The German embassy in New Delhi continues to promote German wines in India. A special wine tasting was held in early August during the visit of wine critic and co-author of the Gault Millau Wine, Joel B. Payne. Ambassador Michael Steiner and Mrs Steiner hosted a select group of Indian wine-lovers, journalists and hospitality professionals to a tasting of German premium or Grand Cru wines – Grosses Gewächs.
For the third consecutive year, Joel Payne, who also writes on German wines for Sommelier India, guided guests through a tasting of Germany’s finest wines paired with a selection of popular Indian snacks. Grosses Gewächs are dry wines from the best vineyards of Germany, with a maximum residual sugar level of 9 grams per litre. It is commonly believed that the lower alcohol content in German wines makes them better suited to India’s tropical climate and high temperatures.
The unique feature of German wines is their lively, fruity character which is due to Germany’s special climatic and geological conditions. However, it’s not easy to define Riesling because of the many styles it produces. German Riesling is characterised by complexity, giving rise especially in Europe, to complicated labelling and legislation.
All 13 of the wines tasted from the wine regions of Franken, Pfalz, Mosel, Nahe, Rheingau and Rheinhessen were from the VDP Association of German Quality and Prädikat Wine Estates. The world’s oldest association of wine estates, the VDP consists of about 200 independent wine producers from more than 48,000 producers in Germany, who are deeply committed to tradition and high quality.
The VDP logo is an eagle with a grape cluster at its centre. This logo can be found only on wines that meet the production, quality and ecological requirements of this class system. Stamped on a bottle of German wine, the logo is a guarantee of quality.
— Reva K. Singh
Sommelier India organised a Riesling masterclass at German Ambassador Thomas Matussek’s residence in May 2011. Read the article and interview with the Ambassador that appeared in Issue 3: June-July 2011