Is Trollinger A Bottom of the Barrel Wine? It depends on who you ask!
Trollinger wine is only produced in Württemberg an area in SW Germany that lies primarily between Stuttgart and Heilbronn. Many local residents, referred to as Swabians, love the stuff, describing it as, aromatic, fruity with a hint of strawberry. Plus there’s the local pride of the speciality grape found in few other regions around the world.
Germans residing outside the region are likely to answer with a face screwed up in disgust that says it all. The frequently dismiss the Swabians as silly for thinking that Trollinger is actually drinkable, let alone a good wine.
Non-wine aficionados are more likely to remain more neutral, most likely since they probably haven’t heard of Trollinger wine.
The History of Trollinger Wine
According to some sources, the Trollinger grape was first grown in Italy. You won’t find a definitive answer for when it arrived in Germany though. Nonetheless, the Swabians claimed it as their own and somewhere in the 14th Century Trollinger Wine came into existence.
Now it is primarily grown around Stuttgart and in the Neckar Valley (which is a must-see when you’re in Germany). Trollinger wine is their pride and joy. Württemberg is one of only a few places in the world that produces the Trollinger grape and most of it is consumed locally. Only a small fraction of it is exported, making Trollinger a rare wine.
Although I think that there are much better things to be discovered in the area, if you love history and culture then you should definitely look into Trollinger when you visit. If nothing else, you’ll learn a little more about the Swabians.
How does Trollinger Taste?
Unlike other items that are rare because they are so precious like yellow diamonds, Trollinger is rare for another reason. It is perhaps one would say…an acquired taste.
In watching many expat friends taste their first sip of Trollinger I’ve heard the taste described as “it tastes like cough syrup”, “it’s so metallic tasting”, or “it tastes like rancid berries”. None of which conjure up a sense of urgency to run out and try it. If you ask someone that knows a little about wine, they would probably just say that it’s acidic. Very acidic.
Don’t let a Swabian hear you say that though, they’re very proud of their Trollinger wines. I think for them, drinking Trollinger is what makes them, well, them.
I’m personally not a big fan of it. It doesn’t go down nearly as smooth as other wines and I feel a slight burning in my throat when I drink it. Perhaps it would be good for healing a throat infection, killing all the bacteria? I much prefer Pumpkin wine or a Hugo Cocktail!
Having said that, I would recommend trying it when you’re in the Stuttgart region as it is one of the few places in the world you will find it. But here’s a tip, start by ordering a glass of Trollinger first before ordering a bottle.
If you aren’t much of a wine drinker or an adventurous drinker, then maybe stick to some of the local beers. I’m pretty sure you won’t go wrong with any German beer.
Wine Tours near Stuttgart
If all of this has made you want to learn more about the wines of Württemburg then why not try out a fantastic wine tour in the region. I think wine tours make for a perfect addition to a trip, whether you are travelling from somewhere else or are just in the mood to explore locally.
Here are some of my favourite picks:
Top Pick: Stuttgart: Vineyard Wine Safari
Enjoy fun and games, quite literally, on this great wine tour. Your guide will take you on a wonderful walk that highlights the beauty Stuttgart, the Neckar Valley, Münster and Bad Cannstatt. Stop to taste some local wines and then take part in some unique and fascinating wine games. It is a great way to experience something new.
Top Pick: Vineyard Tour in Covered Waggon in German
Looking for a relaxed way to enjoy the best of Stuttgarts vineyards? Take this tour in a covered wagon pulled by a tractor. It is a wonderful experience where you can enjoy the views of the Neckar Valley as well as stop and enjoy the fine wines from the area. Sit back and relax on this tour.