The French have their Champagne. The UK has Sparkling Wine. Germany has Sekt.
Sekt is the German term for traditionally produced sparkling wine. This is the term used in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
Over 95% of Sekt in Germany is produced using the Charmat method. This method involves storing the wine in tanks that can withstand the massive pressures and fermenting it naturally until carbon dioxide is produce in the wine.
Low quality, cheaper sparkling wines are made by injecting carbon dioxide into the wine, similar to the way one does with soda. In Germany, these wines cannot be called Sekt, but are labelled Schaumwein or Perlwein.
Deutcher Sekt is made only from German grapes, whereas Sekt b.A. labelled wines are only from one of thirteen regions in Germany. The appellations ensure quality in the same way that similar labelings do in France, Spain, Italy, and many other countries.
n 1826, G.C. Kessler & Co. founded a sparkling wine house in Esslingen am Neckar. Georg Christian Kessler worked for 19 years in the French Champagne house of Veuve Cliquot. Until that time, sparkling wines in Germany were called Mousseax, Sect, or Champagne.
The Treaty of Versailles that ended the Great War (World War I) forbade Germany from calling its wines Champagne, thus all German sparkling wines to be renamed Sekt.
The majority of Sekt is made with Pinot Blanc, Pinot gris, Riesling, and Pinot Noir grapes. The wines, in various combinations, produce Sekts that are as varied in flavour as the regions in Germany that the grapes are produced in.
Ranging from naturally sweet to ultra-dry, Sekt offers a huge variety of flavours to meet every taste and occasion.
How to Find a Wonderful Sekt
The first place to start is with one of the appellations mentioned above. Sekt b.A. insures that the sparkling wine you buy is 100% German and is produced in a traditional region. Deutscher Sekt guarantees that the grapes are all German, but not necessarily from one of the those regions.
There are various names for small batch Sekt versus large batch. Nonetheless, look for the appropriate label and you will find a sparkling wine that will provide an outstanding drinking experience.
If we were to recommend one, we would put forward the Von Buhl Riesling Brut Sekt from the Pfalz region. A real cracker that we thoroughly enjoyed when we last visited Germany and not heavy on the pocket. It was voted as ‘The Best German Riesling Sekt’ by The Welt Newspaper (one of Germany’s top publications) in 2014. We definitely think you should give it a try.