It’s a known fact: bubbles make everything better. Often synonymous with celebration, we bust out bubbly to toast major milestones. Yet who doesn’t occasionally need a glass just to get over a hard day at the office? Champagne, while classic, is pricey. Cava from Spain and Prosecco from Italy are light and easy. But why not try something new? Next time you’re in the mood for an elegant, affordable sparkler, look to German sekt to satisfy your bubble craving.
Sekt (pronounced zeckt) is the German word for top quality sparkling wine. William Shakespeare has been indirectly credited with naming German sparkling wine "sekt." In Shakespeare’s play "Henry IV," the character Falstaff orders a Spanish wine popular in England in the late 1500s with the line: "Give me a cup of sack." This apparently inspired German actor Ludwig Devrient to use the phrase in a Berlin wine bar in 1825; but the waiter assumed Devrient was referring to Champagne, rather than Sherry (which is what sack meant in Shakespeare’s time). After that misunderstanding, sekt quickly became a slang word for sparkling wine in Berlin.
Riesling is usually the grape of choice for sekt, but weissburgunder (pinot blanc), rulander (pinot gris) and even Muller-Thurgau are all used to make sekt. Like other sparkling wines, sekt can be found in a range of sweetness levels, but our favorite sekts from Germany are bone-dry. Try any of these sekts for a perfectly clean sparkler with an elegant, racy character. They will surely satisfy your palate without breaking the bank.
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Photo Credit: Marco Verch