The Wines of Germany

German Eiswein “Ice Wine” and a beautiful selection of cheeses.

Today we speak with Armin Goring, Director of the German Wine Institute. The institutes’ mission is to inform and promote German wines around the world.

We are all familiar with Riesling; however there are many other fabulous German wines. Armin and the GrapeRadio crew discuss the emergence of Germany as a top player in the wine world and the recent success of many outstanding vintages.

Find out more about German wines at:

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Show #20
(29:00 min 13 MB)

A few great wine images from the German wine country.





24 Responses to “The Wines of Germany”

  1. 1 Doug Smith Apr 25th, 2005 at 8:19 am

    Hey guys, really great show. I was in Mainz a couple of times over the past few years; it’s a beautiful area and there’s a lot of great tourism there along the Rhein river. Wonderful wines too. Just go into local restaurants and ask for their house wine — sometimes it’s grown on the hill right behind the place. Happened to us.



  2. 2 Tom James Apr 25th, 2005 at 8:48 am

    Doug, I have had similar experiences. Everyone over there wants to spread the word about German wines. They are all very friendly and I high recommend people check it out. The quality of the wine the last few years has been really good. -Doug

  3. 3 Brian Clark Apr 25th, 2005 at 8:07 pm

    I think Germany is looking forward to becoming a force in wine. The last few vintages sure have made a case in pushing them in the right direction.

    Brian Clark
    Grape Radio

  4. 4 Brad Apr 26th, 2005 at 7:01 pm


    I want to thank you for producing such a great show. I am learning so much about wine and the wine industry, it is amazing. Keep it up!

    Question for you…

    One of your shows discussed “speaking out” if you do not like the flavor of a wine when you are with friends. I did that, but got unexpected results.

    One Saturday night I was with friends and as usual, a bottle of red was broken out to be shared. We were cooking out NY strip and and planning on having a very casual evening.

    So, I was offered a glass of a French wine that I had never tried before. Naturally I accepted. Only to find that the wine was absolutely sour. No question in my mind. It was cheap and/or sour wine.

    So, inspired by your show, I spoke up, “This wine is sour.” Normally I would not have been so frank, but I was with really good friends and we take such liberties with each other.

    They tasted and declared, “It tastes fine to me.” So, I cleared my palate and had some water and bread, and tried again. Sour.

    They tried it again and insisted that it was okay. I disagreed (in my mind.) I politely added, “perhaps it just needs to breath.”

    I let it sit for a while, and tasted again. It was still sour. But they were insistent that it was good wine. (No other wine was offered to me at this point.)

    I was in a predicament. If I insisted that it was bad wine, I would come across as a jerk. Also, there was the possibility that I was wrong.

    So I continued to drink the sour wine through the coarse of the evening. There was no question in my mind that this was cheap wine.

    Then as we were finishing dinner, came the kicker. The host admitted that he had purchased the wine for around $11 and that it was recommended to him by the sales clerk (at a supermarket).

    Now I am not a wine snob, I have had very good California & Australian wine that is under $20 a bottle.

    However, this wine was from France and it was being sold for $11 a bottle. Ball-parking it, I am guessing that there was a retail markup of 20%, an import fee, a distribution fee, the cost of the bottle and cork, I am guessing that I was drinking a $3 French wine with my $12 NY Strip.

    What is the proper etiquette in such a situation? I do not want to always have to bring the wine to the dinner. Perhaps I am the only one that this has happened to, but maybe some of your listeners have been in similar situations.

    Have you done a show on wine etiquette yet? I think that would be an interesting topic.


  5. 5 Brian Clark Apr 26th, 2005 at 7:06 pm


    Stick to your guns. Taste is a very personal thing and I always seem to disagree with the group.

    In fact, last week someone brought a bottle of wine and I thought it was corked (it was nasty) but no one agreed with me. They all got defensive about it.

    The problem is that whoever brings the bottle of wine always seems to have this personal connection to it like they made the wine or something. They will usually die before they admit that it is bad.

    Best Regards,

    Brian Clark

  6. 6 Jay Selman Apr 26th, 2005 at 8:47 pm

    I love the idea of a show on wine etiquette.

