The world of wine is vast and varied, with numerous different grape varieties and styles to explore. One such variety that often flies under the radar is Lemberger, a red wine grape that hails from Germany. Despite its relative obscurity, Lemberger is a wine worth discovering, with its unique characteristics and versatile food pairings. In this guide, we will delve into the world of Lemberger and explore its history, flavors, and where to find the best examples of this underappreciated red wine variety.
The History of Lemberger
Lemberger, also known as Blaufränkisch, has a long history that can be traced back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. While its exact origins are unclear, it is believed to have originated in Austria and spread to Germany over time. Lemberger is now primarily grown in the Württemberg region of Germany, where it has found a suitable terroir for cultivation. In recent years, Lemberger has also gained traction in other countries, such as the United States, where it is grown in states like Washington and Michigan.
Flavors and Characteristics of Lemberger
Lemberger wines are known for their medium to full body, with moderate tannins and a vibrant acidity. The flavors of Lemberger can vary depending on the region and winemaking style, but common descriptors include dark berries (blackberry, black cherry), spices (pepper, clove), and earthy undertones. Lemberger is often compared to Syrah/Shiraz due to its peppery qualities and ability to age well. It is a versatile wine that can be enjoyed both in its youth and after a few years of cellaring.
Food Pairings with Lemberger
Due to its medium to full body and vibrant acidity, Lemberger pairs well with a wide range of foods. Its peppery and spicy characteristics make it an excellent match for grilled meats, such as steak or lamb chops. Lemberger also complements dishes with earthy flavors, like mushroom risotto or roasted vegetables. It can even stand up to spicier cuisine, such as Mexican or Indian dishes. For cheese pairings, Lemberger pairs well with aged Gouda, Cheddar, or even blue cheese.
Where to Find Lemberger
If you’re eager to try this underappreciated red wine variety, look no further than Germany’s Württemberg region. This is where Lemberger thrives, and many producers are producing exceptional examples of the wine. Some notable wineries to seek out include Weingut Jürgen Ellwanger, Weingut Weller-Lehnert, and Weingut Graf Neipperg. Additionally, Lemberger can be found in select wine shops and online retailers, particularly those specializing in German wines.
Discover the Wonders of Lemberger
With its intriguing flavors and food-friendly nature, Lemberger is a red wine variety worth exploring. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a curious newcomer, don’t overlook this underappreciated gem from Germany. Its versatility, ageability, and unique character make it a wine that will surprise and delight, and it is the perfect addition to any wine lover’s collection.