Wine regions and laws
Quality levels
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Dry and medium-dry wines
Wine styles
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Red wines and the Pinot family
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Reading German wine label
Liebfraumilch and Other Popular Wines
The Language Of Germany

Amtliche Prufungsnummer - Literally means "official proof number" - and refers to the unique code given to batches of wine that have passed statutory tests for the area of origin. Usually referred to as the AP number.

Anbaugebiet - Wine region, e.g. the Rheingau or Baden.

Auslese - Third step on the QmP quality ladder: wine made from grapes with a high natural sugar content. The wines are usually rich and concentrated.

Beerenauslese - Fourth step on the QmP quality ladder: wine made from individually selected overripe grapes with up to 15 per cent potential alcohol. Such wines are rich and very sweet.

Bereich - Grouping of villages or a district within an Anbaugebiet, e.g. Bernkastel.

Bundesweinpramierung - German state wine award.

Charta - Organization of Rheingau estates whose members make drier (Halbtrocken) styles, observing higher standards than the legal minimum.

Deutscher Sekt - Sparkling wine made from 100 per cent German grapes.

Deutscher Tafelwein - Lowest grade of German wine.

Deutsches Weinsiegel - Quality seal around the neck of a bottle for wines that have passed certain tasting tests.

Domane - Domaine or estate.

Edelfaule - Noble rot - botrytis cinerea.

Einzellage - "Single site" or individual vineyard, usually following name of a specific town or village e.g. Graacher Himmelreich.

Eiswein - Literally, "ice wine", made from grapes of at least Beerenauslese ripeness, picked while the water content is frozen thus leaving the concentrated sugar, acids and flavour. Eiswein is rare and expensive.

Erzeugerabfullung - Estate-bottled.

Flurbereinigung - Government-assisted replanting of slopes to up-and-down rows instead of terracing.

Gemeinde - Commune or parish.

Grosslage - A group of neighbouring einzellagen producing wines of similar style and character - a group site, e.g. Piesporter Michelsberg.

Halbtrocken - Half dry.

Herb - German equivalent of Brut.

Hock - English term for a wine from the Rhine, derived from Hochheim.

Kabinett - First step on the QmP quality ladder. The equivalent of reserve wines Kabinetts are the lightest and driest of the naturally unsugared QmP wines.

Kellerei - Winery.

Landwein - German equivalent of French vin de pays: Trocken or Halbrocken wines of a higher quality than Tafelwein and produced in a specific region.

Lieblich - Wine of medium sweetness, equivalent to the French moelleux.

Oechsle - German measure of the ripness of grapes used as the basis for determining the quality level of individual wines.

Perlwein - Semi-sparkling wine.

Qualitatswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA) - Quality level below QmP for wines that satisfy certain controls, such as area of origin, but which have had sugar added for extra alcohol.

Qualitatswein mit Pradikat (QmP) - Wines made from grapes that are ripe enough not to require any additional sugar. Meaning "a quality wine predicated by ripeness", these top wines are further classified into the categories Kabinett to Trockenbeerenauslese.

Rotling - Rose.

Rotwein - Red wine.

Schaumwein - Sparkling wine.

Sekt - Sparkling wine, usually made by the cuve close method, which, if not prefixed by "Deutscher", can be produced from grapes grown outside Germany. Little of it is any good.

Spatlese - The second step on the QmP ladder; literally means "late-picked". Sweet or dry and full-flavoured, these wines are balanced with fine acidity.

Spritz/Spritzig - Light sparkle.

Suss - Sweet.

Sussreserve - Pure, unfermented grape juice used to sweeten basic German wines. Also used by English wine-makers.

Tafelwein - Table wine that, even if bottled in Germany, may be a blend of wines from different EC countries. Deutscher Tafelwein must be 100 per cent German.

Trocken - Dry.

Trockenbeerenauslese - Fifth and highest step on the QmP quality ladder. Made from "shrivelled single overripe berries" affected by botrytis, these intense, complex wines are extremely rare and expensive, with a potential alcohol of at least 21.5 per cent, although only 5.5 per cent need be actual alcohol. The high level of residual sugar produces rich wine with wonderfully intense honey, raisin and caramel flavours.

Weingut - Wine estate. Can only be used on labels where all the grapes are grown on that estate.

Weinkellerei - Wine cellar or winery.

Weissherbst - Rose of QbA standard or above produced from a single variety of black grape.

Weisswein - White wine

Winzergenossenschaft - Winegrowers' co-operative.

Wine regions of the world.

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