    I feel one should always attempt to be tactful. If you would have said, “this wine sucks, I would rather drink dog vomit”, it could cause others to get upset. Especially if they brought the wine, or profusely proclaimed their love of the wine. People take this kind of thing very personally. Its like you are telling them they have bad taste.

    Sounds like you were very polite. I tend to say “I feel this wine is sour” as opposed to “this wine IS sour”. The former implies an opinion,the latter that it’s a fact. I think its great that you gave the wine a 2nd chance to come around for the problem to dissipate. Don’t feel you need to convince (“insist”) others that you are right and they are wrong. You have your opinion,they have theirs. I would drop the issue and not have consumed any more of the wine (discreetly).

    My only criticism of your behavior that evening is that why did you and your friends decide to open only one bottle?

    Jay Selman

  7. 7 Brad Apr 26th, 2005 at 9:01 pm

    You are right, people tend to attach their egos to the wine they bring to the table. (Including myself)

    Also, I would be interested to find out what you guys thoughts are on the question, “What type of wine is appropriate to bring for social occasions.(Pricepoint and Selection)

    – Bosses house
    – House Warming
    – New Friends
    – Large Party
    – Small dinner party etc…

    No need to reply – just an idea for a future podcast.


  8. 8 Mark Johnson Apr 27th, 2005 at 8:16 am

    I just wanted to write in and let you guys know how much my wife Candy and I are enjoying your show. I found it through my growing interest in podcasting, and quickly discovered yours was one of the best shows out there (in the entire medium of podcasting, not just about wine). I thought perhaps this was something Candy & I could listen to together, maybe developing more interest and appreciation for wine. Having seen Sideways last year and going to a couple friends’ homes that were into wine also helped.

    We’ve had the good fortune to grow up in wine country most of our lives (grew up in Lodi, bought our first home in Livermore), but never fully appreciated what was around us! Now we’re in Santa Clarita, a bit further from vineyards, but not so far. Candy likes wine more than I do–I’m still looking for that “ah-ha” bottle you talk about, slowly but surely. In the meantime, I’m enjoying learning about all of this.

    Yesterday I went to a wine retailer, picked an Argentine Malbec just for the heck of it, and grabbed a copy of Wine Spectator. Then I got home, looked up the Malbec online, and read some pretty iffy comments. Oh well, I’m learning! 🙂


    P.S. The Malbec was the El Felino 2002, though Wine Spectator named the El Felino 2003 as one of the recommended affordable wines. Maybe I’m getting close.

  9. 9 Andrew Buonocore Apr 29th, 2005 at 2:58 pm


    I just got back from a trip to Germany and after hearing your ad on the
    Daily Source Code, I had a few MP3s of your show on the iPod.

    I just thought it was great.

    As soon as I got back I copied them onto my wife’s iRiver.

    The show about Champagne was the most informative podcast I have
    listened to.

    Thanks again.

  10. 10 Sarah Jefford Apr 29th, 2005 at 3:01 pm

    Hello !

    Just wanted to tell you that I love your show !

    I listen to your programmes in Switzerland not far from Geneva amongst vineyards that slope towards the lake Leman and that face the Mont-Blanc and the Alps.

    Best regards.

    Sarah Jefford

  11. 11 Mark Johnson Jun 1st, 2005 at 2:11 pm

    Me again.

    Candy & I really enjoyed hearing this show. In Oct.’03 we went to Europe for the first time, spending our first several days along the Mosel. Too bad we hadn’t started our exploration of wines yet–there was no Grape Radio to get us going!

    Nonetheless, we’d grown up in wine country, and dearly loved all of the steep vineyards along the banks of the river. We stayed at a hotel who offered a house label wine, which we safely carried on the rest of our vacation and back home to California. We’ve still got the label.

    We stayed at the Hotel Haus Lipmann. The website shows a great photo of the little town of Beilstein, which its overlooking castle and vines.

