I did it. My blog about traditional bottle fermented sparkling wine is online. My passion and focus is German Winzersekt (Vintner’s Sekt), Champagne, Cava and other sparkling wines.
Traditional method means that sugar and yeast are added to the base wine. Afterwards it is fermented a second time inside a bottle. The longer the better.
Do you sometimes ask yourself why cheap sparkling wine tastes cheap and if there is nothing else that’s worth drinking?
Then you will find a guide here how to navigate the jungle of German sparkling wines. At the end of the tunnel is a light? No, it’s German Winzersekt (Vintners Sekt).
Or maybe you decide it’s something else for you. Let’s find out.
It’s a great thing to develop your own taste. It takes a bit of courage, common sense and a push in the right direction.
I help pushing you by writing down my experiences, tastings and adventures about bubbly. Including basic knowledge of classical made sparkling wines.
My blog is mainly about German Winzersekt (Vintners Sekt). But you also find other sparkling wines there, like Spanish Cava or French Champagne. One thing all sparkling wines have in common.
Traditional bottle fermentation process is the key.
Warning: Politically correctness is not my first name. But my posts are 100% me and honest.
For 3.5 years I’m into sparkling wine. It’s my favourite drink and you have to believe me if I say Champagne is getting boring after 2-3 glasses a day. Yeah I know I have a Champagne problem.
I started to search for alternatives in 2016 and found Winzersekt (Vintners Sekt). This is German sparkling wine. It is made of estate-grown grapes and produced using the traditional method of bottle fermentation.
There are more grape varieties for the base wine of Winzersekt than for Champagne. That gives an entirely unique character to the German bubbly in my opinion. Furthermore the price-quality level is outstanding.
Welcome to the jungle
You will find out very quickly as a bubbly novice that there is no orientation for the consumer of German sparkling wines.
There is generally only variety. And no one is interested to sort it out. There are plenty of associations that could in fact deal with it, like the German Sektverband, VDP (Verband deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter) or Verband der klassischen Flaschengärer.
And what are they doing? Each club makes their own guidelines for the members. I cannot believe it. What is so difficult to sit down and create a common classification? I think that is a basic requirement that German vintners can position themselves nationally and internationally.
Time is changing….. The down-to-earth winemaker seems to be dying out. The marketing machine is running full galore. The more bizarre and incomprehensible the explanations about sparkling wine, the better the sales seem to go.
The latest example from a vintner of trust:
We: “The bubbly has a different taste. Something has changed since the last vintage. We are not sure if we like it.“
Vintner:” Yes that’s right. We make our Sekt now more straight. Taste doesn’t explode in the mouth immediately. The bubbly can still be enjoyed after the 2nd and 3rd glass and is not destroying a meal with an overwhelming taste.”
Sorry? So let me try to explain what I drank. A Sekt without the fine fruity taste and the delicate perlage of former vintages. (I can also do marketing). Gone is the easily digestible acidity. The sparkling wine was flat without any highlight and too much acidity. No idea if a higher bubbly consumption can fix it? Bottle price: 30 Euros. Thanks but no thanks. The vintner is off the list by the way. I will be watch him in the hope he changes style again.
It does not always have to be Champagne
Unfortunately high acidity content in sparkling wine seems to be the new trend. I observed in addition that many German vintners starts making Champagne. Even if they are not allowed to call it Champagne. If you ask directly it’s denied but the final product speaks for itself. Sekt is getting Champagne-like.
Why are German vintners following French vintners I ask myself? In truth German Sekt does not have to hide. Mumm and Rotkäppchen maybe have to but that is a different topic. They have nothing to do with high quality bubbles in my opinion. Winzersekt (Vintners Sekt) is constantly winning blind tastings against Champagne. The technology is available to make high quality sparkling wines using the traditional method.
Is it really the goal to copy the French Champagne?
Learn more, drink better
I have to confess, there was a time in my life where I drank what was put in my face. High price equaled high quality and taste good. I was so excited about my first Veuve Clicquot and it tasted terrible. I thought it was my fault that the champagne was not according to my taste. Wrong logic. I was right. I do not like Veuve Clicquot. It was just not good for me.
I started to check up on Champagne after that. Trademark law protects the term “Champagne”. It’s sparkling wine which is made of estate-grown grapes and produced using the traditional method of bottle fermentation.
Does that sound familiar? Winzersekt (Vintner’s Sekt) has a similar description. The marketing of the French is just better. In other words, everyone knows Champagne and barely anybody Winzersekt.
My motto is now: Taste bubbly with all senses, listen and ask questions. Then the money is not flushed down the drain and I mean that literally.