What are the difference between Spatlese and Auslese Wine?

Last Updated on November 22, 2022 by Tom

One of the most common questions that wine enthusiasts have is what the difference between spatlese and auslese wines are. Both styles are high in sugar and acidity but they come from different grapes. Auslese wines are made from late-harvested grapes while spatlese wines are made from early harvesting grapes. This article will explain the taste and style differences between these two types of wine.

Spatlese and Auslese Wine

What is spatlese wine?

Spatlese is a German wine term that refers to wines made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual during harvest. This allows the grapes to ripen more fully and therefore, produce sweeter wines. Spatlese also denotes a higher quality of these particular late-harvested wines and usually carries an increased price tag.

Spatlese wines tend to be full-bodied with intense fruit flavors, high sugar levels and a noticeable level of residual sugar. With their rich sweetness and diverse range of aromas, these wines easily pair with many desserts or can be enjoyed on their own as an after-dinner treat.

Spatlese and Auslese Wine

What does it taste like?

Spatlese wines often have a strong, sweet flavor. Aromas of ripe fruit such as apricots and peaches are common and they will typically also have hints of honey, caramel, dried fruits and spices such as cloves or cinnamon. The higher sugar content in these wines gives them a pleasant sweetness on the finish that is sure to please.

What foods pair best with it?

Spatlese wines are a great match for many desserts, such as fruit tarts or cakes. Their sweet flavor pairs especially well with chocolate-based dishes and is also delicious when paired with creamy cheeses such as brie or Camembert. It can even be enjoyed alongside savory dishes such as pork or glazed ham.

What is the average price of spatlese wine?

The price of spatlese wines can vary depending on the specific producer and vintage. Generally, these wines are more expensive than other late-harvested wines due to their higher quality and longer ripening period. Prices can range from around $20 for a lower-end bottle up to several hundred dollars for a high-end variety.

What is the alcohol content of spatlese wine?

The alcohol content of spatlese wine is typically between 7% and 10%, although some varieties can contain up to 12%. It is important to note that the legal definition of a “Spatlese” wine in Germany requires a minimum of 7% alcohol.

The variety, quality and age of the grapes used as well as the particular winemaking process all contribute to the alcohol content of Spatlese wine.

It is also important to note that some producers may choose to make a sweeter version of Spatlese wine with slightly lower alcohol content. As such, it is best to check the label before purchasing any bottle of Spatlese wine.

What are some good spatlese wines?

Spatlese is a German wine-making term meaning “late harvest”. Spatlese wines are made from grapes picked later in the season, resulting in more concentrated flavors and higher sugar content.

Some of the best Spatlese wines come from Germany’s Mosel, Rheingau, Pfalz and Nahe wine regions.

Popular varieties include Riesling, Silvaner and Gewürztraminer.

When choosing a Spatlese wine, look for one that has a natural sweetness balanced with crisp acidity. Some excellent examples of Spatlese wines include Schloss Johannisberg Riesling Spätlese, Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Spätlese and Dönnhoff Nahe Riesling Spätlese.

What is auslese wine?

Auslese is a German term that literally translates to “select harvest”. It is a sweet wine made from high quality, late-harvested grapes. The grapes are allowed to hang on the vine until they have reached a certain level of ripeness, giving the wine its distinctive sweetness and intensity of flavor.

Auslese wines are usually more expensive than spatlese wines, which are made from grapes that have been picked earlier.

Both spatlese and auslese wines can range in sweetness from dry to sweet but auslese is typically sweeter due to the ripeness of the grapes used.

Spatlese and Auslese Wine

What does it taste like?

Auslese wines typically have a pronounced sweetness with intense flavors of tropical fruits, honey and candied citrus peel. The acidity in the wine is usually balanced, creating a pleasant mouthfeel.

Depending on the grape variety and style of winemaking used, these wines may also have notes of cooked apples, dried apricots, and honeycomb.

The sweetness in auslese wines makes them a great pairing for rich desserts such as sweet tarts, flans and crème brûlée. They can also be enjoyed on their own as an after-dinner treat.

Is auslese wine healthy?

The health benefits of auslese wine are still being debated. Generally, moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to improved cardiovascular health and may reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and certain types of cancer.

However, it is important to note that excessive alcohol intake can be harmful and should always be consumed in moderation. As with any alcoholic beverage, auslese wine should be consumed responsibly.

Can auslese wine age?

Yes, auslese wines can age and develop complexity over time. Aging in wooden barrels or bottles helps to bring out the full flavor of the wine. It is best to store these fine wines in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and strong odors that could affect the taste. Wines stored properly can be enjoyed for many years after their harvest.

Can auslese wine be used for cooking?

Yes, auslese wines can be used in the kitchen. Many recipes will call for sweet wines like auslese to create unique and flavorful dishes. The sweetness of the wine can help to balance out some of the flavors in the dish. However, it is important to note that the alcohol content in auslese wines will not be cooked off, so they should not be used for dishes intended for children or people who cannot consume alcohol.

What is the difference between Spatlese and Auslese wine?

Spatlese and Auslese are both German terms referring to the ripeness of grapes at harvest.

Spätlese is a late-harvested wine made from select, overripe grapes that often have higher sugar content than those harvested earlier in the season.

The slightly elevated sweetness helps balance out any tart or acidic notes in the wine. Auslese is an even sweeter, higher-quality version of Spätlese made from truly overripe or raisined grapes.

These wines are typically richer and fuller body than Spätlese varieties with a higher concentration of residual sugar and more intense flavors.

The depth and complexity of Auslese wines can be quite remarkable and well worth the higher price point.


What are the similarities between Spatlese and Auslese wine?

Spatlese and Auslese wines share several similarities. Both are harvested late in the season and are made from fully ripened grapes.

In terms of flavor, both Spatlese and Auslese wines offer a sweet fruitiness with notes of honey, apricot, peach, apple and citrus fruits.

Moreover, the grapes of both these wines are picked individually and then sorted to ensure that only perfect bunches are used for making wine.

Both Spatlese and Auslese wines also offer a wide range of aromas with notes of honey, floral, spice, peach, apricot, citrus fruits and dried fruits.

Finally, both wines have a good balance between acidity and sweetness, making them enjoyable to drink. In addition both wines can age well and provide complex flavors with aging.


If you’re looking for a wine that is light and delicate, then Spatlese is the way to go. If you want something with more body and sweetness, Auslese is your best bet. However, both types of spatlese vs auslese wines are sure to please any palate. So next time you’re at a wine tasting, don’t be afraid to ask for something new – you might just find your new favorite vintage.

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