German wines at a Scandinavian supperclub

Feb 11, 13 German wines at a Scandinavian supperclub

Posted by in Food and Wine, German wine

Regular readers of my blog know that I like German wines. Whether they are mineral laden, acid streaked rieslings or fruity, medium bodied pinot noirs, I think they are still under-appreciated wines. German wines can be drunk as aperitifs or on their own but they really shine when they are paired with food. The Wines of Germany teamed up with Scandinavian cook book author Signe Johansen recently to prepare a menu of Norwegian food paired with German wines.That may sound a bit strange but when you consider that 1 in 4 bottles of wine sold in Norway is from Germany, then it begins to make a lot more sense. The cuisine of Norway – salty fish, sour pickled vegetables and fresh seafood are good companions to the the German wines. We started with a two rieslings and a lovely pinot noir paired with shrimp and fish roe on crispbread and spiced Norwegian veal & lamb meatballs. The Rechsgraf von Kasselstatt Riesling trocken 2011 (Mosel, £8.95) was off dry, full of ripe peachy fruit and a nice lean, lime finish. The other riesling, the Dr. Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten kabinett 2011 (Mosel £15.99) was, although labeled a kabinett, was very much more on the off-dry, almost spatlese side, I thought. Very fruity and round on the palate. Both wines have good acidity but I thought the Rechsgraf was a better match with the shrimp. It had a crisper, cleaner finish to it. The Palataia pinot noir 2011 (Pfalz £8.99) was probably one of my favorites of the evening. A definite crowd pleaser, full of soft ripe red berry fruit, a hint of smokiness with a smooth round mouthfeel, very morish and the acidity of the wine while not excessive, was enough to cut through the fat of the veal & lamb meatballs. Sashimi grade salmon was used for the starter of cured salmon with wild dill pollen, Scandinavian pickles and horseradish creme fraiche. The salmon was melt in your mouth good, extremely velvety but full of flavour....

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Video – Masterclass on the terroir of the Mosel, amongst the vines with Ernie Loosen

Aug 27, 12 Video – Masterclass on the terroir of the Mosel, amongst the vines with Ernie Loosen

Posted by in German wine, Travel, Videos

I had the pleasure of visiting Ernie Loosen earlier this summer in the Mosel Valley. We roamed around the Dr. Loosen grand cru vineyards on the slopes of the Mosel while Ernie proceeded to give a masterclass on the soils of the his and his neighbours vineyards. It was a fascinating and very informative morning. Afterwards we got to try his wines, from the entry level up to the Erdener Pralat. The previous evening we’d had some Pralat from the 80’s – fantastic whether young or old. So, without further ado, I will let Ernie do the talking about the amazing soils of the Mosel and the wines that are the result…. *warning, this video is for terroir geeks Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Johannes Leitz makes lunch at home in Rudesheim (oh, yeah and we get to try his 2011 rieslings)

Aug 08, 12 Johannes Leitz makes lunch at home in Rudesheim (oh, yeah and we get to try his 2011 rieslings)

Posted by in Food and Wine, German wine, Travel

Johannes Leitz ebulliently came out to greet us as we pulled up to the family home in the town of Rudesheim am Rhein, with lots of smiles and handshakes, he ushered us into the open kitchen/den where we were to have our winetasting. But first, lunch… I was a bit surprised when Johannes disappeared and then reappeared with salad ingredients and began to prepare our lunch. I’ve never had a winemaker make lunch right in front of my eyes but Johannes is a man of many talents. A bright, fresh and surprising white asparagus and strawberry salad with citrus dressing was an amazing combination of flavours – I was a bit dubious but it was an explosion of flavour. That was followed with a Thai coconut curry soup with prawn paired with the 2009 Rudesheimer Burg Rottland spatlese. The sweetness of the soup was countered by the acidity and balance of the wine, a great match. It’s commonly asserted that riesling goes well with Asian food and this was a prime example of the cuisine and wine working together. But wait, there was more! Johannes brought out a rack of lamb with potato dauphinoise. Johannes gave us 2 wines to pair with that –2011 Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg and the 2010 Rudesheimer Drachenstein Auslese. Johannes believes his wines are all about the terroir and the land certainly comes through in these wines. You can almost taste the stones while you drink the wine, beautifully structured, deep and intense with excellent minerality. Johannes told us a bit of the vineyard history over lunch. The Leitz family has been making wine since at least 1744 but it wasn’t until after WW II that his grandfather rebuilt the winery. Johannes’ father took over the winery later but died suddenly in 1966, leaving the vineyard to his wife who had her hands full with a flowershop, family and vineyard to run. It wasn’t until 1985 that Johannes took over the winery and began to rebuild it. Since then, he...

