Skip to main content

How to Pronounce Scheurebe (And What Kind of Wine It Is)

Part of the wine known as Scheurebe’s obscurity might be owed to its decidedly unsexy name — it’s better than its German nickname, however, which translates, quite robotically, to Seedling 88 (Sämling acht und achtsig). Try saying that ten times fast.

But don’t let the name turn you off. This white wine is incredible sensuous and can function a lot like its close and much more famous sibling, Riesling. In fact, you know a Scheurebe (shoi-ray-ba) as soon as the bottle is opened, before it even hits the glass. Fiercely fragrant, the wine is known especially in northern Europe for its intoxicating scent.

Related Videos

That scent is a big reason why it came to be in the early 20th century. A German viticulturist named Georg Scheu devised it, looking for something akin to Silvaner, but able to produce a stronger and more inviting nose as well as sustain a spring frost. Scheurebe is a cross between Riesling and some wild vine — the exact type is still up for debate. In Austria, where it’s also somewhat popular, it’s believed that the wild grape in question is Bouquet Blanc.

You don’t have to precisely know both of its parents to understand Scheurebe as a wine. The Riesling comparison is apt, especially when made into a sweeter wine. Its critics say it can be clumsy and while there’s some truth to that, a well-made Scheurebe is an amusing and unique wine, presenting a combination of hyper-floral aromatics and buttery mouthfeel (even when dry and unoaked).

Like Riesling and many other noble Old World whites, this variety is climbing out of the tight box it was put into, specifically the sweet, dessert-style cube. Scheurebe is often better dry, maintaining a richness and soft texture with just a dash of residual sugar. Fans of other highly aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Muscat will find plenty to savor in a good Scheurebe. And while most continue to come out of the cooler growing regions of Europe, a few winemaker are playing around with new vine cuttings in the states and bottling some of their own

Look out for new vintages but know that it’s a wine that can cellar for at least a handful of years. Try Scheurebe with creamy cheeses, a handful of roasted nuts, or spicy Thai cuisine.

Interested? Here are a few to try:

Bannister Wines 2019 Scheurebe

Bannister Wines 2019 Scheurebe

This small Sonoma outfit just released its first version of the varietal. It offers a firm bouquet of jasmine, a creamy mouthfeel, and fleshy fruit flavors. It’s perhaps the next logical step for a label that makes things like an orange wine out of Riesling. On the palate, this wine shows grapefruit and peach pie.

Winzerkeller Andau Beerenauslese 2015 Scheurebe

Winzerkeller Andau Beerenauslese 2015 Scheurebe 

An Austrian riff, this wine shows of Scheurebe’s early heritage as a dessert wine. While sweet, there’s a surprising kick of acid to round things out, with flavors of orange peel and currant. Plus, it tends to show up in half-bottle form, which is admittedly a little wasteful but oh so elegant. 

Pfeffingen 2017 Scheurebe

Pfeffingen 2017 Scheurebe

Hailing from one of Germany’s best wine-growing regions in Pfalz, this take is a little more involved than the grape often gets credit for. A little bit of earth and herbs, a little bit of candied fruit, the dry white strikes a nice balance in terms of flavor profile.

Editors' Recommendations

The best Irish whiskeys come in these 12 bottles
Looking for a great Irish whiskey to try? Start with this proper list of a dozen best bets.
whiskey bar

Ireland knows a thing or two about whiskey. After all, it's home to the oldest commercial whiskey distillery in the world, dating back to 1608. But with such a rich heritage and plethora of options, where should you direct your glass?

Well, Irish whiskey is actually a pretty manageable category, unlike the endless seas of, say, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Scotch. Despite its massive popularity, Ireland hosts a relatively small amount of distilleries. But there's plenty of variation and quality within that span and we have our favorites.

Read more
How to make a caipirinha, a perfect day drink
Caipirinha: This refreshing and sweet Brazilian cocktail is amazing and a surefire hit


Novo Fogo Cascadian-Caipbeerinha.

Read more
Wine tasting etiquette: How to look like you know what you’re doing
Spitting, tipping, pressure to buy: All the things you've always wanted to ask about wine tasting and haven't
how to hold a wine glass what is the proper way

Wine tasting is an incredibly fun and educational way to spend a vacation, extended weekend, or even just a breezy, casual afternoon. Learning the ins and outs of ancient wine-making practices and methods, differences in varietals, flavor profiles, bouquets, and aromas are all valuable lessons in the world of wine education. And let's be honest, walking around some gorgeous scenery and sipping on every millennial's favorite beverage is a pretty fabulous way to spend your time.
But wine tasting is so much more than tipsily stumbling about pretty vineyards tossing around words like "demi-sec" and "assemblage." There's a real art to be found in good wine, and being able to see and taste it is something truly beautiful. But just as walking into the Louvre and trying to analyze the world's most renowned paintings can be a little bit intimidating, so is knowing how to taste and dissect a glass of wine. For this reason, many people are too intimidated to ask some of the more awkward questions or know exactly how to act during a wine tasting. We're here to help.

How much do wine tastings cost?

Read more