Wine Review: 2013 Riesling Sekt

What on earth is Sekt? Sekt is is the German term for sparkling wine. It’s German bubbly. And it’s delicious.

We drank this yesterday evening to celebrate the “end of summer grilling,” so to speak. I say “so to speak,” because, as anyone who lives in the mid-Atlantic region knows, the “end of summer” tends to fall more toward October/November! So, we were more generally toasting the hopeful end to the sweltering DC humidity.

In any case, readers of this blog will know that I think there never has to be a “good” or “appropriate” time to drink sparkling wine or Champagne. Life is short, and should be enjoyed at all times. Pop the bubbly!

Anyway, sparkling wine sounded lovely to me as an apertif to sip while the sun set and the steaks sizzled. We settled on Sekt because, as Michael at DCanter pointed out, when was the last time you had Sekt?

It’s true. So, let’s talk about Sekt and why you should drink it. Sekt, as I mentioned, is German sparkling wine (some Austrian sparkling is also called Sekt). It’s generally made from white grapes - Pinot Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Gris, and can be done in the sweet or dry style. The Sekt we happily popped was dry and Riesling-based.

I’ve written about this before, but there are several ways of making Champagne and sparkling wine. Sekt is largely made in the tank method (or, Charmat process), but the premium Sekt is made méthode traditionelle. In short, the wine undergoes two fermentations, but instead of doing this in the bottle (the traditional method), the second fermentation occurs in a tank. For grapes like Riesling, this emphasizes the fruit aromatics, because the wine spends less time on it’s “lees” (yeast cells).

The aromatics on this wine were lovely. The nose opened up with yellow apple, pear, raw honey and lychee. The same flavors followed through on the palate, rounding out with a ripe apricot finish. To compare to other equivalent sparklers, I found the Sekt to have a slightly fruitier finish than Cava and Prosecco, though still refreshing, and with a little bit of a heavier weight.

Cookie made the astute observation that this Sekt would be perfect for Thanksgiving as an apertif or with the starter plate. We all heartily agree - this wine would pair perfectly with the Thanksgiving table as a pre-feast sipper, with the meal, or with the turkey sandwich you eat later for dinner!

Seems like Sekt is a crowd pleaser, and one I’ll be adding to my Thanksgiving shopping list.

Rating: I’ll Take Half a Case! Place of Purchase: DCanter in Washington, DC. Retail Price: $22