I have been feeling slightly embarrassed following my first reisling post as I stated that it all began in the Rhine valley of Germany then promptly I began to recommended wines from anywhere but that region.
If you still associate German wines with the sweet bland stuff from 20 years ago then now is the time to experiment a little. Berry Brothers & Rudd have given the 2009 vintage a 10/10 rating, the best for some time. If you are after a dead cert, wines from Dr Ersnt Loosen are always reliable.
German wine labels are notoriously difficult to decipher but keep an eye out for these words.
Kabinett – This is the Riesling classification that is made from the grapes that are the least ripe, producing the lightest style of Riesling wine. They tend to have lower alcohol levels (in the 8-10% range) and are made in a drier style.
Spätlese – Refers to the Riesling grapes that are picked late during the harvest season. This Riesling typically has a medium-body and ups the flavour intensity, due to its extra days of sunshine. This Riesling classification can be made in either a dry or sweet style.
Auslese – Translated as “out picked” designating ripe grapes picked out from a specific cluster of berries. This Riesling can also be crafted into either a dry or a sweet version. This is the first Riesling range that may exhibit true desert wine status. However, many Auslese wines are made in the dry style and make for an elegant pairing partner for heartier fare.
Beerenauslese This Riesling is made into the luxurious dessert wines that are sought out for their compatibility with a dessert and even foie gras.
If you prefer dry wines look for Trocken on the label
We enjoyed the opportunity to taste many varieties at the “Hot Summer Nights” festival in Baden Baden which is held in the first weekend of July each year.
Baden Baden seems to be famous in this country for being the place that the WAGS stayed during the 2006 World Cup in Germany but it is a very attractive and prosperous town, great for walking and cycling.
The weekend consists of an outdoor classical concert on the saturday night and something a bit more rock and pop on the sunday. Lots of beer, wine and great BBQ food
Just make sure you don’t sample as many reislings as this Herr