Saturday, October 15, 2022

When Annette and Christian Schiller invite to a Riesling Party in Washington DC, USA, and every Guest has to bring a Bottle of Wine, what do People bring?

After a 2-year interruption, Annette Schiller and Christian Schiller, with Ombiasy Public Relations and Wine Tours, invited again for their traditional August Riesling Party. This is a casual wine tasting and socializing event taking place inside well as outside on our decks. Each guest has to bring a bottle of Riesling/ German wine. Annette prepares typical German food to enjoy with the wines. 


Invitation: Annual Riesling Party 2022 at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA

2022 Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in McLean, Virginia, USA

Pictures: Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2019)


Worldwide, there are about 34.000 hectares planted with Riesling. Germany – with 22.400 hectares – accounts for 2/3 of the total. The second largest Riesling producer is Australia, with 4500 hectares. But this is only about 1/10 of the total. Alsace follows with 3500 hectares. Austria, the US with Washington State and New York State as well as New Zealand make up the remainder. But overall, Riesling is really a niche wine, accounting for only less than 1 percent of total wine production in the world - but a very special niche wine.

Dry and Sweet Riesling

Many wine drinkers, in particular outside of Europe, when they see a Riesling in the shelves, have the association of a sweet-style wine. This is however misguided. Rieslings as a rule are dry wines. Of course, there are the famous sugar sweet Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, Eiswein and Schilfwein wines from Austria and Germany, the Sélection de Grains Nobles from France, the icewines from Canada and other Rieslings, made from botrytized, dried or frozen grapes.

The grapes that go into these wines have such a high sugar content that there is nothing you can do to make dry wines out of these grapes. They inevitably produce nobly sweet wines. But apart from these specialty wine, which account for only a tiny share of total production, Riesling grapes in Germany, Austria, Alsace, the US and Australia have normal sugar content at the time of fermentation and tend to produce dry wines, when fully fermented.

However, modern cellar methods allow winemakers in Germany (and elsewhere) to produce wines with a bit of residual sugar with these grapes. These are exceptional wines, essentially made by not letting the fermentation going its full course so that natural sugar remains in the wine. Alternatively, German winemakers are allowed to add sweet-reserve (sterilized grape juice) to increase the sweetness level in the wine, but today, this is mostly done, if at all, for fine tuning the residual sweetness. These fruity-sweet wines are the wines that are so popular among the fans of German wine in the world. These sweet-style wines have lost popularity in Germany, although there appears to be a comeback, but in any case remain very popular outside of Germany, for example in the US.

Schiller's Riesling Party 2022: 80 Bottles of Wine

This year, 80 Riesling/ German wine lovers followed the call and showed up with a bottle of wine, mostly, but not exclusively, Riesling, ranging from the popular entry level Loosen Brothers Dr. L to a number of quite spectacular wines, including a 50 years old Dom Perignon Champagne, which Donna Christenson brought. The center of the party was our lower deck, where I arranged the wines according to their sweetness level. 

Interestingly, not a single guest brought a GG (Grosses Gewächs), the new ultra-premium dry wine category in Germany.

While there were about 50% dry and 50% sweeter-style wines, most of the dry wines were accounted for by Alsace, Austria and the Finger Lakes region, while all sweet-style wines were accounted for by Germany. This is in stark contrast to what you would experience for example in a restaurant in Frankfurt, where the list for German wines, except for noble-sweet wines, is essentially accounted for by dry wines. 

Finger Lakes: 13 Bottles

The Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York was quite well represented. 13 guests had decided to bring a bottle from this region. Most of the wines were dry.

Austria: 10 Bottles

Austria was also very well repressented with 10 bottles, all dry, including some premium single vineyard wines. 

One of the main importers of German wine, Terry Thiese, used to tell his clients: if you like dry Riesling, go to my Austria portfolio, if you like sweet Rieling, go to my German portfolio. For several decades, he was very influential in German wines in the USA, in particular on the East Coast, and he still is, although his German wine portfolio is now exclusively with Skurnik wines. 

Today, many wine drinkers in the USA associate German wines with residual sweetness and those who like dry Rieslings stay away from German wines and instead go for Austrian (or Alsatian, see below) Rieslings.

Alsace: 5 Bottles

5 guests brought a wine from Alsace, including some premium single vineyard wines.

Washington State - Moldova - Canada: 3 Bottles

We had one Riesling from Washington State, one from Moldova and one from Canada.

Non-Riesling: 9 Bottles

Some guests brough non-Riesling wines, including a 50 years old Dom Perignon Champagne, which Donna Christenson brought.

Germany - Entry-level: 3 Bottles

The German entry-level wines (Blue Nun level) included a wine from Rheinhessen in a bottle with a window through which you could see the Neuschwanstein Castle.

