Germany has always been prominent and esteemed for its superb white wines, which is low in alcohol content, leans towards the sweet side, yet extremely high in quality. But, over the years, wine enthusiasts and lovers are likely to favor drier wines.
For this reason, the German market has expanded to gratify and indulge all tastes with different white wines, like grauburgunder, gewurztraminer, pinot blanc, and of course, rieslings. In this post, we’ll walk you through some of the essential things you need to know about German wine.
So, take a read!
A Wide Variety of Rieslings
For sure, you already know that not all riesling wine is sweet. As a matter of fact, in Germany, a massive 69.2% of the entire 2018 wine production was semi-dry and dry wines. However, riesling wine arrives in almost any form or structure you want in Germany, from intensely sweet, trockenbeerenauslese, concentrated, up to vibrant wine.
If you only think of German riesling as a single entity, it will block you from perceiving the entire picture. Typically, German wine labels provide you almost all the information about the wine, the vineyard, region, and grape.
So, if you’re looking for an extremely dry riesling wine, then search for the word trocken because it denotes a dry wine, with at least nine grams of residual sugar (RS) per liter. On the other hand, the word halbtrocken signifies a semi-dry wine.
Moreover, you might also see words like eiswein, trockenbeerenauslese, beerenauslese, auslese, spätlese, and kabinett. These words denote the ripeness or maturity of the grapes when harvested.
Kabinett being the fully ripened wine and eiswein being the most concentrated wine. With regards to wines labeled auslese, spätlese, and kabinett, take note that while they may hardly contain any sugar, they can be very balanced with acidity.
German Wine is Focused on Innovation
German wine is ever-evolving, utilizing the lessons of the previous years to build a better future. Brand-new press technology is rising. It copies the results or outturns of traditional basket presses.
Also, many innovative producers choose to make their vineyards to biodynamic and organic viticultural practices. In the wine cellar, a lot of German winemakers work together with the greatest Burgundian casks and barrel makers for the best expressions of Pinot Noir.
New wine producers are working hand-in-hand to better access marketing resources and winemaking resources. The modern innovation and lessons of history come together here.
Sparkling Wines are Getting Popular
Sekt is the German word for sparkling, and almost all of your desired German wine grapes are produced into sparkling wines, with at least 30% of high-quality German sparkling wine made from Pinot varieties and 50% from riesling. There are about a thousand sparkling wine producers in Germany. Also, Germans consume more sekt than any other place.
Germany’s Red Wines are Very Versatile
Do you like Pinot Noir? If so, then you’ll love the high-acid, vibrant German red wines. About one-third of the vineyards in Germany are planted with red grape varieties. Plus, Germany is the third most prominent Pinot Noir producer in the whole world.
What’s more, Germany is best known for its refreshing acidity and unique spice, thus, making it vastly pairable. If you want light-bodied red wines, then opt for Trollinger. It is perfect with charcuterie and cheese.
On the other hand, if you like tannic, velvety red wines, then the Rheinhessen or Pflaz is best for you. Its fresh aromas of berries and floral characters make it perfect with meaty or sausage pizza.
Best German Wines
The following are some of the best German wines you need to look out for:
- 2016 Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer. This German wine is less flamboyant and much drier compared to France’s gewurztraminer. The Villa Wolf Gewurztraminer 2016 is filled with full fruit flavors that can be paired with strong cheeses or spicy foods.
- 2016 Hans Baer Pinot Noir . In Germany, Pinot Noir is one of the most-grown grape variety. And this wine specifically has pleasing tannins and soft dark fruit flavors at an affordable price.
- 2017 German Pinot Blanc. This wine is made from Pinot Blanc that has plenty of orchard flavors and green fruit, plus a minerality that suits the blend, instead of overpowering it. Pair it with salads or cheese.
The wine culture of Germany is undoubtedly booming and attracting more interest, supported by the premium, quality wine it makes. Although riesling wines are Germany’s widely planted and most heralded grape, the nation also boasts many different white wines, for example, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Silvaner.
Other than these white wines, Germany also produces quality red wines, normally made from Pinot Noir, Dornfelder, and Portugieser. Moreover, although German wines might use the most complex and intricate labeling system, buying it should not be a stressful experience.
Keep in mind that the most vital pieces of information you need to know on a German wine label are the vineyard, the grape variety’s origin, the name of the grower, and whether the wine is sweet or dry.