German wine is rather distinct when compared to other European wines and this distinctiveness ranges from the wine making methods used to produce such wine, the grapes involved, the shape of wine bottles and a whole lot more.
Wines from this country vary in terms of quality. There are a lot of wines, cheap wines produced and sold with German origins and also a number of exquisite wines from Germany which are popular internationally.
Knowing a bit about the background of wine always helps when making a purchase so the potential buyer can avoid the less desirable wine products and get the sort that enforces the right idea about what Germany has to offer in terms of wine.
While a lot of wine producing countries tend to have red wine as the most dominantly produced wine within their borders, in Germany white wine is produced in greater quantities than red wine.
German wine tastes more distinct than its other European counterparts due to the nature of the German climate and the conditions in most of the regions where such wine is produced. The popularity of white wine in Germany is mostly due to the difficulty encountered with the growing of red wine grapes within the country.
About 140 wine grapes are grown in Germany and less than 40 are used for red wine. The rest are mostly used for white wine production of which the Riesling and Müller-Thurgau are the most famous and widely used white wine grape varieties.
When it comes to red wine, the French Pinot Noir grape is locally grown as the Spätburgunder and produces the wine of the same name. In terms of red wine production, it is followed in volume by the Dornfelder wine grape.
German wine categorization can be confusing to a newcomer to the world of wines. There are primarily four categorizations of wine according to quality but the fourth category is divided into another five subcategories.
Four Main Categories are:
- Deutscher Tafelwein
- Deutscher Landwein
- Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete
The first category, Deutscher Tafelwein is wine that is of table wine quality while the second,Deutscher Landwein is a bit better but below the level of quality wines.
Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete, the third category, which is often abbreviated as QbA is the first category of quality wines.
Prädikatswein is the fourth category reserved for German wine of quality and can be further divided into the following five categories:
- Kabinett which is usually semi-sweet or dry wine
- Spätlese is usually sweeter than Kabinett and can also be semi-sweet or dry
- Auslese is usually wine which is semi-sweet or dry and has been made from extremely ripe grapes some may be noble rot grapes
- Beerenauslese which is dessert wine usually made from noble rot grapes
- Eiswein is known in English as ice wine and is made from grapes which freeze naturally due to weather conditions
- Trockenbeerenauslese, which to the non-native can be broken down into English understanding by translating the German words trocken (dry), beeren (berries or grapes), and auslese (selected). This wine is made from noble rot grapes and is very sweet, it is also one of the more expensive German wines a person can buy.
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