Germany

20 German Whites to Try Before you Quit Drinking

Unless you’re a super wine geek, German Riesling may not, at first, sound all that appealing. German wine has earned a bad rap in the past, most notably from the production of sweet and cheap Liebfraumilch—remember Blue Nun? The wine was produced on a huge scale (175 million bottles sold in 1984 alone), but its success destroyed Germany’s fine wine reputation. And Germany certainly was well known for fine wine: in the 19th century, German “Hock” sold for higher prices than first growth Bordeaux.

But wine experts the world over agree that German Riesling is among the best wine in the world. In the Mosel, the Rheingau and other spots in Germany, Riesling reaches its greatest expression (think Pinot Noir in Burgundy). These wines are complex and packed with so many aromas and flavors you can’t even begin to name them all. They are handmade, with handpicked and hand-sorted grapes and minimalist winemaking intervention—pick the grapes, ferment them and put the wine in a bottle. This also means that German Rieslings express their terroir like few wines in the world are able to do. The same producer can make several Rieslings that are drastically different in style from one another, simply by using grapes from different vineyards. Riesling can also be made in a range of styles depending on the sugar levels of the grapes, from dry to very, very sweet.

Crisp and Refreshing Summer White Wines by Broadbent, Dr. Loosen, and Spy Valley

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Crisp and Refreshing Summer White Wines by Broadbent, Dr. Loosen, and Spy Valley

The dog days of August are upon us and we have but a few weeks remaining before hot summer nights give way to crisp autumn leaves. This summer has been brutally hot for most of the US -though not too bad here in San Francisco, though September tends to be our hot month, if "hot" and "San Francisco" can actually be used in the same sentence- and I've had the great pleasure of discovering some fantastic white wines that are both tasty and refreshing for those hot nights. So before summer ends, here are three white wines to go buy this week:

Broadbent Vinho VerdeBroadbent Vinho Verde - Vinho Verde is a staple of Portuguese culture. Translated it means "Green Wine" which refers to its youthful freshness. It's a low-alcohol, light, crisp, and slightly effervescent wine that is about as close to perfection as a summer wine can be. Broadbent makes a fantastic Vinho Verde and at about $9 a bottle, it's worth buying a case to serve at your Labor Day picnic. Your guests will love it. About $9. Buy Broadbent Vinho Verde 

Best German Red Wine: What Is One German Red Wine Worth Seeking Out?

IntoWine asked our experts to share their favorite German red wines.  Here are their recommendations:

Best German White Wines: What is One German White Worth Recommending?

IntoWine.com posed this question to a panel of wine experts: What's the one German white wine you'd recommend seeking out?

Best German Rieslings (For the Money)

German Rieslings are, to put it bluntly, misunderstood wines.  German winemakers will tell you that Riesling is their country's flagship wine and that the Riesling grape works perfectly with the cooler climates and slaty soils of German river valleys.  If, however, you ask a group of non-German wine drinkers to tell you about Riesling, several of them will probably use phrases like "too sweet" and "doesn't pair well" in their descriptions.  In my opinion, they are missing out on one of the world's great wines.

Rhinehessen: The Mineral Soils of Germany's Wine Country

The Rhinehessen region in Germany’s wine country is a study of contrasts. The vast area is planted to just over 28,000 hecters of wine, dominated not by Riesling, but by Muller Thurgau. Ultimately though, this is Germany, and in Germany Riesling is still king. Groebe, Wittman and Straub wineries all share a common bond in this wine region. The minerality of the soil is a constant expression of the wines produced here and the Rhinehessen wines are clean, minimal wines. They also share a family winemaking history that extends hundreds of years.

Germany’s Nahe Region: Wine Innovation and Tradition

The Nahe region is one of Germany’s smallest winegrowing regions comprising just under 11,000 acres of plantings. Fully 75 percent of the vines planted are to white varietals specifically Riesling and Muller-Thurgau. The remaining 25 percent of vines are dominated by the red blending grape, dornfelder. The area is home to many steep vineyard sites and the Nahe River languidly strolls by, bending just before the minuscule village of Oberhausen.

German Rieslings Wine - Vintage Chart

German Rieslings    
2010 88 D/H
2009 91 D/H
2008 9

Rheinhessen: Germany's Largest Wine Region

Size Isn't Everything
Rheinhessen's long winemaking history and large size are the building blocks of its reputation in the world of wine – and there are pros and cons associated with both.  Rheinhessen's most famous wine, Liebfraumilch, while well known as far back as the mid-1700's, might well be called "infamous" today because of its reputation for insipid sweetness.  Still, it's hard to argue with brand-name success, so you're likely to find Liebfraumilch prominently displayed in your local wine shop's German section.

Hessische Bergstrasse: A Touch of Italy in German Wine Country

Between the Rhine River and the Odenwald forest, in the area between Heidelberg and Darmstadt, you'll find a tiny German wine region, the Hessische Bergstrasse.  Its name means "Hessian Mountain Road" in English.  Long ago, the Romans named their trade route through this part of Germany the "strata montana," or "mountain road." 

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