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Riesling at The Modern Pantry, Spring Tasting menu

Spring is just around the corner, now if we could just get the weather to cooperate. In anticipation of warm days and sunny skies, The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell is featuring a riesling paired Spring Tasting menu for the month of March.This is first of what they promise to be a series of wine themed dinners. I think it’s apt to have riesling for Spring as it’s such a refreshing wine with it’s racy body and zippy, zingy acidity, represented by the New World’s offerings to the rich honeyed aromas and ripe stone fruit flavours and minerality of the Old World, riesling rarely let’s me down. It’s also a very versatile food wine and, with recently awarded MBE, Anna Hansen’s cuisine, is the perfect partner to the often spicy, exotic flavours of her food. The wines were chosen by Bill Knott for the restaurant and what was most interesting was that Bill said he chose the wines first and then worked with Anna to find just the right food matches. Usually, it’s the other way around when doing food and wine matching. Bill chose an array of rieslings showcasing it’s versatility from a variety of wine growing regions, from its homeland of Germany to the ends of New Zealand, we were presented with a delightful profile of the grape. An amuse bouche of tempura battered oysters was followed by the first course of Black fried squid paired with a kabinette riesling, the Bernkastler Badstube 2010 from the Mosel was a nice foil to the spicy sweet squid, the wine being slightly spritzy with loads of sweet ripe peach fruit on the palate, salty and sweet…mmmmm. Albert Mann is a great producer from Alsace and biodynamic to boot. His wines are always refined and fresh, the 2009 Albert Mann was pleasingly aromatic, almond blossom notes floating about. A slightly off dry but tasty wine with delicious ripe fruit on the palate. The seared King oyster mushroom, yuzu & tamari and kimchee & manouri pot sticker...

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Wurttemberg – red wines of Southern Germany

When I think of German wines, I think of their delectable rieslings. Be they kabinnett or trockenbeerenauslese, whenever I think of German wines, my mind goes immediately to the striking white wines of the Mosel and the Pfalz. But did you know that Germany also does red wines? And have done for centuries? I have written a fair amount on German reds but mostly as anomalies that stood out from the white wine crowd. They were,to those outside of Germany, obscure wines from small producers who wanted to show what Germany could do with syrah or pinot noir. Well, I learned that riesling is not the only wine that Germany grows on my recent trip to Wurttemberg ( with the German Wine Institute), a wine growing region in the south of the country, where they have been growing and making red wines for centuries. If you’ve never heard of trollinger, lemberger, heroldreb, fruhburgunder or schwarzriesling, join the club. The most comprehensive tasting we had was of the wines of the Collegium Wirtemberg, a co-op of local growers just outside of Stuttgart, they are one of the biggest and after tramping up a rather large hill, we got a lovely view of the surrounding vine covered hills and a taste of their Cuvee blanc sparkling wine before heading to the main winery/tasting room downhill. Trollinger is probably the wine they are most proud of and it has been called the “national drink of Wurttemberg”. A light and fruity wine with a bite to it, it reminded me, when done right, of a Beaujolais cru. Other times, it was a rather rustic wine but Collegium Wirtemberg managed to produce a lovely little wine, perfect for a sunny afternoon amongst the vines. More substantial wines they produced came from the lemberger, St. Laurent and spatburgunder or pinot noir grapes. While I say they were more substantial, I would say that is in relation to the trollinger. All the wines were medium bodied and were more savoury in...

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German Grapeseed Spa treatments, The Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichruhe

After a long hard day of wine touring, what better way to end the day then a relaxing rub down with crushed grape seeds. Crushed grape seeds? Well, these weren’t any old grape seeds and it wasn’t any old rub down. I was laying face down in a comfortably warm treatment room at the Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichruhe Hotel and Spa, near the town of Verrenberg in southern Germany, getting a San Vino grape seed peeling rubdown. Let me backtrack a bit as to how I got here. I was on a trip with the German Wine Institute to discover the wines and cultural activities surrounding the southern city of Stuttgart. The visit and stay at the spa was all part of discovering all that this part of Germany has to offer. The Wald ( as I liked to call it, plus that’s really the only part of the name I could remember) is a luxury 5 star resort situated in a former castle. The main castle itself was built in the 18th century and throughout the centuries, it had served  as a family home as well as a royal residence. In the 1950’s the castle was converted into a hotel and in 2005, it was bought by the German company, the Wurth group because the chairman liked the place so much he decided he had to buy it. Beside the spa and indoor /outdoor swimming pool, the hotel also has a couple of restaurants, including a Michelin starred one, The Gourmet Restaurant, as well as a recently added Chef’s Table where you can watch the chefs in action. The hotel also boasts a cigar room where you’re free to smoke whatever you like (with in reason of course), private bungalows, and a golf course. The hotel has now expanded into 5 separate buildings and my room was in the spa wing. On walking in, the room was bigger then some of my old flats. On entering a huge bathroom greeted me off to...

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