As you may have noticed, there are little stands and booths popping up all over the place, especially at grocery stores or at your local farmers markets. They are advertising “neuer Wein”, “Federweisser” or “neuer Suesser” and it all really means the same thing, depending on which area of Germany you are in.

“Neuer Wein” is just that, new wine. If it is made with white grapes, then its called “Federweisser” and the red version is “Federroter.” You‘ll also start to see signs advertising new Apple Wine or “neuer Apfelwein” or “Applemost” AKA apple cider.
“Federweisser” is a type of wine that is still in the process of becoming wine, but don’t be fooled by its young nature, it still bears quite a kick. The taste is lushly sweet, almost like a sweet apple or grape juice, and it has a light sparkling to it, as if it was carbonated. The wine doesn‘t appear as a clear liquid, the way you are used to, since the new wine has not yet been filtered and is still “cloudy”. New wine may not taste like it, but it has at least 4% and up to 10% alcohol. So, while it does taste like juice, it can surprise you quickly with a good buzz.
One of the most important things to remember with new wine is that you cannot store the bottle upside down or put it in a sealed container. The wine is still in the fermenting stage so it naturally produces carbon dioxide, thus creating pressure in a sealed container and that can make it explode. Not a pretty thing to have happen in/to your fridge.
If you want to serve food with your new wine, go for something savory to counter all that sweetness.
Traditional dishes are “Flammkuchen” or tarte flame, roasted chestnuts or seasonal soups like pumpkin and potato soups. The most popular and common dish to be served with new wine has to be “Zwiebelkuchen” AKA onion cake.
Onion cake is not a regular cake, and don’t worry, you will not be handed a frosted slice of cake topped with onions. Onion cake is a savory cake, made with onions and bacon in a salty yeast dough.
Depending on the area of Germany you are in, the onion cake can be a sheet cake or more like a deep-dish quiche. But no matter what shape your onion cake may have, it is always a yeast dough topped with buttery caramelized onions, bacon bits, and a creamy filling or base. Some regions may add caraway seeds to for their nice spicy flavor.The cake can be served warm out of the oven and also goes marvelously with any of the season soups I mentioned above.
With fall here, dishes like these should definitely be on your list to try, perhaps at one of the many wine fests, or culinary wine hikes that are going on right now. You could also find yourself a lovely unique little “Strausswirtschaft”. If you have never heard of the “Strausswirtschaften”, you have been missing out. “Straussen” or “Besenwirtschaften” are temporary bars or pubs that are part of our ancient wine culture here in Germany. The temporary bars are set up by the smaller local vineyards which gives them a chance to market their wines directly to their customers. They are only open during the harvest season and are therefore not permanent, so the winemakers do not have to register it as a store or restaurant. They often serve small hearty dishes with their wines, along with homemade breads and meats.
You can find the pubs all over the popular wine and vineyard areas and they are usually marked by brooms or wreaths made out of twigs either over or near the doors. Often they will add colorful ribbons on the branches and twigs, so keep an eye out! Expect a cozy evening with great rustic food and lots of fun!
We would like to recommend the Besenkeller Röck to you. They are opening their doors starting November 1st, for 4 months, in Stuttgart Möhringen. They offer great wine, typical local cuisine and very affordable prices. On Thursday Nov 2nd they are planning on hosting an evening especially for Americans. The first 15 that contact us on Facebook will receive a 10 € discount coupon on beverages or food. You can find the adress of Besenkeller Röck on our website.
written by Karin Stumph
pictures by Akiko Abe, Joachim Schall & pixabay