You can drink water from the tap in Germany, though don't drink from the lake. Fountains and springs will have signs indicating if the water is drinkable, restaurants will offer tap/faucet water "Leitungswasser" if you want it, though desperate management might charge for it.
The lake is not a major wine producer area but there are a fair number of vinyards on the western German side facing south. It falls within the Baden-Württemberg wine area with a strong interest in red Pinot Noir withTrollinger, Pinot Meunier and Riesling making up the white side. Wine in restaurants will include this area but will also offer other German areas and beyond. The following principles should help you select good German wine:
- For a basic wine look for Qualitatswein on the bottle, or the next level up, QmP.
For day to day wines (but you are on holiday after all)look for Spatlase and Auslase on the bottle which indicates the quality of the wine and Trocken (dry) or Halb-Trocken (medium). Don’t avoid “medium” wines, you will find them lower in alcohol (11-8%) and the wine goes well with the local food.
Federweisse, often advertised in bars or along the bike route during September/October, is new wine that is still fermenting (so cloudy, fruity and low alcohol). It is refreshing and is often drunk with onion tart.
Late in the evening Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese offers you a rich, complicated and sweet wine like a Port but without the massive alcohol kick.
Eiswein, wine made from frozen grapes left on the vine until maybe January, costs serious money but is a step above the last mentioned with unique intensity and complexity. Try a glass if you can afford it.
Red wines will tend to be light perhaps more like a rosé.
We would recommend that you drink plenty of water at lunch on your bike holiday in hot weather as you need to replenish your body’s fluids. However, that does not mean you should not add wine to the water and a jug of the local wine certainly helps the water go down.
German beers benefit from some of the oldest and simplest food laws in the world so some of the horrors of international mass-produced beers are avoided. The main local beer varies by which country you are in and there are a number of small breweries serving beer in their own restaurant. Three breweries we have found are
- Brauhaus Albrecht Konstanz