Food & Drink

6 gallant German beers and wines to toast the UEFA Euro 2024 Finals

These top drops are at the top of their game, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Germany’s 13 wine regions provide a broad spectrum of styles
Friends watching football at home and drinking beer Germany’s 13 wine regions provide a broad spectrum of styles (Roman Lacheev / Alamy Stock Phot/Alamy Stock Photo)

Much like its football, when it comes to wine and beer, Germany can deliver in spades.

A winemaker’s playground with 13 wine regions providing a broad spectrum of styles, leading the charge is its world-class riesling, with cool-climate pinot noir (spätburgunder) a close second – and back of the net, beer.

Moreover, with Germany’s wine tourism drawing visitors from across the world to visit its beautiful wine estates dotted along the picturesque Rhine River, now’s the time to mirror the bon vivant atmosphere of UEFA Euro Finals parties with a trophy grape or brew.

Here are some class acts to toast the fabulous footie…

1. Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier Germany, £2.75, 5.4% abv, 500ml, Waitrose

A highlight and deliciously refreshing, this malted wheat beer is beautifully balanced and the most popular style of beer in Bavaria (and beyond) for good reason. Weissbier (white beer) is loved for its light, fruity bitterness with hints of banana, citrus and spice… far too good to be sprayed when a goal is scored!

2. Bitburger, Germany, £15, 4.8% abv, (12 x 330ml), Majestic

With its light, crisp flavours, enticing malty notes and fresh finish – or should we say clinical finish for purposes here – this thirst-quenching session beer is a cracker with its gentle hoppy fruitiness keeping your palate right on point.

3. Johann Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé 2023, Pfalz, Germany, £7.49, Waitrose

A delicious discovery and must-try rosé from the famous Pfalz region, when you’re ready to push your Provençal pink to one side, this is a real peach. Tasting like sunshine in a glass, it’s fruit-forward with mouth-watering red berries and white stone fruits, finishing super fresh with fine acidity and mineral lift on the finish.

4. Von Reben Riesling 2022, Rheinhessen, Germany, £9.99, Laithwaites

Cited as the sommelier’s favourite and a great workhorse grape for a variety of menus, this dry riesling is a modern style from the country’s highly regarded, and largest wine-producing region. Vibrant and fruity with zippy acidity, limey notes and aromas of apricots and peach give way to ripe stone fruits, green apples, a streak of minerality and dry, stony finish. Bright and beautiful.

5. Kaufmann Organic Riesling 2021, Rheingau, Germany, £18.99, Naked Wines

Further north, the Rheingau is recognised for producing arguably some of the finest riesling – and another dry style highlighting the liveliness and sublime juiciness this variety has to offer. Deliciously tantalising, layers of lemon citrus, juicy melon and crisp apple fruit intermingle with tangy lime, a crisp backbone of acidity and lasting finish.

6. Lergenmüller Pinot Noir Trocken 2021, Pfalz, Germany, £14.99, Virgin Wines

Red grapes are also at the heartland of German wine production – and pinot noir its star grape. Cited as a Burgundian style, this floral, flavoursome pinot noir is the purest expression (with no oak influence) and bursting with fresh red berry fruit. Cherry-scented and rounded with a lovely, silky texture and fine tannins, you can even pop it in the fridge and serve it lightly chilled… prost to the beautiful game!