Today's topic: Deciphering German wines (in particular Riesling which is the majority of wines produced in Germany)
German wines in general can be broken down into 2 categories
- QbA (Qualitatswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete) - basic everyday, inexpensive, quaffing wines.
- Qmp ( Qualitatswein mit Pradikat) - quality German wine with specific traits and the highest class of German wines.
- If a wine is designated as QmP it is then designated more specifically on the ripeness of the grape at harvest. The following is a list of those categories
- Kabinett - grapes picked during normal harvest time, typically light bodied and low in alcohol
- Spatlese - this word literally translates to late harvest, fully ripe grapes with greater intensity and strength. Spatlesen wines may be dry or have a hint of sweetness.
- Auslese - very ripe grapes harvested in select bunches, more rich and intense than Spatlese and exude a lush sweetness
- Beerenaulese - berry selected - very rare and expensive wines made from individually selected grapes. These wines exhibit "Deep honeyed richness".
- Trokenbeerenaulese - these are the richest sweetest and most expensive wines in all of Germany and are usually made from single selected grapes that have been affected by botrytis.
- Trocken - completely dry wine
- Halbtrocken - from dry up to 1.8% residual sugar
Stay tuned for more wine education series. If there is something you would like to learn about in particular, please shoot me an email.