Germans drink more sparkling wine per head of population than anyone else in the word, so on a brief trip I thought I’d join them. Most of the bubbles drunk in Germany are made there, but not from German grapes. Although they get through some Champagne and Prosecco the big market is in Sekt made in industrial tanks from grapes brought in from all over Europe, selected for economy rather than any worries about terroir.
Not surprisingly this kind of wine is limited in its distribution and not worth importing to the UK, so when in Frankfurt I took the opportunity to try Henkell Trocken, popular in that neck of the woods. It’s pale and fizzy with small persistent bubbles. It smells slightly fruity and a little flowery.
It’s off-dry with medium acidity. The bubbles feel firm in the mouth, and with medium alcohol it has quite a full body. It has some autolytic character but there’s still quite a bit of citrus and tropical fruit.
Henkell Trocken is a fun, fizzy, cheap wine. It lacks the elegance of Champagne or even Cava, and doesn’t have the lively fruitiness of an Asti. I suspect I’d never buy a bottle, but next time I’m in the neighbourhood I’ll no doubt have a glass for a little local flavour.