Dustin has been a friend to TFW long before he came on board. He was working as Wine Director for La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California when he and Damon met at a Trade Tasting. Dustin was looking to expand his knowledge and quench his thirst for German Wines, with Riesling particularly on his mind. A friendship began as Dustin began to geek out on a wide variety of high quality, value wines in the TFW Portfolio. Charta Rieslings, Spӓtlese-Trocken, Kabinett Trocken and Halbtrocken, Classic, Selection, these were just the tip of the iceberg.
In the months that followed, my eyes were opened to the fantastic world of wine that is Germany. No other region in the world produces the amount of high quality wines, that are often overlooked by the U.S. market because of tremendous range of dry to sweet styles and the perceived difficulty in deciphering labels. I found that the labels are actually a lot like deciphering a label from Burgundy France, which may be slightly difficult to the novice wine enthusiast but still very manageable if you know what to look for.
Here is a quick German Label Reading tutorial from Dustin.
Blees Ferber is Producer or Estate
Grape is Riesling
The wine comes from the Mosel Saar Ruwer Region, and Goldtropfchen is the Vineyard in Village of Piesport
Spӓtlese is the ripeness level at Harvest, which took place in 2006
Trocken means Dry, if the wine said Halbtrocken that means off-dry, if it says nothing but Spӓtlese then the wine would be a sweeter style.
A great way to figure out if the wine will be dry, off-dry, or sweet is to look at the alcohol content.
7 to 9.5% is sweet,
9.5 to 11.5 is off-dry,
11.5 + is a dry style.