German Wine: White Hot Whites, Funky Reds

Germany is famous for it's super high acidity whites, which run the gamut from bone dry to sticky sweet. However, it also boasts a few resepectable reds, and it's own contribution to the sparkling family: the stellar Sekt.

Grapes of note:

  • Riesling: and Riesling and Riesling. Just kidding! Although Riesling from this region is
    Mosel Vineyards

    "If that doesn't give you vertigo,
    nothing will"
     truly extraordinary. There are a number of other awesome, and often undersung varieties.
  • Pinot Gris (aka Grauburgunder)
  • Pinot Blanc (Aka Weissburgunder)
  • Pinot Noir (AKA Spatburgunder) Yes, it's real and its spectacular: lean, fresh, bright and vibrant!
Do you really need to know the local synonyms? No, but they are good for pub trivia and man are they fun to say!


    • The Mosel, arguably Germany's finest wine producing region, is technically too cold to produce wine. It sits just north of 50° latitude. How do they do it? Sheer ingenuity and sunshine! The vineyards are strategically designed and situated in order to maximize every scrap of sunlight.
      • Vineyards are planted on super steep terraces which allow for each plant to receive all the sun it needs without blocking access for its brethren.
      • Additionally the best vineyard sites overlook the Mosel river. Not only does the fabulous view make for happy grapes, it also reflects daylight, doubling the sunshine factor.
German Ripeness Chart
  • Although Riesling is often thought of as sweet, there are in fact several different levels of ripeness in the finest German Or QmP wines. Within that heirarchy there are also differing levels of residual sugar: wines can either be classified as Trocken (dry) or halbtrocken (half-dry or off-dry).
    • Kabinett  Light, fresh and bone dry.
    • Spatlese(late harvest):  Slightly fuller and generally dry but occasionally veering into off-dry territory.
    • Auslese (selected harvest): These wines can be dry, but in general tend to off-dry bordering on sweet.
    • Berenauslese (selected berry harvest): Hello dessert wine! This is where these wines start becoming a mouthful in every sense of the world, unctuous, ripe and definitely sweet. 
    • Trockenberenauslese (select dry berry harvest): even more so!
    • Eiswein: Just like it sounds: ice wine. Vintners wait until the grapes are frozen on the vine in order to pick. The grapes flavors and sugars are concentrated, and the result is expressive intensely sweet wine with that tell tale fresh acidity to balance out the final product.