Light and fruity white wines are particularly popular in the middle of summer. So it makes sense that a typically German variety of wine – Riesling Kabinett – has been experiencing an extraordinary renaissance.
For a long time, oenophiles mocked them as thin, sickly and old-fashioned wines. Kabinett-style Rieslings from the classic wine-growing regions on the Rhine, Mosel and Nahe are now experiencing an amazing comeback. The white wine is increasingly popular, particularly among younger and trendier wine drinkers.
With a natural sweetness – perfect for summer
Wines with the moniker “Kabinett” on the label are the first class in the German system of superior quality wines (Prädikatsweine). They also used to be referred to as “unadulterated”. This means that no addition of sugar before fermentation in order to increase the alcohol content is permitted. That is why these wines generally have a very low alcohol content of around 11.5 percent. They are also usually developed in a vivacious and refreshing style. Kabinett wines can also be produced dry, i.e. without any perceptible sweetness. Classically, however, this quality level of wine usually has a fine, unobtrusive and natural sweetness. This makes the wine fruity, but certainly not sticky or heavy. Particularly with the Riesling grape variety, this subtle fruity sweetness is so perfectly balanced by a vivacious, exciting mix of acids that the wine’s finish still remains dry and very refreshing.
Particularly fine “cabinet” wines
The term “Kabinett” refers, incidentally, to a particular room in the cellar of the world-famous Eberbach monastery in Rheingau. Cistercian monks locked the finest wines in a separate cellar called a cabinet. They only broke into this “stash” for refreshment after a particularly hard day’s work. Today, we can have a Kabinett on hand all year round. This wine is, however, no less refreshing than back then – particularly on hot summer days.
What do you think of Riesling Kabinett? Have you tried it? Do you also enjoy this traditional white wine most in summer or is there another summer wine that you prefer? Tell us about your experiences or join in a discussion with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.