  12. 12 AJ Jun 2nd, 2005 at 10:39 am

    I just picked up your podcast and am currently listening to #20. You are taking about various cork-pullers. You talk about the “two prong type” but didn’t mention the name. It’s called an Ah-so. I think people would like to know that that this type of puller doesn’t pierce the cork, thereby leaving the cork intact for re-use. When I know I am going to finish a bottle the same day I open it then I will use either my “rabbit”. geared corkscrew or my old fashioned corkscrew. But, when I am going to have to re-cork the bottle, I always use the Ah-So. I feel this gives a better re-sealing after I inject some nitrogen into the bottle. Thought your listeners might like to know that having two openers could be useful.

  13. 13 Jay Selman Jul 6th, 2005 at 7:21 pm

    Thats a good point AJ. I have quite a few openers that I use depending on the need. I do not like to use 750’s to save wine that I did not finish. I use those tiny bottles (187’s) with the screwtop. I fill the bottle until it overflows, then screw on the top. That way no air in the bottle and I have a tight seal.


  14. 14 Hayley Jul 15th, 2005 at 9:27 am

    Great Show! I’m a new listener with this episode, and I enjoyed it tremendously. I particularly enjoyed hearing the food/wine pairings for German wines. I’ve always found them a bit challenging to match to a dish, particularly for the stronger and sweeter wines, so that was a great feature.

  15. 15 Tony Smith Mar 21st, 2006 at 10:37 am

    Years ago we enjoyed two German wines and have recently seen one of them in local supermarket winery shelves: “Zeller Schwartz Katz.” The other I think was “Croever Nachtasche” which depicted naughty children (being spanked) on the label. Please steer me to where this particular wine might be obtained. Thank you.

  16. 16 Draeconin Istraeth May 5th, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    Croever Nachtarsh

    I found several labels at Hopefully one of these is the one you’re looking for, and will make your search easier.


  17. 17 Anthony Nov 27th, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    I have a bottle of Zeller Kats Swartz’s marked 1905. My father brought back from WWII. I was told it was worth nothing since it was not stored in wine rack with records but was wondering if someone wanted this bottle. The bottle has raised indentation of a cat on the bottle, the label is worn and brown. The bottle is unopened and still has seal.

  18. 18 Ryan May 14th, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Is there any opportunity to get that bottle?I wanted to grab that bottle for once.Please tell me about it’s price and your expectation.Hope to see your response soon.

  19. 19 chimberlyn614 Jun 10th, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Wow! I guess Germany was abundant on wine, on that place. I want to taste there wine someday. If I could visit to Germany.

  20. 20 Anya Bartholomew Jun 30th, 2011 at 6:29 am


    I too have trashed cheap wine when among friends and have found it to be highly entertaining, personally! 🙂 One mans cheap wine appears to be another mans prized elixir, and opens up great debate. Love your comment and this article was great!

    Homes in Draper, Utah

  21. 21 John Sep 23rd, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I guess if your palette is well developed in ferreting out the best tasting and aromatic wines then maybe there are others besides the German wines that are deemed top notch. To me though, there are some excellent ones. The writer above mentioned a Zeller Katz Swartz. Are you sure it wasn’t a Zeller Swartz Katz? There are some really great tasting brands of that one.

  22. 22 Richard Garmin Nov 26th, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I was camping with a group of German’s this weekend and it’s a funny bunch the German bunch. So proud of their beer, wine and cars…

    We started talking about German beer vs. German wine (vs. other countries like Spain, Canada, Australia etc) and every-one of the 6 German’s I was with reckoned that both their beer and wine is Ze best in the world! Hands down no questions asked.

    But yeah, thanks GrapeRadio for re-affirming my idea that it doesn’t matter how much, how good or how many ppl like a certain wine it is really a personal thing for which wines one likes and doesn’t…I personally like inexpensive cab sav and sav blanc.


  23. 23 Jim Jun 27th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    The cheeses certainly look delicious I am curious to wether the cheeses in the picture are similar in taste to thrench cheese Rockfort. I bet it really adds a lot to the white wine.

  1. 1 Riesling (德国白葡萄酒) | jiuwine pingback on May 5th, 2008 at 6:50 am

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