Riesling: It's more complex than you think.

Riesling: It's more complex than you think.

More likely than not, you've had a glass of wine made from the German grape. Perhaps you tried it in your early wine-drinking days and find it too sweet now. It's more something your mom would like, right?

Not so fast. The world of rieslings is complicated. Germany even has laws dictating how rieslings must be categorized based on their sweetness and other qualities. Many American producers have adopted labeling systems for the various types of rieslings, said Dennis Domini, wine department manager at The Andersons in Pickerington.

Here are three different takes on the white wine. Serve all of them chilled, and pair them with light salads, mild cheeses, fruit or plain wine crackers. -Brittany Kress

Graflich von Ho h enthal'scher kabinett Riesling (2008)

The least sweet of the three, it's medium-bodied with a crisp minerality. "They let the grapes hang on the vine longer (than the wines made from the first-round pick of grapes), and they pick up more residual sugar because of water and sunlight," Domini explained.

Region: Mosel, Germany

Cost: $14

Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spa tlese (2009)

Bright and even a bit tart, with strong apricot, pear and other fruit flavors. "In our store, people seem to be into the spatlese (a category of riesling) - 'I don't know if I want it too sweet, not so dry,'" Domini said. "It's kind of like the safe, mid-road sweetness."

Region: Mosel, Germany

Cost: $23

Washington Hills Late Harvest Riesling (2010)

Complex and sweet, with a taste reminiscent of honey, apricots and peaches. "[Washington Hills has] a regular riesling and this," Domini explained. "They let the grapes hang on the vine a little bit longer, and it's called a 'late harvest.'"

Region: Walla Walla, Washington

Cost: $11