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An Insight to German Sekt Posted by on Sep 29, 2020 in Culture, History

Continuing on from my wine theme, today we are going to look at Sekt (sparkling wine). You can find my other posts about wine here and here.

 

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:

Pinot Blanc

Riesling

Pinot Gris

Pinot Noir

 

Winzersekt

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.

 

Perlwein

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,

Larissa

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About the Author: Larissa

Hello I'm Larissa. I live in Germany and I am half German and half English. I love sharing my passion for Germany with you through my posts! Apart from writing posts I teach fitness classes in Munich.


Comments:

  1. Allan Mahnke:

    Great post!
    The Devrient quote reminded me that there might be an interesting blog post on the Schlegel – Tieck Shakespeare translations and their influence on 19th century German culture. Those translations are really, really good. An interesting short blog might be made from. the relationships of the Schlegel, Tieck & Mendelssohn families. Or…maybe not.

    • Larissa:

      @Allan Mahnke Thanks Allan! I’m so glad you enjoyed my post, thank you for the suggestion – I will definitely look into it.

      Hope you have a lovely rest of the week,
      Larissa


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