An Insight to German Sekt Posted by Larissa on Sep 29, 2020 in Culture, History
Why is it called Sekt?
The word Sekt comes from a Shakespearean actor Ludwig Devrient in 1825, who asked his barkeeper “Bring mir Sekt, Schurke!” translating to “bring me a cup of sack, scoundrel!”. The waiter brought him sparkling wine (his usual order) and the name “Sekt” caught on.
What is Sekt?
Sekt is sparkling wine that was seen for a long time as a cheaper alternative to champagne. It is usually made using the tank method (see below,) and has a minimum of 10% alcohol. Since the grape sugar is fermented into alcohol, the higher the alcohol content, the drier the wine. Many of the grapes used for wine in Germany tend to be higher in natural sugar. To keep Sekt from becoming too dry, vintners let the wine first fully ferment and then add to the dry and fully fermented wine some sterilized grape juice (called in German Süßreserve.)
Injecting CO2 into the wine instead of using the tank method means that it is technically not Sekt but Schaumwein (literally translates to “foam wine”), which is cheaper and faster to produce.
How is it produced?
There are a few ways to make sparkling wine, here are the most common:
Traditionelle Flaschengärung (the traditional method) – bottle fermentation, much like Champagne.
Tankgärung (the tank method) – the quickest way using a large tank to produce large quantities of sparkling wine.
Transvasierverfahren (the transfer method) – similar to the traditional method, but after the bottles are fermented for the second time they are transferred into a larger tank to be filtered.
Classifications of Sekt
Deutscher Sekt b.A.
This is quality sparkling wine where the grapes are sourced from a specific region, which is shown on the label. These wines are quality controlled and also have an A.P Nr. (you can find out what that is here link*). They usually vary from the following grape varieties:
This is a high quality sparkling wine that has certain specifications. This sparkling wine must be made using the traditional method. The type of grape, who produced it and the vintage must be on the label.
This sparkling is produced using a specific amount of pressure. CO2 may also be added to it by fermentation or injected. As this wine isn’t regulated, the quality can differ. If the grapes are from one German region is it also allowed to be named Qualitätsperlwein b.A.
Do you like the taste of Sekt? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,