Jan-Hendrik Boerse is the Senior Vice President of Henkell & Co. Global, the world’s largest sparkling wine producer, having purchased 50.67% of Freixenet’s shares last year. Boerse has more than ten years of industry experience as a professional for corporate mergers & acquisitions, and with Henkell & Co. he has found a business that matches his “passion for making the world sparkle”. Following last year’s purchase of the majority share in Freixenet, Boerse visited Katnook, and Deakin Estate wineries here in Australia; both apart of the Frexinet owned Wingara Group. With the new German sparkling interest in our Australia wineries, explore DRINKS caught up with Boerse to understand his passion for sparkling wine better.
For our Australian consumers can you tell us a little bit more about what is exciting and unique about German sparkling?
Jan-Hendrik Boerse: In Germany, quality sparkling wine is called Sekt and needs to undergo a fermentation process of at least six months by law. When it comes to Sekt, quality plays a significant role. You need expert knowledge and competence to produce Sekt. Furthermore, Sekt is a category that offers a great diversity: it shows a skill for high-class sparkling wine as well as for a very professional branded business. Sekt stands for a quality promise and especially the younger generation is focusing more on quality and quality sparkling wine.
For those who might not be versed in the terminology, what are the characteristics of a blanc as opposed to, say, a brut?
J-HB: While brut describes the dosage of sparkling wine, the word blanc stands for the colour of the grapes which are used for the cuvée of the sparkling wine. For our Henkell Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, only white grapes are used – a premium cuvée style that also has a long tradition in many Champagne houses. The expression Blanc de Blancs is to differentiate between lightly pressed sparkling wine that is also made from red grapes.
For someone entertaining at home with a bottle of Henkell, what are some excellent food pairing ideas?
J-HB: Our Henkell Trocken offers a finely balanced and harmonic composition, which forms a very appealing taste. While a Henkell Trocken goes well with any fish or red meat, you should try the Henkell Blanc de Blancs, which is creamy and has a long-lasting mousseux, with some chocolate or fruits. My personal favourite is a recipe for a little-molten chocolate cake with Henkell Sekt. What you need is butter, chocolate, sugar, eggs, flour and for sure our Henkell Sekt. I found this recipe some time ago on my- sparkling-wine.com – super tasty, and super easy to bake.
What do you personally look for in a good glass of sparkling?
J-HB: Besides a harmonic mousseux that transports the natural flavours from the wine to the nose, it is undoubtedly a right balance between acidity and fruitiness. Sparkling wines with too much acidity can be exciting but usually put themselves so much in the centre of attention that they are hard to pair with any food, whereas too sweet styles face similar problems from a different angle. Finding the right balance gives the sparkling wine a nice complexity without losing the ability to accompany a good dinner.
What do you think is the perfect occasion to share a glass of Henkell?
J-HB: Henkell is the perfect fit whenever there is something to celebrate – birthdays, anniversaries, New Year’s Eve or Christmas. But, you do not need a special occasion to share a glass of Henkell, true to the motto: Celebrate Each Moment in Style! The end of work, a relaxing evening with friends or family is reason enough to open a bottle of Henkell and enjoy the bubbles.