I’m starting to dream about sparkling wine. And not in the wheeeee, let’s drink bubbles on a Wednesday kind of way. My WSET Diploma Sparkling Wine exam is looming — two weeks from today. Two weeks.
The slog of full-time studying is starting to catch up to me. Researching sales numbers and production forecasts is usually pretty dry stuff, but every once in a while, I come across a real gem.
Yesterday, I read an article on Wine Searcher (which, btw, is a great resource not only for finding wines, but for information) called Sekt and the Death of German Bubbles by James Lawrence.
The Germans consume more sparkling wine than anyone else in the world. I know. It’s weird. You’d think it would be the French. Or the Italians. Or even the Spanish. But it’s the Germans. And the top-selling sparkling wine in Germany is Sekt, which technically doesn’t have to come from Germany at all. Sekt is mostly low-priced, bulk bubbles.
There are German sparkling wines of higher quality. Deutscher Sekt must be made in Germany with grapes grown in Germany. And then there’s Winzersekt, a higher-quality wine — made only with grapes from a particular vineyard/estate in Germany. (There’s a lot more to it, but I won’t bore you with the details here.)
But, the Germans are obsessed with cheap bubbles. Essi Avellan, MW, sums it up beautifully: “Sekt is a very low-grade product of no individual character, and thus of no interest to discerning drinkers on the international market. How so much Sekt can be consumed by the Germans themselves is a real mystery.”
So, how to get Germans to shift course to higher quality sparkling wines? How to get people outside of Germany interested in Sekt at all? It starts with cleaning up Sekt’s image problem. Which brings me to today’s words . . .
I laughed. Out loud. I needed that.
Back to studying.