Beginning with yet another style of sparkling wine, the first thing we need to know is what do we mean by the term ‘Sekt’? Originated in Germany, the word is simply used to refer to sparkling wines in the country. However, Sekt sparkling wine is generally produced using the Charmat method. In Germany, with around 2000 wineries producing Sekt, the rate of production and consumption of this beverage are very high.
Champagne vs Sekt
Compared to Champagne, Sekt is sweeter with low alcohol contents. Unlike Champagne, Sekt is not a reserved term. Although the Germans made various attempts to reserve the term Sekt for sparkling wines made in Germany, but failed in doing so. This is because large producers imported grapes or wines to produce Sekt which as per the EU was labelled of minimum standards.
History of Sekt
Looking into the history of Sekt, the name was coined in Berlin in the year 1825 however came into use much later in the 1890s. The term was first used in one of Shakespeare’s play where the word “sack” (i.e. Sherry, a Spanish fortified wine) was translated as “sect” in German. The actor enacting that play, caught in his role, used the same word while ordering a glass of Champagne and thus, in Berlin, they started using the term Sekt for sparkling wines.
Later on, in 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed, the Germans were prohibited from using the word Champagne and Sekt became the generic term in the country for sparkling wines.
The attempts of winemakers to reserve the term Sekt for sparkling wines produced in Germany were annulled in 1975 by the European Court of Justice. However, the name was rather applied to sparkling wine of a different quality level.
How to choose the best Sekt wine?
Here are a few things you need to check if you are looking out for a fine quality Sekt.
Deutscher Sekt – Amongst some of the best Sekt styles is this one made using only German grape varietals like Reisling.
Sekt B.A. or Winzersekt – If you see this label on your bottle, it means that your wine has been sourced from one of the thirteen official quality wine regions in Germany.