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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Judging for the Skyscanner 2012 Airline Wine awards

Oct 04, 12 Judging for the Skyscanner 2012 Airline Wine awards

Posted by in Argentina

Earlier this week I was invited up to Edinburgh, Scotland by the Skyscanner people to take part in a blind tasting to judge the best Economy airline wines. Being a frequent flier, I was intrigued to see how the airline wines stacked up against each other. Truth be told, when I’m flying, all I want it a drinkable wine, the wine tasting part of my brain turns off and I try not to thing about the red wine I’m glugging down with my beef stew and rice. For those of you unfamiliar with Skyscanner, it’s a price comparison flight/travel site. I like Skyscanner a lot and they are my first port of call whenever I’m looking for flights online when I’m planning my holidays. I know it’s sounds like I’m pitching for them but I’ve been using them for the past few years and I’m always happy with the flights their search engines finds for me and usually buy via their site. So, I was pleased when they asked me to participate in the judging. Although we didn’t get to taste at altitude, we were on the 5th floor of the Point Hotel Conference Venue  which has a lovely view of Edinburgh Castle. Tom Cannavan was the judging leader/host and he gave us a few pointers as to what to look for when judging these wines. Mostly, we were looking for wines that were expressive and aromatic. I’ve heard that wine changes a lot up in the air and that wines that are full of fruit and body do best up there, nevertheless, it was with some trepidation that I came along to judge the wines. We tasted through the Whites first. It was a blind tasting and the wines came in a variety of packaging, from Tetra-Pak, to plastic 35 mls to standard 750 mls bottles. I have to admit the first wine we tried was very good indeed. It certainly got my attention. After that, the wines ranged from good quality to non-descript...

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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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