I had the great fortune to spend the most amazing culinary weekend in my hometown Trier. It was organised by my friend Thomas Weber and held at a restaurant called Bagatelle (www.bagatelle-trier.de) in a place called “Zur Lauben” in Trier.
Thomas while giving us the introduction to the degustation
There were 10 of us, Thomas and Birgit, Peter and Baerbel, Rainer and Brigitte, Uli and Hiltrud, Ulrich and myself (another Rainer). Most of us did not know each other prior to the tasting. See some of the tasters in the picture below. The glasses were not empty for long.
The meal consisted of three courses: an entree, a seafood platter, a venison main course and a desert. Needless to say that the food was very delicious indeed.
The seafood platter
Thomas had selected all the wines. He provided us with information about the wine producers and he had translated all the tasting notes into German (I am not translating them back, please visit the webpages of the wine producers for tasting notes). We tasted 9 Sauvignon Blanc and 6 Merlot wines.
The ‘9’ Sauvignon Blanc wines were the following:
– 2004 “Monmousseau”, Sancerre, AC-Loire (France)
– 2006 “Nehrener Roemerberg”, Weingut Theisen, Nehren, Mosel (Germany)
– 2005 “Lands End”, Hidden Valley Wines, Elim Vineyards, Cap Agulhas (South Africa)
– 2002 Two Hills Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, Upper Goulburn River, Victoria (Australia)
– 2003 Clairault Estate, Margaret River (Western Australia)
– 2006 Clowdy Bay, Marlborough (New Zealand)
– 2003 Johner Estate, Marlborough (New Zealand)
– 2005 Rodney Strong Estate “Charlotte’s Home”, Sonoma County, California (USA)
– the ninth wine was what is called in blind tastings a “pirate”, i.e. a wine which is not a Sauvignon Blanc.
The ‘6’ Merlot wines were:
– 2004 Bimbadgen Estate, Hunter Valley, New South Wales (Australia)
– 2004 Two Hills Vineyard Merlot, Upper Goulburn River, Victoria (Australia)
– 2005 Merlot, Auslese Weingut Guenther Steinmetz, Brauneberg, Mosel (Germany)
– 2001 Domaine Font-Mars, Languedoc (France)
– 2004 Marques de Casa, Concha Peumo Valley (Chile)
In addition and as in the white pannel there was as sixth wine also a “pirate” among the reds.
Tasting wines without restraint is a most wonderful thing. All of the participants were wine lovers with some considerable experience. The self-introduction showed that most of them were staunch Mosel wine afficionados (some with preference for off-dry Mosel wines) with some of them with likings for Spanish red wines. But generally new world wines were seen as somehow to be not very desirable as far as their taste buds were concerned. Well, we were to be taken all around the world with this blind tasting with considerable effects as I can witness.
I only became aware that two of my own wines were part of the tasting when the paper sheets with the information on producers and the tasting notes were distributed. I was of course scared not to be able to identify my own wines and Thomas teased me with the remark, that most producers do not recognize their own wines in blind tastings that he had attended. Well, these were challenging prospects. Without bragging about how many wines I correctly identfied during the evening, I would like to point out here that I did in fact identify the two Two Hills Wines which came as a relief.
We congregated at 17 h in the afternoon and parted company at about midnight. Needless to say that we had a jolly good time. We had to match the tasting notes with the wines and to make it not to difficult, we worked with a pannel of three wines at the time. The results were given after each pannel. Therefore, the odds were not ‘too big a stew to chew’. Tasting notes are indeed an interesting lead to wine but some of us felt more at ease with their own feelings and taste buds. Needless to say that after the completion of the tasting wine drinking did not stop. The dessert called for a dessert wine. Thomas selected from the restaurant wine list (Bagatelle has a very good wine list indeed). Unfortunately, I am not sure what we drank because my tasting notes became rather confused the longer the evening lasted. Moreover, we did not restrain ourselves to one bottle only but had several instead. One of them might have been a 1997 Maximiner Gruenhaeuser Riesling Auslese from Ruwer. Thomas is of the opinion that the first ‘sweet wine’ was a 2006 Drohner Hofberg from A.J. Adam.
Saying good bye was not an easy thing after these marvellous hours together discussing and enjoying wine and food. Ulrich and I walked back home to the Irminenfreihof (located in a part of town next to the old river harbour called Britannia) where my mothers house is located in an elevated spirit.
My friend Ulrich in a jolly good mood
PS 1: I love certain aspects of gobalisation and modern technology: while writing this down I am listening to wonderful music from Mozart broadcasted by the ABC Australian classic radio via the internet and of course I am enjoying a glass of 2004 Two Hills Merlot.
PS 2: Ulrich is our non-profit importer of Two Hills wines to Germany.
BAGATELLE restaurant and bistro
Zurlaubener Ufer 78