"Riesling" -- just saying it makes a lot of wine drinkers cringe, even people who think of themselves as serious wine drinkers.
I'm willing to bet the reason is that the only Riesling they've tasted is the overly sweet, bland variety of Riesling that tends to be produced by some California vintners. Some of the German Rieslings (at least those shipped to the U.S.) also tend to be of the Kool-Aid variety.
But I had a glass of Riesling with lunch today at Cafe 15 in downtown Washington that was so amazing. It was a French Riesling from Alsace, and the bouquet and flavor were superb.
So don't be afraid of Riesling -- at least not of all Riesling. Most of those produced in the French region of Alsace are marvelous. Trimbach and Hugel are a couple of vintners that you can't go wrong with. By the way, the villages where those vintners are located (Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr, respectively) are also cute places to visit if you happen to be traveling through that part of France.