Now I Know My Wine-Phabet: Q is for QbA

Posted on September 19, 2012

  In this new series called “Now I know my Wine-phabet”, I will explore letter by letter wine and what I believe are some of the most important and/or influential aspects in the world of wine.  Since I am only choosing one topic per letter, many will be missed.  Hopefully these posts come across as being whimsical and informative.


The Letter “Q”?  Hmmm, we could talk about Quarts de Chaume, but we touched on that during the letter “L” is for Loire.  What about Quinta?  Nah, boring it’s just means Chateau.  Let’s see what the teacher wants to do.

Teacher –  “Okay class, quite down and let’s sing along.”

Class –  “A-B-C-D-E-F-G—-H-I-J-K-LMNOP—-QbA-T-U-V—W-X—Y & Z  Now I know my Wine-phabet, won’t you sing with me?  Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right!”

Teacher –  “Oh but teacher, it does. This week we are on the letter “Q” and it stands for QbA!”

Class –  “But why not QmP?”

Teacher –  “QmP gets too much attention, lets talk about the underdog, QbA.”

QbA is a German Classification for a wine which comes from one of the thirteen designated wine regions of Germany.  It means…ready to pronounce this?

Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete or in English…quality wine from a classified German region.

Wines with a QbA classification are of good quality and must come from the estate.  Wines with a QbA classification are permitted to add sugar (Chaptalization) to the wines, whereas wines with the QmP classification are not.  They have to have at least 7% alcohol and the weight of the grape must needs to weigh at least 51Oe.  The levels below QbA are Landwein & Tafelwein, and their grape must can weigh as low as 41Oe.

The quality level above QbA is QmP…Prädikatswein (wines of superior quality).  They use terms such as Kabinet, Spätlese, Auslese, Beeranauslese, Eiswein and Trokenbeeranauslese which signify the weight of the grape’s must.  QmP are usually of a higher quality, but some QbAs can give those QmPs a run for their money.

So class one more time!

A-B-C-D-E-F-G—-H-I-J-K-LMNOP—-QbA-T-U-V—W-X—Y & Z  Now I know my wine-phabet, won’t you sing with me?




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