The Schloss Biebrich Sekt, a Trader Joe’s ($4.99) exclusive, is a non vintage Sparkling wine produced in Germany. Sekt is to Germany, what Cava is to Spain and Prosecco and Spumante is to Italy, their national version of Sparkling wine. This Sekt is made by Henkell & Co., the second largest producer of Sekt in Germany. The Germans drink more Sparkling wine than any other country in Europe, they drink so much Bubbly that the German vineyards cannot keep up with the demand and a majority of the grapes are imported from France, Spain or Italy. Sekt is usually made from Riesling, but can be made from many different grapes. In Germany, the Schloss Biebrich Sekt is sold exclusively to hotels and catering companies. This Bubbly is made with the Charmat Method, the same a Prosecco and Spumante, where the 2nd fermentation (that is where the bubbles are added) occurs in large stainless steel vats. The alcohol content is 11%.
The color is pale golden yellow and there are lots and lots of bubbles. The nose is crisp apple and apricot, with a little lemon cream pie and lime. This is a very light crisp bubbly, good balanced acidity, some inexpensive Sparkling wines can go overboard on the acidity. It tastes of apple and pear, a touch of lemon, a hint of buttered bread, not layered and nuanced, but darn tasty. The finish is subdued but manages to linger until you are ready to take the next sip.
The Schloss Biebrich Sekt is a whole lot of Bubbly for $5, priced in with the Andre’s and Cook’s Champagne, but so much more. The Schloss Biebrich drinks just fine on its own, but would make a terrific base for Champagne cocktails. You don’t want to be pouring mixers into expensive Bubbly, but you need a flavorful Sparkling wine to serve as a base. At five bucks, the Schloss Biebrich Sekt is just what the doctor ordered.