Brent Kroll on the Insane Diversity of German Wines

Watch this Washington, D.C., sommelier and restaurateur blind-taste a mystery white wine

This advertising content was produced in collaboration with our partner, Wines of Germany.

Brent Kroll is the proprietor of three Washington, D.C. establishments: Maxwell Park, Pop Fizz, and Trouble Bird. The Detroit native started learning about wine while waiting tables in college, and he landed his first sommelier role at Miami’s Casa Tua by the age of 22.

Though he’s worked all over the country, Kroll became one of D.C.’s best-known sommeliers while he was wine director at Neighborhood Restaurant Group, overseeing more than a dozen wine programs. His first establishment, Maxwell Park (named after Kroll’s childhood park in Detroit), opened in the Shaw neighborhood in 2017, followed by bubbly bar Pop Fizz in 2022 and cocktail bar Trouble Bird in 2023.

After shooting the Supertasters video with Kroll, SevenFifty Daily spoke with him about his passion for German wine.

SevenFifty Daily: What’s the first German wine you ever tried?

Brent Kroll: Dr. Loosen Riesling. We were pouring the Estate Riesling by the glass when I worked at Coach Insignia as a waiter in Detroit when I was in college. I turned 21 while working there and was finally able to taste wines by the glass. Madeline Triffon, MS, was picking the wines for our company and always had a great representation of Riesling.

SFD: What’s your favorite German wine and food pairing?

It’s a tie: a ripe German Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) with seared foie gras, or Riesling feinherb with crispy fried pork. I’ll give an honorable mention to Silvaner with spring vegetables. 

Why do you love German wine?

It’s electric. It’s sommelier Gatorade. The gateway to German wine is off-dry Riesling. Then you learn to love the drier styles and respect the Grosses Gewächs. 

But there’s so much more beyond Riesling. With temperatures warming around the world, you’re seeing German Pinot Noir thriving in numerous regions—even in places like the Mosel. Try a Hans Wirsching Silvaner, Pfeffingen Scheurebe, or an Enderle and Moll Grauburgunder to see the diversity. I didn’t even touch on Sekt, German sparkling wine!

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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