Restaurant review: Wine bar Rutz, Berlin

March 10, 2011

Inside Wine Bar Rutz, Berlin (before renovation)

Well, lent has just started, so why not write about the good life? Since a long time I wanted to tell you about “Weinebar Rutz”, a gourmet restaurant in the middle of Berlin.

My wine-lover-gourmet-wine blogger friend Swetlana Kittke took me there on a beautiful evening. We had a meal together and enjoyed a wonderful German Riesling wine. At the time, I thought I will never forget the wine, but now 3-4 years later I admit that I do not remember which Riesling we had chosen (and I cannot find my notes any more). Nonetheless, the Wine Bar Rutz is a fabulous place.

While surfing the internet today, I learned that the wine bar and restaurant was closed for renovations. It will open again on April 1st. But the event of the year will be its 10 anniversary celebration on April 9th with a special offer of a gourmet meal (249 EURO/person, I hope the wine is included) called “10 years -10 courses – 10 star cooks”.

The modern cuisine

I am usually not a fan of the “designer cuisine” (as a true country boy I like the rustic food of the Mediterranean better) but I must admit that the taste of the dish above, though difficult to identify, was just marvellous.

The team at Wine Bar Rutz is composed of Marco Mueller, a one-star Micheline cook, one of the most innovative cooks in Germany, it is said, Billy Wagner, sommelier and Carsten Schmidt, the general manager. Last year the wine and food guide Gault Millau awarded 17 of 20 point to the restaurant. The wine list with about 600 different wines is very impressive too. Most of my favourite Rieslings can be found there.

Wine Bar Rutz Restaurant
Chausseestrasse 8
10115 Berlin Mitte, Germany

Lunch at the University Cafe in Melbourne

March 6, 2011

University Cafe on a glass of wine

According to the Trip Advisor website visited today, the University Cafe in Melbourne is ranked 665 of 2,131 restaurants in the second largest metropolis of Australia.

When on the farm and vineyard in Glenburn we rarely come to town. This was an exceptional day.

We had visited Melbourne University to inform ourselves about the place since both our daughters, Lucy and Charlotte, intend to enrol their after they have finished their IB in Bangkok. The university people were very friendly and we had an appointment for lunch in Carlton with some very old friends.

Without further ado we jumped into the University Cafe, an eatery right in middle of Lygon street in the heart of Carlton. Before even considering food, we ordered a bottle of crisp Riesling from Delatite Winery, located near Mansfield in the Upper Goulburn Wine Region.

Ah, wine from Upper Goulburn, our wine region. Our own little vineyard is located at the most southern tip of this new wine region of Victoria. Delatite Winery, near Mansfield, planted in 1968 is one of the oldest vineyards there.

Delatite is committed to organic practices in the vineyard and winery. The winery was established in 1982 by Robert and Vivienne Ritchie. Today, their son David is running the family business. Delatite is famous for its aromatic wines. Their Riesling has won many international and national awards. The ‘2009 Delatite Riesling’ was a natural choice.

2009 Delatite Riesling

The wine went beautifully with the food, mostly fish and other seafood dishes. The crisp apple and citrus aromas with its finely balanced acids is a great refreshment during a warm summers day. Frankly speaking, I think the Delatite Riesling is the best Riesling the Upper Goulburn has to offer.

Mixed side salad

Ruccola with parmesan

Seafood risotto

Delicious mussels

Seafood pasta

The happy diners: Joe Mauch, Anthony Arthur, Charlotte, Lucy, Rainer and Margit Adam

Overall, the service was good, the quality of the food decent, and the atmosphere despite the lunchtime crowed, to our liking. It was good to meet up with friends and relax.

The University Cafe
255 Lygon Street | Carlton,
Melbourne 3053, Australia
Te.: +61-03-9347 0328

Total abstinence!

March 5, 2011

Total abstinence sounds like the death penalty to a wine drinker cum enthusiast. Goodness me what would life be without the wonderful fluid pressed out of mature grapes, delicately fermented, matured in barrels (or steel tanks) and “uncorked” on the dinner table?

Well, how could I know? I found this monument in a little park just outside the Melbourne University Law School. Jurist should be a sober lot, at least in court and when arguing a case. I could not resist taking a photo of the inscription which is so anachronistic to a wine geek.

I hope Thomas Ferguson’s soul will forgive me when I invite you to enjoy a glass of wine, right now. Cheers

Lantenhammer Distillery, Bavaria, Germany

March 2, 2011

We were lucky. At he last Christmas basar at the German Embassy, we were able to buy two bottles of German “Obstbrand” or fruit brandy produced by Lantenhammer. From the different fruits on offer (pear, peach, plum and others), we choose “sloe” or blackthorn (prunus spinosa or German: Schlehen).

The sloe or blackthorn bush, a deciduous scrub or little tree which grows up to five meters tall, produces small blue berries which are rather inedible, tart and astringent, if consumed fresh. But after a hard frost when the tannins are withdrawn and if processed (as jam for instance) they give a wonderful aroma. Distilled they make a delicious “eau de vie”/fruit brandy, great for your stomach after a rich meal.

The Lantenhammer Sloe brandy

The Lantenhammer Distillery is located in southern Bavaria at the very picturesque lake Schliersee. The boutique Distillery was founded in 1928 and is run by the Stetter family since generations. To produce artisan products of the highest quality is the aim of the family business. Most of the work is done by hand. Andrea and Florian Stetter organise the family business with the help of 20 employees.

Our resolution: next year we will buy much more, maybe a whole box of different fruit brandies.

Lantenhammer Distillery
Obere Tiefenbachstraße 8
83734 Hausham, Germany
Tel.: +49-8026-9248-0

Sweets for my sweet.

March 1, 2011

Life on the farm is, yes, you will not believe it, sweet. There are many reasons for that, one is that food is prepared in the kitchen and not bought ready made from a supermarket. Also delivery services do not cover the Australian countryside so that the delivery of cooked food would be an option.

When Hilary, our neighbour from up the road brought a big bucket of forest berries from her garden, we could not but prepare some pancakes with wipped cream. It was delicious. Thank’s Hilary for the treat.

Pancake with forest fruit and cream – feels like heavan

“Above” Two Hills Vineyard