Ravines Dry Riesling from the Finger Lakes area of New York is the wine that will prove the benefits of riesling to the unbeliever. We often do not think of New York as a wine producer but it is number 3 among U.S. states.
This riesling is dry, which is not exactly the norm for the varietal, but it also isn't all that unusual. Riesling is an acidic grape whose acidity is often masked by sweetness. In a dry riesling the sugar is gone and the acid is more apparent. It is a wine that experts often recommend for Thanksgiving dinners in the USA (it pairs well with turkey). When you walk into a grocery store and ask for dry riesling you are likely to be met with a) a blank stare b) be brought to the sweet rieslings or c) be told your best bet is a chenin blanc.
I've done "c" myself.
Sure the average grocery store purchase of a riesling can be cloyingly sweet. Sweet is not a bad, never say "I do not like SWEET wine" as if that makes you a connoisseur; it just makes you sound ill-informed. You are allowed to not like sweet but there are a lot of great sweet wines. A better way you can put it is to say that sweet wines are not to your taste.
Riesling is the main grape planted in Germany. It thrives in colder climates and it is often planted in northern areas: Germany, Upstate New York and Michigan. The grape also grows in more temperate areas but they seem to wind up planted more in northerly climates.
The grape found a home in the Finger Lakes area in the 1950s, in part due to Dr. Konstantin Frank, who started a winery of his own. The area produces some wonderful wines and Ravines is among them.
One of the interesting things about riesling is that it is a white that benefits from aging--sometimes for as long as a decade. It is often sweet and it frequently complex. The first time I had Ravines Dry Riesling I thought that maybe it would benefit from some age (keep in mind this aging VERY rarely happens in oak, although some wine makers are experimenting).
If you are looking to find a way to expand the wines you drink? Even as dry wine drinkers? Try some rieslings. More on Finger Lakes soon (and Michigan!)