Label Language: Germany’s exacting classification system helps you select wines with the sweetness level you prefer

Choosing a sweet wine can be like selecting toppings on a burger. If you were given a delicious burger with the wrong toppings, you probably wouldn’t like it. Botrytis affected wines are delicious, but following suit with burger toppings, you have to discover what style of sweetness best suits you.

Germany has its own type of classification scheme that might help you decide what type of botrytis affected Riesling tickles your fancy.

Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA), or dried berry selection, is an intensely sweet wine made from entirely botrytis affected grapes, with each grape having been picked individually. It is rare to find — often incredibly expensive — and is a great alternative to dessert.

Beerenauslese (BA), or selected of harvest berries, is  similar to TBA, where the berries are picked individually and, although very sweet, is not as sweet as TBA wines created mainly from botrytis affected bunches.

Auslese is on the sweeter side but is not as sweet as Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese. It is from hand harvested grapes which may have a portion of the wines being botrytis affected.