German Wines – A Closer Look Posted by Larissa on Jul 28, 2020 in Culture, vocabulary
Continuing on from my last blog post (An Introduction to German Wines), we will expand upon this topic and talk about the qualities and classifications of wine in Germany.
Since 1971 there are four classifications for German wine:
Deutscher Wein German wine
Landwein regional wine
Qualitätswein (QbA) quality wine
Prädikatswein predicate wine
These are determined through the level of sugar and ripeness when harvested.
The first two (Deutscher Wein and Landwein) belong to the category of simple table wine. The last two (Qualitätswein and Prädikatswein) belong to the category of quality wine. Interestingly enough, German wine labels are more informative than other countries regarding quality levels.
As you may have guessed from the name, the grapes have to be produced in Germany. The grapes are usually ripe or just a tiny bit under ripe. This wine doesn’t have to be tested, isn’t often exported, and is enjoyed almost entirely by locals.
This wine is more superior than the Deutscher Wein, you will find it trocken or halb trocken (dry or half dry). The wine must come from one of the 13 wine regions in Germany (some of these regions you can find in my previous post here).
These wines have to be tested and adhere to the regional wine laws. They also have to have an AP number (AP stands for Amtliche Prüfungsnummer – official testing number), which is printed on the label and contains information about the region and producer of the wine. The tests make sure that the grapes are all from the same German region and that they have the right quality. They are also often chaptalized (adding sugar to the unfermented wine to increase the alcohol percentage).
These wines are quality wines with certain specifications. They are not allowed to be chaptalized and range from trocken to süß (dry to sweet). There are six types of Prädikatswein:
Spätlese late harvest
Auslese select picking
Trockenbeerenauslese select picking of dry berries
Beerenauslese select picking of berries
Eiswein ice wine (made from frozen grapes)
Do you buy imported German wine? If so, have a look at your label and let me know if you can find out where your wine was produced and what classification it has!
Thank you for reading,
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