Germany - Entry-level: 10 Bottles

Other German entry-level wines were from producers with a good reputation, like the Dr. L of Weingut Dr. Loosen.

Gutswein Trocken: 5 Bottles

5 guests brought a German Riesling at the Gutswein level.

Kabinett: 13 Bottles

The most popular category were German Kabinett level wines from the Mosel, including from Weingut JJ Prüm, Weingut Dr. Loosen, Weingut, Weingut Forstmeister-Geltz Zilliken, Weingut Maximin Grünhaus - Weingut der Familie von Schubert and Weingut Willi Haag.

Spätlese + Auslese: 6 Bottles

There were 6 Spätlese and Auslese wines, all from winemakers with a good reputation and all from the Mosel.

Noble-sweet German - Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein: 3 Bottles


Dear wine friends,

Good news! Many of you enquired about our yearly Riesling Party, which we have been unable to hold for the past two years due to the pandemic. 

It is with great pleasure that we invite you to this year’s Riesling Party at our home in McLean, VA.

Covid has not disappeared but we all have been vaccinated, or had Covid, and the current strain is much less harmful than the first strains. Besides: the event is outside!
We expect you to be vaccinated and boosted and free of any symptoms.

Please join us for the Riesling Party on August 28th at 5 PM at 6404 Woodsong Court, McLean. 

Entrance fee: 1 bottle of Riesling (another grape variety is fine too should you prefer to bring another wine) per person.

You won’t go hungry: I will prepare typical German food.

Christian and I are very much looking forward to sharing some great wines with our wine friends whom we have not seen for a long time!
Please RSVP at or


Annette & Christian

Wine Tours - Wine Events - Wine Education
Annette Schiller, Diplom-Volkswirt
Washington DC - Frankfurt am Main
USA: +1 703 459 7513
GER: +49 -177 337 0281

Previous Riesling Parties at the Schiller Residence in McLean, Virginia

This was our seventh annual Riesling Party in McLean, Virginia:

Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2019)
Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2017)
Annette and Christian Schiller’s Summer of Riesling 2016 in McLean, Virginia, with German Star Winemaker Christian L. Stahl, German Wine Journalist Joachim A.J. Kaiser and Virginia Star Winemaker Chris Pearmund
Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2015)
Riesling Summer at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2014)
Summer of Riesling with Annette and Christian Schiller in Washington DC, USA (2013)


No Riesling Party (Covid)


No Riesling Party (Covid)


Pictures: Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2019)


No Annual Riesling Party


Pictures: Annual Riesling Party 2017


Pictures: German Star Winemaker Christian L. Stahl, German Wine Journalist Joachim A.J. Kaiser and Virginia Star Winemaker Chris Pearmund


Pictures: Denman Zirkle, Owner of Weingut Richard Böcking, Mosel and Annette Schiller


Picture: Annette Schiller, German Wine Princess Sabine Wagner and Christian Schiller


Pictures: Annette Schiller and Austrian Wine Importer Klaus Wittauer, with his Rieslings from Weingut Anton Bauer and Weingut Tegernseehof.

schiller-wine: Related Postings 

Announcement: Ombiasy WineTours in 2022 Summer and Fall  

Announcement: 3 Ombiasy Wine Tours in 2022 - Rhône Valley Tour: June 20 - June 29, Germany South - Alsace: July 01 - July 10, Bordeaux: September 20 - September 29  

Upcoming: Total Immersion in Bordeaux: World Class Wines and Exquisite French Gourmet Cuisine - Bordeaux Tour 2022 by ombiasy WineTours, France - One Room Available (Single/ Double)  

One Room Available - Forthcoming Germany-South and Alsace Tour by ombiasy WineTours, July 01 - July 10, 2022

One Room Available - Rhône Valley Tour 2022 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Culture and History, France, June 20 - June 29, 2022 

Christian Schiller`s SCHILLER-WINE Blog on Corking Wines` Top 101 Wine Writers of 2020 List

German Wine Society Capital Chapter Membership Meeting 2022: Carl Willner Re-elected President and Christian Schiller Re-elected Vice-president, USA/ Germany Washington DC Downtown, USA/ Germany

Christian Stahl, Winzerhof Stahl, Franken, Germany back in the USA - Winemaker Dinner at the Schiller Residence in McLean, Northern Virginia

The Wines of Germany: Presentation by Annette Schiller at the German Embassy in Washington DC/ Consular Conference December 2021

All Sorts of Sparklers: How do the Bubbles get into that Bottle - Presentation by Annette Schiller, ombiasy WineTours, at the 2021 American Wine Society National Conference in Atlantic City


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