What is Riesling’s Alcohol Content? It’s Not Exactly What You Think

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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When buying a bottle of wine, the alcohol content is on the bottle. It tells you how much ABV (Alcohol By Volume) is in that bottle. Riesling is a sweet wine, so the ABV can vary greatly. 

But it’s the perfect dessert wine to have after dinner because most Riesling wines are low in ABV. You’re here today because you are trying to figure out the alcohol content of Riesling, so we will explore how much ABV there is and how it compares to other wines.


What percent alcohol is Riesling?

Riesling does have a reputation for being a sweeter wine, which often results in lower ABV. However, it averages between 8-14% ABV. It depends on what brand you are buying from and how sweet the wine is. The drier the Riesling, the more alcohol content there will be.

There are certain types of wine classifications that have to be met in order to be considered a Riesling. For example, Qualitätswein (often written as QbA) has a minimum of 7% alcohol content to be considered that version of Riesling. The same goes for Prädikatswein.

With this information, you’ll never see a Riesling that’s below 7% ABV. So remember to keep this in mind when shopping for a bottle of Riesling.

Three wine bottles together - Riesling's Alcohol Content

Is Riesling considered a strong wine?

This is solely based on preference on taste and tolerance. Rieslings can be had at a higher alcohol content, but it’d often be a “Trocken,” which means it’s a lot drier than most German Rieslings. 

Besides this fact, it’s usually not considered a strong wine due to the sweetness and the lower alcohol content. This may come in favor if you don’t want the strong taste of alcohol.

If you are looking for a stronger wine to enjoy, you may want to consider other wines, as they have more alcohol content than Riesling does. 


Which brand of Riesling has the least & the most alcohol?

Now that you know how much alcohol content is usually in Rieslings, we can talk about the brands that have the most and least.  


Low alcohol Riesling Brands


  • Kick On Ranch Dessert Riesling by Ojai (8% ABV)
  • Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Kabinett 2017 (9%)
  • Dr Thanisch Ben Badstube Riesling Kabinett (8.5% ABV)


Most alcohol content Riesling Brands


  • Riesling Smaragd Achleiten by Domäne Wachau (13% ABV)
  • Hermann J. Wiemer Dry Riesling Reserve 2018 (12.7% ABV)
  • Palmaz Louise Riesling, 2017 (13.2%)
  • Prager Achleiten Riesling Smaragd 2017 (14% ABV)


As you see, there are various brands that make Rieslings with different alcohol content. There are, of course, many other brands from other countries that make Riesling. 

However, as you see, it’s primarily Germany and Austria, one of the world’s largest producers of Riesling.


How Strong Is Riesling Compared To Other Types Of Wine?

Compared to other types of wines, Riesling is just as strong as most wines out there. This is because there are drier versions that are made. Let’s take a look at some comparisons.


Riesling vs. Sauvignon Blanc

As you know, Riesling can be strong, as high as 14%, depending on the winemaker. Sauvignon Blanc is usually 12.5-14.5% ABV. With that said, both of these wines can be very strong. 

However, Savourgin Blanc is usually drier and almost always has more alcohol content than Riesling.


Riesling vs Champagne

Since both wines are carbonated, you would expect that they have the same alcohol percentage. Usually, champagne is not as sweet as Riesling, so the average percentage is 12%. 


Riesling vs. Moscato

Moscato is a sweet wine that is enjoyed by many. Comparing it to Riesling’s alcohol content, it typically has 5-7% ABV. So for a change, Riesling is stronger than Moscato. Both of these wines can be enjoyed as dessert wines.


Riesling vs. Shiraz

Shiraz is a full-bodied red wine that’s enjoyed by many. It also has a higher (and one of the highest alcohol content wines in the world), averaging 14.5-15.5% ABV. It’s a lot drier than the Riesling and clearly stronger.

There are many wine varieties that have different alcohol content that can compete with Riesling. But you’ll be happy to know that Riesling is a happy medium when it comes to alcohol percentage. It’s not too much or too little.

Final Thoughts on Riesling’s Alcohol Content

Riesling is a wine that’s enjoyed by many. It has the flavors of apple, apricot, peach, and pear. The alcohol content in Riesling helps enhance those flavors, making it an enjoyable wine to drink. 

Next time you go shopping for Riesling, you’ll want to look at the alcohol content on the bottles. It is usually on the bottom of the bottle so that you can get an idea of what the content is. 

We hope that this guide gives you an idea of what the alcohol percentage is in Riesling and how it stands up to the other wines.