Wine Stories: Interview with a German Wine Queen

Wine Angels are basically royalty, so when the reigning German Wine Queen touched down in Toronto, she stopped into the iYellow loft to talk about German wine, her duties as a queen and why Riesling totally rocks!

Who would have thought that being wine royalty would be such hard work!

The German Wine Queen (GermanDeutsche Weinkönigin) is the representative of the German wine industry. She is elected, usually in the Palatine town of Neustadt an der Weinstraße, for a period of one year.[1][2] The title is competed for by the regional wine queens of the thirteen German wine regions producing “quality” wine.

The 69th German Wine Queen is Katharina Staab from the Nahe;[3] she was chosen on 29 September 2017 for the period 2017/2018 (via Wikipedia)

Katharina describes the competition as a reality tv show, as the process is televised. Contestants compete for the Queen title and it starts with 2 rounds consisting of 13 girls having to answer 3 questions: 2 in German, 1 in English with 45 seconds to answer each question.  Then the top 6 girls go the second round a week later in a live show that is watched religiously by a lot of people in the wine regions that are represented. This rigorous second half of the competition includes spontaneous questions and a robust blind wine tasting, designed to test grape varietal knowledge and regional differences discerned solely on the palate of the contestant. 3 of the final girls then go to the final round and then 2 princesses are crowned and 1 queen reigns supreme.

Katharina is the first wine queen who works full time for an online wine retailer finds the stress of managing her queen responsibilities + her full-time job a bit complicated with more than 250 events to attend this year, and in multiple countries, she is learning how to balance her new found royal duties + her every day life involved in the wine marketing culture of Germany. Her family owns a small winery in the Nahe region and

Katharina tells us that the Queen program used to be very traditional, as when you think of German stories and folklore you think of Kings and Queens and castles, and Cinderella, all very German  – but Katharina hopes to bring more of a modern feel to the Wine Queen programming. Since Germany has that strong tradition in their history that they love to express in their winemaking heritage, but they also have a strong modern style and a lot of young winemakers and new ideas.

Besides Nahe, what’s your second favourite wine region in Germany?

“I love the wine culture in Pfalz, I’m really proud of their region – they know how to celebrate, but I prefer the style of Riesling wines from Mosel, the terroir.” Her blind tasting portion in the competition was a Mosel Riesling so she was happy.

Besides German wine, what other wines interest you?

“I studied in Portugal for 1.5 years in Lisbon. I wrote my thesis about Port wine, and how to increase port wine consumption in Germany.”

You can find Katherina at the Gourmet Food and Wine Expo this weekend


(For more information on German wines, please visit German Wines Canada)