German Wines

Jan 11th, 2006, 03:19 PM
  #1  
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German Wines

We like relatively dry wines, but the only German wines that we have found at home are sweet. Can anyone recommend 1) something to try in the US, and 2) what we might like in Germany this summer? My husband prefers reds, and I prefer whites.
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Jan 11th, 2006, 03:25 PM
  #2  
lawchick
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Buy the Gault Millau Guide to German Wines. Then try a few you like the look of. Many German wines are now available in the US.

Where are you travelling to in Germay?
 
Jan 11th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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There are plenty of dry wines in Germany, and all over the southern half of Germany. I found that Rot Burgunder is the most common red. I would simply stick with locals wines, insisting that it be trocken. In Munich there is a wine hall that offers dozens of wines, with the listing specifying the dryness of the wine.
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Jan 11th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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Red wine in Germany is a rarity. Assmanshausen is a small city on the Rhine. You can find a red wine there but no where else in the entire Rhine-Mosel area. Not all the German wines are sweet. Visit some wineguts and ask to taste their wines. I'm not usually a "white wine" fan, but the German whites are excellent. Unfortunately some of the best wines never make it to the USA. Don't know where you've looked in the USA but obviously, the bigger the city, the better the chance for a large selection.
Enjoy your trip!
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Jan 11th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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We will be going thru the Mosel, down to Southern Bavaria for about just less than 2 weeks.
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Jan 11th, 2006, 10:06 PM
  #6  
hsv
 
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In fact Germans tend to drink more "Dry" or "Trocken" wines than half sweet or even sweet ones nowadays.

Look for Riesling types. Most of them will be dry with a refreshing sting.
Quite common would also be Grauer Burgunder (Pinot Grigio) or Weisser Burgunder.
Franconian wines from a region in Bavaria (the Franconians will slap me for this) are notably dry in general. The make a lot of Silvaner, Mueller-Thurgau and Riesling wines.

While White German wines are worldclass IMHO and there is absolutely no reason to look elsewhere, I don't care too much for German reds in general.
However, there are more and more vintners producing red wines, too. A common grape is Trollinger in the Baden-Wuerttemberg region.

A big vinyard that might export to the U.S. is Robert Weil from the Rheingau region near Frankfurt/Wiesbaden. They are famous for their dry Rieslings.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 02:33 AM
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RJD
 
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If you are travelling down the Mosel you'll have the chance to sample some of the greatest whites, beginning in Trier. You can stop in places like Piesport to try the dry reislings. Look for a spatlese or even an auslese, both of which are slighty sweeter than wines like chablis, but taste of peach and slate, butter and nutmeg. They go beautifully with the German foods. Such wines are available in the US but there're expensive. In Germany they are much cheaper.
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Jan 12th, 2006, 05:51 AM
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I personally drink wine with a meal, so it depends on what the meal is ... there is quite good red German wine available in the Freiburg area e.g. - Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir). I absolutely dislike the Dornfelder sort, which became quite populare lately in Germany (no idea why!).

I agree with hsv to rank the German white wine among world class. The Riesling is excellent. And I had some very good Grauburgunder and Weissburgunder too.

Finally I'd like to mention that there is a fine, small wine region in the East too: Meissen (near Dresden). Schloss Proschwitz, Staatsweingut Schloss Wackerbarth, and (organic winegrower) Zimmerling produce excellent white wine, the first also a fantastic Pinot Noir.

One final note: Gewürztraminer for example has to be sweet!
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Jan 12th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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You all are a wealth of knowledge! I will certainly make an attempt to find those wines while on our trip!

I wonder why so many German wines are unavailable here?
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Jan 12th, 2006, 12:23 PM
  #10  
ira
 
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Hi W,

>I wonder why so many German wines are unavailable here?

A. It's a Franco-German plot to keep Americans from getting good wine

B. Their major market is domestic.

C. It's expensive to ship wine to the US and the final price wouldn't be competitive.

D. All of the above.

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Jan 12th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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We brought back some excellent wines from Cochem. This is what I have in my notes re dry whites: Weissburgunder, Riesling Hochgewächs, Cochemer Goldbäumchen Riesling Spätlese, Riesling Auslese.
Dry reds: Dornfelder, Spätburgunder.
Do ask for Trocken (dry) 'cause many of these wines also come in Halbtrocken (medium dry) and Lieblich (sweet).
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Jan 12th, 2006, 03:06 PM
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Ira, I am going to go with "D". (Jeopardy song playing in the background)

Our problem bringing wine back is that we usually drink it on a picnic before we return!!

A real problem!
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Jan 12th, 2006, 11:14 PM
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Wren, that's the advantage of living in Europe: drive a few hours and load your trunk full of good wines (and other goodies) right at the source ...
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Jan 13th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Do you know this site already?:
http://english.germanwine.de/

I like wine from Baden, Southwest-Germany. Even the red ones, as this area has the warmest climate of all of Germany.
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Jan 14th, 2006, 06:02 AM
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Kvasir, I didn't know about that site...very nice! Thank you, I will check it out.
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Jan 17th, 2006, 06:05 AM
  #16  
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I buy my German wines from K & L wine stores who sell online/by phone to anywhere in the US. http://www.klwines.com/find/search.asp?id=30

They typically have a decent selection of Rieslings as well as German reds including the Assmanshausen and Baden Wuerttemberg red wines.

Compared to other regions, German reds at various price points usually are lacking body. Most people are disappointed when they compare German reds to the more robust reds from other countries, but wines should also be enjoyed for the unique/subtle characters of its region as well as the craft & effort that went into making them, just like food. We shouldn't, for example, compare a French dish with a Japanese or Indian dish even if they are all made from chicken. That said I now buy mostly German white wines and have given up on German reds.
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