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Know the German Wine Facts & Terms

s8German wine labels can be intimidating: long international words as well as ornate gothic script are enough to make several consumers head for a different section of the wine shop. But once you understand how German wine terms function, you will see that German wine labels are amongst one of the most descriptive out there.

Like any wine tag, you’ll find the name of the producer, the vintage, the region, and sometimes the name of the grape on a German wine label, it is just a matter of knowing what to look for.

German Wine Terms

These ripeness levels will be indicated on the label as adheres to:

  • Kabinett

    The the very least ripe of the prädikat levels, and typically the lightest of a grower’s offerings. With their low liquor levels and touch of sweet taste, these wines make ideal picnic quaffs and mouth-watering apéritifs. Frequently consumed in their youth, they can last for ten years or more.

  • Spatlese

    Literally, “late picked.” These grapes are generally only late-picked with respect to those grapes that go into Kabinett. If verified completely dry (an increasingly well-liked design), they could still seem much less than optimally ripe. Traditionally made, with some residual sweets left in, they are very food pleasant. Attempt them with anything from Oriental food to baked pork and roast fowl. Most ought to be consumed just before age twenty.

  • Auslese

    Made from choose lots of grapes left on the creeping plant till they accomplish high sweets readings, these wines often carry a hint or more of botrytis. While some are sweet enough to serve with straightforward fruit desserts, others are most ideal drunk alone. With age, a few of the sugar seems to melt away, producing wines that can competently companion with roast pork or goose. Thirty-year-old auslesen can smell heavenly, but sometimes fail on the taste buds. Appreciate them on launch for their luscious wonderful fruit, or cellar for 10 to twenty years.

  • Beerenauslese

    “Berry pick” wines are collected berry by berry, taking only botrytis-affected fruit. While auslesen are typically sweet, this level of perfection elevates the wine to the dessert-only category. Hold up to fifty years.

  • Trocken beerenauslese

    These “dried berry select” wines are made from individually collected, wrinkled grapes that have been heavily affected by botrytis. Profoundly wonderful and honeyed, their over-the-top viscosity and sweet taste can switch off some tasters, while others revel in the complex aromas and flavors.

  • Eiswein

    Made from frozen grapes that are at least equal in sugar levels to beerenauslese, but which produce wines with much racier levels of acidity. The intense sugars as well as acids enable these wines to conveniently endure for decades.

In addition to the ripeness levels denoted by the German wine term QmP system, you can expect to see the terms trocken and halbtrocken on some labels (their use is optional). Trocken, or dry, may be used on wines with fewer compared to 9g/L residual sugar (less compared to 0.9 percent); halbtrocken (half-dry) refers to wines with in between 9 and also 18g/L. Provided the allowed arrays, these wines might be truly dry or verging on sweet, depending on acid-sugar balance.
In an effort to streamline German wine information, a few relatively brand-new terms have turned up that supplement, switch out, or partially switch out the standard labeling system. Erstes Gewachs wines, or “very first developments,” come only from designated sites in the Rheingau.
Timeless wines must be “harmoniously dry” and must omit references to specific villages or vineyards. Selection wines bear a single-vineyard designation on the label and should be dry. Like anything in the wine world, the German wine dictionary is ever-evolving.


German Wine Regions

Most of the classic German wine regions are closely identified with river valleys, the inclines of which offer the proper presentation for ripening grapes at this northern latitude. Practically every one of Germany’s finest wines originate from the Riesling grape, but there are a number of exemptions, like the great Gewurztraminers from Fitz-Ritter in the Pfalz and Valckenberg in Rheinhessen and also the elegant Rieslaners and Scheurebes from Müller-Catoir in the Pfalz.

  • Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

    The coolest of the German expanding regions, and the home of Germany’s crispest, raciest, and many delicate Rieslings. Eco-friendly apples, flower notes, and citrus are all likely descriptors, yet the very best wines also present great mineral notes that reveal their slate-driven terroirs.

  • Rheingau

    Steep slate inclines as well as a little warmer temperatures than located in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer return powerful, tough wines, with ripe fruit flavors emphasized by deep minerality.

  • Rheinhessen

    Source for much of Germany’s manufacturing, high quality right here could vary from universal liebfraumilch to fine single-estate wines.

  • Nahe

    This tiny side valley is the only rival to the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer for sophistication and finesse, with Rieslings that balance lightness of physical body with mineral-based tensile strength.

  • Pfalz

    One of Germany’s hottest winegrowing regions, with a terrific diversity of soils, microclimates, as well as grape varieties. Dry designs, whether made from Riesling or various other white grapes are much more common right here, and also show better equilibrium than those from cooler regions. Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) is also a lot more effective right here compared to elsewhere.