It is well-known that Germans advocate craftsmanship, and products from Germany undoubtedly represent the world's top standards. German wine is no exception. Germany has high latitudes with a generally cold climate, which makes it relatively diffi cult for grape growth. Therefore, only in very good conditions can fi ne wine be produced. But it is exactly because of this environment that Germany is able to brew white wines such as Riesling, which are delicate and acid-rich with low alcohol content and a balanced sour-sweet taste. Wines from the north and the south of Germany differ greatly in style. Wines from the north are more refreshing and dry, while those from the south are mellower. According to a report issued by the German Wine Association (DWI), global exports of German wine grew by 7% last year compared with the previous year, while exports to China rose by 37%.
As an important part of the German wine culture, sparkling wine is also popular with the public. Data show that Germany is the world's largest consumer of sparkling wine with per-capita consumption of 5 liters, and 80% of its total output is consumed domestically. Germans have a deep “bubble” complex. They drink water with bubbles every day. In Germany, sparkling wine is a usual aperitif before meals. Sparkling wine is also a good addition to all kinds of celebrations. During the revelry, pure German-fl avored sparkling wine will bring out more fun.
German sparkling wine is called "Sekt", and like French champagne, Sekt is also a proper noun. Sekt requires no less than 10% of alcohol strength and a minimum of 2.5 barometric pressures of carbon dioxide. Some Sekt sparkling wines with excellent quality are brewed by the method of secondary fermentation in wine bottles, but most of them have secondary fermentation in wine barrels, which are moderate-bodied and taste dry, with floral and fruity aroma. There are many kinds of wine grapes that can be used for making Sekt, such as Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay.
According to the residual sugar content, Sekt can be divided into seven categories: Naturherb, Extra Herb, Herb, Extra Trocken, Trocken, Halbtrocken and Mild. According to the order of quality from low to high, German sparkling wines can be divided into the following four grades:
The base liquor for Sekt can come from any country within the European Union. Large producers in Germany may import grapes, grape juice or wine from European Union countries to produce Sekt. German sparkling wines of this grade do not enjoy PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), but can be labeled with information like "Sekt of France" or "Wine from Multiple Countries of the European Union". Like Prosecco, most ordinary Sekt is brewed by the“Tank Method”, which is for domestic consumers only.
German Sekt/Deutscher Sekt
German Sekt is a basic German sparkling wine and it is usually sweet. The grapes used for making German Sekt can only come from Germany. This sparkling wine does not enjoy PDO, but it can be labeled with the country of origin. Most of the German Sekt is produced by fermentation in tanks. German Sekt can be considered as a sparkling version of Liebfraumilch.
German Sekt b.A./Sekt Bestimmter Anbaugebiete
The grapes for making German Sekt b.A. are produced in one of the 13 high-quality regions in Germany, including Rheingau, Mosel and Pfalz. Only when more than 85% of the base liquor comes from the same year, the same producing area or the same variety, can the wine be labeled as German Sekt b.A. Some German Sekt b.A. follows the champagne-brewing way, adding a certain proportion of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and using the “Traditional Method”.
Winzersekt is the highest-quality German sparkling wine. It can only be brewed by the traditional method. Its base wine must be made of grapes of a single variety grown by a single producer. The most commonly used grape variety is Riesling. Of course, some of Winzersekt is made of Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Noir. Winzersekt must be labeled with information about grape varieties, vintages and producers.
This article is from Food2China.