Tuesday, December 19, 2006

German Sparkling Wine: NV Schloss Biebrich Sekt

Do you know which nation consumes more sparkling wine per capita than any other?

No, it's Germany. I learned this fun fact from Golly over at Golly's Wine Drops, where he reviewed a different German sparker for you to check out when you're done reading this.

Every LA area Trader Joe's that I've been to in December has end-caps full of this German sparkler: the NV Schloss Biebrich Sekt ($3.99, Trader Joe's). While I tend not to find their $5.99 wines either exciting or particularly drinkable this is the third bottle of $3.99 wine from Trader Joe's that I've really enjoyed. It represented excellent QPR, and at that price I'd buy quite a few and put them away for the rest of the winter.

Bright and floral, this wine was almost as translucent and colorless as water. It had a modest apple aroma, and when the wine was poured in the glass there was an alarming amount of froth (ok, mousse for the geeks out there). Usually wines with lots of froth/mousse the bubbles are big and harsh, but the Schloss Biebrich bubbles were smooth and small. On the palate, there wasn't a harsh or bitter note, just warm pears flavors and a lingering impression of flowers on the finish. This wine is probably made with riesling grapes, but I can't find out much about it on the web, so that's just conjecture on my part. The Deutsches Weininstitut has a great article on German sekt sparklers, if you would like more information.

This wine is just a hair off-dry, and would be perfect with Indian food, Thai food, Szechuan food, and light appetizers. We had a yummy Asian fusion meal with it: a spicy sauced salmon with coconut rice topped with edamame and a fresh mango salsa (note: I subbed a salmon fillet for the chicken in the original recipe). This was perfect with the wine, and it would be a fast recipe to knock together for an impressive meal for guests who might drop by during the holidays.


David said...

wow, drinkable wine (even interesting) wine under $5, impressive! don't know that I've had a German sparkler despite their apparent prominence in this dept.

Dr. Debs said...

I know--amazing. I figured at $3.99 I could use it somehow even if it was undrinkable but it was really pleasant. I saw a sparkling gewurztraminer years ago but nothing since then.

Anonymous said...

after having gone through a couple cases now of this stuff, I'll agree it's a steal at TJ's prices even though the degree of that musky yeasty funk I associate with traditional-method sparkling wines varies quite a bit from bottle to bottle and might present as a flaw to more sophisticated palates

great match for a can of smoked oysters or spicy take-out

My gf and I will be missing this kind of bargain now that we've moved to a state that sells wine in state liquor stores. We're down to the last two bottles from our second case of it.

St. Chapelle in Idaho makes really pleasant sparkling German-style white wines but iirc they're artificially carbonated, not natural-method

Dr. Debs said...

Welcome, and thanks for leaving a comment! I've only had a few bottles and not had a bad one yet. And state stores are not the most fun places to buy wine. Maybe you need to make a suggestion that they get this one?

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late to the party here but recently gave this one a try as well. A winner for sure! I couldn't agree with your assessment more. I'll certainly be getting some more.

Trevor McCallin said...

How on earth do they produce a sparkling wine (Sekt) for that price! It does leave me a bit confused, how the make money!

The Gourmez said...

I linked over to this review from my own review posted today. Totally agree; it was fabulous! As are those champagne flutes, by the way.