What does a charming German gentleman, a luxurious high tea fit for any queen and a glorious Autumnal day at gentile The Langham, Sydney have in common? Henkell Sekt! The leading German brand for bubbles, Henkell, was reminding us to give a big ‘Cheers to Life!’ Certainly a good philosophy to take to heart and even sweeter in light of just how well the Henkell Trocken, Rosé & Sparkling Riesling matched that high tea piled high with sandwiches and petit titbits.
Henkell brand ambassador, Klaus Kuerten, highlighted the fact that while Australia’s consumption in bubbles is growing, our friends in Germany drink more bubbles than anywhere else in the world. I have fond memories of being able to enjoy a glass of Sekt in many places where my friend enjoyed an expresso while travelling through Germany and Switzerland. Sekt is as plentiful, as it is refreshing. It is also true however, that if an Australian drinker thinks of German wine at all, it is more likely to be for that country’s divine Riesling than their sparkling wine, Sekt.
According to Klaus, opening a bottle of bubbles takes the moment to a higher level. Opening a bottle of still wine is ok. Opening a beer is fine. Bubbles, however, make a great moment into something special. In my eyes, high tea is not complete without a glass of bubbles and I often find that the drier style wines do not quite match the delectable sweets on the menu.
The sweeter off dry end of the Henkell Sekt range provides a versatile alternative suiting both the savoury and the sweet treats on offer. With fuller intensity of strawberry and cream flavours and rose petal colour, the Henkell Rosé Sekt is as good with dainty Tasmanian smoked salmon sandwiches as it is with a teeny strawberry topped tart.
The Henkell Trocken Sekt sits on the tongue lightly with citrus crispness, the indulgence of ripe stonefruit and the creaminess of zesty lemon melting moments. It is softly off dry and the flavours linger.
Klaus used the occasion to showcase the new sparkler in their crown – the Henkell Sparkling Riesling. Even though it is not yet available in Australia, it will certainly be popular if the reaction around my table is any indication. My reaction to this new product was, ‘why did it take so long?’
Historically, Henkell has focused on competing directly with the French and have used more traditional French wine varietals in their Sekt. We have always taken a more innovative approach here in Australia. And while we too have focused on the typical Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier blends there are stylish wines available using other popular varietals such as Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and of course, Riesling. This will make this a welcome addition to the range sold in Australia.
Henkell’s Sparkling Riesling has deeper lemon and lime, white peach and floral intensity. Sweet and fruity with a tangy finish that is refreshingly fuller in style. An easy match to sultana plump scones with lashings of jam and rich thick cream as it would be an aperitif or a wine to drink with fish fragrant with Asian herbs and spices.
Both Trocken & Rosé are also available in 200 ml piccolos just right for single serves. Although in my mind, the wines are much fresher in the standard 750 ml bottles under corks, the piccolos are a convenient option for occasions when full bottle is too much.
Henkell Trocken Sekt & Henkell Rosé Sekt are both $18.99 and widely available. Please visit Henkell for more information.
Afternoon Tea Titbits:
Did you know that the tiered plates that are traditional at tea is called a three tiered curate stand? There is a traditional sorting order for which afternoon tea dishes are served on which tier.
Traditionally, ‘high tea’ simply means the drink served at meal times. What we now call ‘high tea’ is, in fact, a ‘full’ afternoon tea.
To read more, visit Twinings.
Images: used with permission from Henkell
First published April 18, 2013