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1WineDude | A Serious Wine Blog for the Not-So-Serious Drinker - Page 293

Postcard from Germany: A House Divided

Vinted on May 27, 2009 binned in best of, commentary, german wine, on the road
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High-end Mosel wine producers are (slowly) battling for the identity – and the future – of German Riesling.

“We don’t aim to produce perfection,” Annegret Reh-Gartner told me over lunch at Schloss Marienlay, a beautiful estate on the Ruwer in Germany’s famed Mosel region.

Annegret is the driving force behind Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, a Mosel wine icon with roots dating back to 1349, and now one of only a handful of producers with vineyard holdings on the Mosel as well as its tributaries, the Saar and Ruwer.  She is welcoming and open, the only things that hint at her family’s wealth (her father is probably one of the richest people in all of Germany, and their family holds several expensive vineyard areas in the region) are her keen sense of style and the impressive stone building housing our lunch table.

We aim to produce personalities.  You need soul.”

She states her views on Mosel wine matter-of-factly, with a surety that comes from clearly having considered the matter deeply.  Despite being affable, warm, and small, she cuts an imposing figure when talking about the state of Mosel Riesling, even when seated.  When she mentions the future of Mosel wine, her voice never raises but it does quicken.

“We can’t limit ourselves to super, well-balanced wines with residual sugar.  We have to catch mice with bacon.”  By mice, Annegret means the modern German wine consumer – Wine drinkers in Germany have rebelled against the explosion of cheap, bad, cloyingly sweet wines that plagued the reputation of German wines for decades.  But instead of seeking out good, well-balanced wines from quality estates, those consumers have nearly abandoned sweet wines from Germany altogether, and are voting with their wallets in favor of bone-dry Rieslings…
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Giveaway! The Stemware Edition!

Vinted on May 25, 2009 binned in giveaways

Giveaways are back!  But despite the title, I’m not giving away stemware!  Whoops!

Actually, I’m giving away five (5) – count ‘em, five – copies of the latest way-cool Putumayo world music CD release Italia, which is a collection of songs recorded by contemporary Italian singer-songwriters.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Italia will be donated to the Italian-founded organization EMERGENCY, which provides medical/surgical treatment to worldwide civilian victims of war, landmines and poverty.

None of this has anything directly to do with stemware, except for the fact that I wanted to give away these promo copies of Italia, and I’ve been itching to write about wine stemware, so yet another bizarre 1WineDude combination has been born. Sorry!

Anyway, if YOU want to win one of the five giveaway copies of Italia, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling us about what stemware you use to drink your wine, and why.  Using a secret process that involves my dog, I will randomly select five winners from the comments.  It could be YOU!…
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Weekly Twitter Wine Mini-Reviews Round-up for 2009-05-23

Vinted on May 23, 2009 binned in twitter, wine mini-reviews
  • 07 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Auslese (Mosel): Crazy good & fwd-thinking producer. Magic blend of honey-lemon & minerals. #
  • 08 Fitz-Ritter Ungsteiner Herrenberg Riesling Spatlese (Pfalz): All tropics upfront, gives way to a great sweet / acid balance & long finish #
  • 07 Fitz-Ritter Durkheimer Hochbenn Riesling Eiswein (Pfalz): Combine lemon curd, glycerin, nail polish & honey-lemon. And it’s stellar. #
  • 94 Max Fer. Richter Jeffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling TBA (Mosel): (Too) trad. producer. But this achingly sweet burnt-orange syrup is crazy good… #
  • 02 Kesselstatt Josesphshofer Riesling Spatlese (Mosel): Mesquite honey & citrus. Sweet, racy, lively… and sublimely good. #

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Postcard From Germany: A Bike Without Wheels?

Vinted on May 22, 2009 binned in commentary, german wine, on the road

Personally speaking, I don’t believe in a Hell.  But if there is a hell, I imagine that it would strongly resemble US Airways Flight 703 from Frankfurt Germany to Philadelphia on May 21, 2009, sharing the back of the plane with about fifteen of the most obnoxious German airline passengers ever to assemble in one place for eight and half consecutive hours. 

And by “one place,” I mean directly over seat 36C, where they poured brandy into each other’s plastic cups of Coke-a-Cola and showered the passenger in between them (that’s me) with spittle as they discussed their lives at an ever-increasing volume, all the while leaning heavily on the back of my seat to ensure that I achieved as little sleep as possible.

And so that’s how my press junket to Germany, compliments of Destination Riesling, ended – in stark contrast to the wonderful people that I’d met (both winemakers, hosts, and fellow travelers) the four days prior to my return flight (which I’ve dubbed “Operation Belästigen die Amerikanischen” or “Bother the tiny American”) during which I traveled through Germany’s Rheinhessen, Pfalz, and Mosel winegrowing regions with four members of the press and a guide from the German Wine Institute.

My return trip aside (and even that was so comically bad that I started laughing about it already), I’ve returned Stateside much richer for the experience, in the level of knowledge I’ve gained about the state of German winemaking (much more to come on that in the next few days), the people I’ve met, and the intimate deep-dive tasting I’ve had with Riesling wines (some readers might recall that I picked a Rheinhessen sparkling Riesling Sekt as the #1 most interesting wine I’d tasted in 2008, and which convinced me beyond a doubt that Riesling is the most noble white wine grape variety, period)…

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