We cannot speak for anyone outside of our little spot in Upstate New York, but this weekend is bringing a bit warmer weather, and what better way to enjoy it than with some mouthwatering Austrian sparkling wine or Sekt.
In 2016, as Austria looked back proudly on its 175-year-old tradition of producing sparkling wine, they legally defined a new premium category - Austrian Sekt g.U. (in German, mit geschützter Ursprungsbezeichnung, meaning with Protected Designation of Origin). The different and distinct steps within this category are represented by a pyramid, which incorporates the three quality levels Klassik, Reserve and Grosse (grand) Reserve.
While Sekt g.U. Klassik presents itself as airy and graceful (max. 12.5% alcohol) and expresses the primary aromas of its grape variety, Sekts in the categories Reserve and Grosse Reserve are impressive for their elegant structural acidity, their pronounced aromas of brioche and a long vivacious finish rich in finesse.
Requirements for the marketing of Austrian Sekt g.U. are set down in a series of stringent regulations. In this, the commercial description must befit the category of either Österreichischer Sekt or Österreichischer Qualitätsschaumwein, a quality level of Klassik, ‘Reserve’ or Grosse Reserve. Then name the protected designation of origin: federal state and – where applicable – municipality or part thereof. lastly, apply appropriate term such as Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (Protected Designation of Origin), abbreviated ‘g.U.’
Now that last bit may seem like a bit much, but keep in mind that these designations let you know that these are quality wines, from protected, premium regions - and there's nothing wrong with understanding a label :)
Long story short, Saturday is the day to go out and find yourself a delicious sparkling Austrian wine, which has become MUCH easier in the last 15yrs, so it should present very little challenge - so go get 'em!