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Fall Culture Travel :: Germany's Young Wine
You don't have to stay at home just because the leaves are changing. Follow along on our Fall Culture Map to discover what's happening this autumn.
Sure, Oktoberfest has wrapped in Munich, but there are other culturally appropriate ways to get tipsy this fall. We're talking neuer wein, and the Rhine Gorge is the place to track the stuff down.
Beaujolais nouveau's somewhat earthier cousin, neuer wein is just what it sounds like in slurred English: new wine. It's served when the alcohol content reaches four percent and left unfiltered. Unlike more mature, drier offerings, neuer wein tastes very fruity and sweet like a hard grape lemonade. Just as each region produces different wine varieties, neuer wein has a lot of tastes and names but the most common moniker is Federweisser.
The young stuff hits the streets across Germany in early September and hangs around until late October. Because it's a beverage in transition, the flavor changes throughout the autumn, getting up to 11 percent alcohol by the end of October. It's also nearly impossible to ship due to the loads of gas produced by the active yeast; this is a strictly regional specialty. Look for it at street stalls paired with onion tarts (zwiebelkuchen) in towns like Boppard, Oberwesel and Koblenz.
[Photo: Martin Winery]