines that couldn’t be any more different from one another. Together let’s explore all the details of their similarities, differences, and more!


Is Viognier The Same As Riesling?

Viognier and Riesling are not the same and have a large array of differences that set them aside from each other. These include styles, notes, and even the origin of the grapes that produce this wine duo.

A wine bottle - Viognier vs. Riesling

What Is Similar About Viognier And Riesling?

Viognier really doesn’t hold many similarities other than the fact they are both considered to be white wines that are both known to carry lemon and floral notes.


What Is The Difference Between Viognier and Riesling?

The differences between Viognier and Riesling are much stronger than their similarities. They differ in factors like origin, style, and other notes aside from those that are floral. Viognier is really only made into two styles: dry or sweet. 

Aside from its floral notes, the wine holds fruity notes of tangerine and mango.

Riesling is seemingly more advanced in its style and notes! The wine originating from Germany is commonly produced in three styles: dry, semi-sweet, and sweet. 

Although each style holds its own notes, the primary notes of Riesling are lime, lemon, pineapple, and apricot. The wine can also have a very versatile variety of notes of minerals, herbs, and other floral notes.


Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Both Viognier and Riesling carry notes of lemon. Riesling, however, is considered to be sweeter than the Viognier. 

This is mainly due to the fact that Riesling also carries notes of honeycomb, which overpowers the Viognier’s floral notes, which is ultimately a big element in making it any kind of sweet.


Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

Viognier has a higher amount of alcohol content by volume. Viognier tends to hold an average of 13-15% alcohol content by volume, which really does exceed your typical Riesling. 

Riesling is known to hold an alcohol content of just 12% – which might be surprising to some considering it is known to be the sweeter of the pair. 


How Do I Choose Between Viognier and Riesling?

Riesling is considered to be a good wine for those newbies in the wine community who want to ease into different styles without too much change. 

The versatile flavors of Riesling are perfect for those who want to try the variety of wine styles, flavors, and aromas without switching wines completely. 

On the other hand, Viognier is perfect for those who prefer a more dry wine over a sweet one and favor those delicate floral notes. 

Final Thoughts On Viognier vs. Riesling

Viognier and Riesling could not be more different from one another. While both have delicate floral notes that they may enjoy, that doesn’t keep these two from having their fair share of differences. 

The strong differences between the two are found in their origin, notes, and, most important of all, style. Although Riesling is the sweeter of the two, it’s Viognier that carries a high amount of alcohol content.