Austria has outstanding wine regions, wineries - and internationally acclaimed wines. Where "Austria" is written on the outside, Austria must be inside, too; only this can guarantee the top image of Austrian products in the future and around the world. According to § 2 para. 2 of the Austrian wine law, "Austrian wine" is defined as a wine made in Austria from grapes grown in Austria. This applies also to Austrian sparkling wine.
Sekt at the Table
So Many Ways to Enjoy it!
Sekt is the ideal companion for every occasion, all year round – from welcoming in the New Year to celebrating a birthday. Even the little moments. Austrian Sekt is so diverse, that it's suitability has no bounds. A beautiful, hospitable custom is to offer a glass of sparkling wine as a welcome drink. Moreover, Sekt not only makes a wonderful aperitif, but with its variety of blends and flavours, it also makes an excellent accompaniment to meals. And it perfectly completes a multi-course menu. White and rosé sparkling wines harmonise so well with appetisers, fish dishes, white meats, finger foods, summer vegetables and, of course, delicious desserts. With roasted dark meats, red sparkling wine is a brilliant alternative. Also in cocktails, Sekt can be used in numerous ways. Quite simply, Sekt is the right drink for every occasion, every taste, every style. The garden party, an anniversary celebration, or a New Year's Eve party.
Tips for Optimising Pleasure
Given that Sekt is made with utmost attention and care, it's no wonder that it offers so many pleasures. And even these can be enhanced through some special tips.
As Sekt is fully matured in winery cellars, further storage is not necessary. However, if a large amount of stock is purchased, then the Sekt should be stored in a cool and dark place. Thanks to the new cork technology (natural multi-part cork), the bottles can be stored standing up.
The ideal drinking temperature of Sekt is 5-7 ° C; rosé, at 6-8 ° C, and red Sekt at 7-9 ° C. The serving temperature should be slightly lower. However, if the Sekt is chilled too much, its bouquet cannot develop properly. Keep in mind that glasses should not be pre-cooled in the refrigerator, as this suppresses the mousseux. Normal refrigerator temperature is sufficient for chilling the Sekt, although it will reach its ideal temperature only after around 12 hours.
The right Glass
The Sekt glass should be colourless, and the quality and form should correspond to the fine character of the Sekt itself. At the same time, it should also be functional, promoting the development of the bubbles and foam as well as optimising the bouquet. Tip: When buying a glass for Sekt, make sure there is a slightly etched spot on the inside bottom of the glass. This is designed to cause the bubbles to rise from that point and promote the wine's effervescence. It is also important that the Sekt glass is filled to the right level – just 2/3 full – so that the fragrance of the wine can be fully appreciated. The best glasses are those with a tulip or apple shape or with the narrow flute forms. Increasingly, fine white wine glasses are being used for enjoying sparkling wine. Here, the bubbles have plenty of room to float upward. A coupe glass should not be used, as its wide, shallow bowl represses the mousse and limits the playful show of the bubbles.
Opening the Bottle
The first thing to do before opening the bottle is to remove the foil (capsule) covering the closure. Hold down the cork with your thumb, for safety, and untwist the key on the wire cage. Put a cloth napkin over the cork and wire basket, maintain a good grip on them, and then gently twist the bottle (pointing safely away from you) and lightly pull down. In the final opening phase, exerting a slight counter-pressure on the cork will allow the carbon dioxide to escape with just a light hissing sound. This prevents the carbon dioxide from discharging suddenly, so no foam will overflow from the bottle. This method of opening also prevents the cork from shooting out in an uncontrolled manner. A perfect opening should be nearly silent – contrary to the loud "popping cork" sound that is so widespread. And finally, a whiff of the cork would be the last quality control measure before the first sip is taken.
Another valuable tip: Tilt the glass when pouring, so that the Sekt flows along the inside wall. This way, the carbon dioxide remains better preserved while there is no overflowing of foam, as has now been confirmed by researchers at the University of Reims in Champagne. Which is why this classic position is highly recommended – it optimally maintains the wine's taste, aroma and elegance of the mousseux. With all of these points observed, there's nothing to stand in the way of perfect Sekt enjoyment.