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German wine - wine basics


After fermentation a wine is usually completely dry or low in residual sugar. To achieve different styles, the cellar master is allowed - just before bottling - to add unfermented grape juice (which is still naturally sweet) to the fermented wine to round off the taste and enhance the bouquet.

This unfermented grape juice is called sweet reserve and must be of at least the same quality and, if possible, the same grape variety and of the same origin, as the wine to which it is added.  Thus a winemaker is able to produce the same wine in various styles:

  • trocken (dry)
  • halbtrocken (semi-dry) or mild (slightly sweeter), depending upon the amount (if any) of sweet reserve he uses.

Today more than 50% of the German wines are dry or semidry (especially QbA and Kabinett wines).

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German Wine - Wine from Germany