Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Wine >
Jan 9, 2009 08:14 AM

I love German red wine my favourite red is a dornfelder

Hello everyone,

German wine is becoming more and more popular around the world. The liebfrauenmilch did do a lot of damage.

The most popular white wine in Germany is the Riesling, red is the Dornfelder grape that sells the most!

German wine:

German wine is primarily produced in the southwest of Germany, along river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 per cent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions (Anbaugebiete) for quality wine are situated. Germany has about 102,000 hectares (252,000 acres or 1,020 square kilometers) of vineyard, which is around one tenth of the vineyard surface in Spain, France or Italy. The total wine production is usually around 9 million hectoliters annually, corresponding to 1.2 billion bottles, which places Germany as the eighth largest wine-producing country in the world. White wine accounts for almost two thirds of the total production.

As a wine country, Germany has a mixed reputation internationally, with some consumers on the export markets associating Germany with the world's most elegant and aromatically pure white wines while other see the country mainly as the source of cheap, mass-market semi-sweet wines (notably Liebfraumilch) which a discerning wine drinker wary of his reputation should avoid altogether. Among enthusiasts, Germany's reputation is primarily based on its sweet wines and on its being home to the Riesling grape variety, which at its best is used for aromatic, fruity and elegant white wines that range from very crisp and dry to well-balanced, sweet and of enormous aromatic concentration. While primarily a white wine country, red wine production surged in the 1990s and early 2000s, primarily fuelled by domestic demand, and the proportion of the German vineyards devoted to the cultivation of dark-skinned grape varieties has now stabilized at slightly more than a third of the total surface. For the red wines, Spätburgunder, the domestic name for Pinot Noir, is in the lead.

Let me know which sorts of wines you enjoy!

Trevor McCallin

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm rather partial to Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch, St. Laurent, and Schwarzriesling.

    Of course, don't forget about wonderful German whites such as Weissburgunder & Grauburgunder. Delish.

    3 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      At my tastings German Riesling is always the groups favorite wine even with killer $80 Bordeaux and Cali Cabs in the mix. The big thing about people who hate German Riesling is that they don't apply a tasting process so they think it is sweet.

      Once i teach the tasting process they understand good Mosel and Rhine Rieslings are much more of a sour taste and it opens their eyes to the importance of properly tasting wine.

      German Riesling is no doubt the best value in the world in my opinion.

      1. re: linguafood

        Then you should go to Austria, where Zwigelt, Blaufraenkisch and St. Laurent are much, much more prominent. (Does Zweigelt even exist in Germany? Blaufraenkisch does, but is called Lemberger). Schwarzriesling is Pinot Meunier; some nice examples of it in Baden Wuerttemberg, though BF is much more interesting.

        1. re: Asomaniac

          Thankfully, the countries are pretty close to each other, so yeah - all those wines are readily available in stores.

      2. there's an excellent article on german pinots in the most recent edition of World of Fine Wine focusing on the Ahr river region

        1 Reply
        1. re: ibstatguy

          What is your tasting process? I have had some good Rieslings but would like to know how to find them more consistently.

        2. really, you can do better than Dornfelder. i'm partial to fränkisch and Baden-Württemberger wines. (5 more weeks until Baden-Württemberger wines and Spätzle everyday woohoo!)

          4 Replies
            1. re: linguafood

              lol yeah probably. spätzle and potatoes for 3 weeks. i'll happily swap spätzle for flammkuchen and choucroute for the 4 days in Straßburg.

            2. re: Pata_Negra

              You really can't compare the three. Fränkisch and Baden-Württemberger are merely place names; Dornfelder was created in Württemberger but is actually a grape varietal. It could be grown in any grape-growing region in Germany. In fact, it is also grown in the United States.

              1. re: vinobambini

                tut tut... i should have been clearer. i meant the cheapish Dornfelder that takes up many supermarket wine shelves everywhere in southern Germany. and the Fränkisch Baden-Württemberger wines i'm partial to are Spätburgunder, Schwarzriesling, Silvaner, Trollinger, Riesling, Blaufränkisch.