New Wine ("Federweißer")
Wine & more
When grape juice starts to rush
If you hold the glass to your ear, Federweißer (new wine) sounds like rushing waves. When the time of the grape harvest has come, you can get the Rauscher, Sauser or Brauser – these local terms are used for Federweißer in Germany, and they all roughly translate as “stuff making a rush” – on every street corner. Steffen Schindler, marketing director for Wines of Germany (DWI), puts it this way: “Federweißer is a pleasure that defines the fall season and the grape harvest just as much as a delicious onion tart.” Ideally, you drink Federweißer when it has come half way between grape juice and wine, when sweetness, alcohol content and fruit acidity are well balanced. At this stage, its alcohol content amounts to around 5 % vol.
How to handle Federweißer correctly
Owing to the high demand for the new wine, Federweißer is on offer all over Germany these days and can be bought in supermarkets as well as specialist wine stores. But you have to be careful when you buy it: Since fermentation continues inside the bottle, it should always be sealed with a closure that is permeable to air, so the carbonic acid can escape. The bottle should be transported standing upright at all times. Wines of Germany recommends to taste a little of the Federweißer once you have reached home. If it tastes just right: Straight into the fridge it goes, because the cold puts a stop to the fermentation process and you will be able to enjoy a perfect Federweißer for a little longer.
If the Federweißer still tastes too sweet, keep it at room temperature and have another taste after 6-8 hours. Once the perfect degree of sweetness has been achieved, store the Federweißer in the fridge.