“Yoga for wine lovers” by Harold’s Planet

April 12, 2011

I found this video clip through my good friend Walter Klitz from Luxembourg.

Isn’t it a wonderfull animation?

I will try to enjoy wine the Harold way.


Spring in Trier, Mosel

April 11, 2011

Church of St. Paul’s seen from my home in Trier at Irminenfreihof

When I visited Trier at the end of March, I was very lucky because the weather just turned a little more to spring. The pcitures below of the spring flowers are wittness of the beauty spring carries with it.

Flowers of the hazel bushes

Flowers of the willow tree

Forsythia bush in yellow flowers

Cherry blossoms

Vineyards at Petrisberg. In the background you see the Roman amphitheatre and the Constantin basilica with its red roof


Wine bars in Trier: Weinstube Kesselstatt

April 10, 2011

Wine bar Kesselstatt in Trier

A place I just love to visit while in my home town Trier, Mosel is a cosy wine bar-cum-restaurant near the cathedral, called Weinstube (wine bar) Kesselstatt.

It is housed in the historic administrative building of the Estate Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, a well known winery with a long tradition (more than 600 years – difficult for us Australians to comprehend).

In front of the building is a replica of a tomb stone called the “Roman wine ship” found in Neumagen-Drohn, a village at the Mosel river, in 1878. In 220 it used to be one of two stones marking the grave of a Roman wine merchant. Honestly, I would love to get such a tombstone set on my own grave. What a hoot.

Today the winery is owned by the Reh family. Annegret Reh-Gartner manages the 36 ha of prime vineyards located along the rivers: Mosel (12 ha), Saar (12 ha) and Ruwer (12) ha. 98% of the area is under Riesling. The estate calls itself “the Riesling winery”.

When I strolled through the town at the end of March, I could not resist its magnetism and dropped in for a quick glass of wine.

The inside of wine bar Kesselstatt

Because the Kesselstatt estate owns vineyards along the three rivers constituting the former wine region of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, one has a great choice of different Riesling wines.

I ordered a semi-dry Riesling from Scharzhofberg, a grand-cru of the outstanding Saar Riesling wines. Normally I avoid semi-dry wines but because of the early hours of my visit I just could not go for a dry Riesling.

2010 Scharzhofberger Riesling semi-dry, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt

What a delight this wine is! I dissolved, so to say, this is Riesling at its best, and I tend to argue that none in the world is better. Lush and full, round but with zest, a titillating pleasure for the palate.

Below you will find pictures of the inside of the bar. There are old barrels filled with bottles, a old wooden press, and a side room with a map of the estates’ vineyard locations and other interesting wine paraphernalia.

Wine bottles in old barrels

A huge wooden wine press with a church bench in front

The function room

When I left the Kesselstatt wine bar revitalized and in high spirits, I walked out to a cherry tree in full blossom with a splendid view of the adjacent church of St. Liebfrauen and the cathedral (Dom, left).


It’s Friday, have a beer

April 8, 2011

When we found a supply of Flensburger Pils in our Bangkok supermarket, we could not believe our luck. Flensburg, a small town, high up north just next to the Danish border, produces one of the best beers in Germany.

Can you see the old fashioned closure? Reminds me of my childhood.

Cheers to all


2006 Leonardo Chianti Riserva

April 7, 2011

The vegetable pastry

My twin daughters had prepared the antipasti (vegetable pastry, in Swabian: Maultaschen) and after that we had a chicken cacciatore.

Chicken cacciatore with potatoes

I had deliberately selected a red wine, a ‘2006 Leonardo Chianti Riserva’ by Cantine Leonardo da Vinci in Vinci, near Florence.

Normally, I try to avoid wine co-operatives and their produce but instead go, if I can, for single vineyard wines, small boutique wineries and family vineyards. More often than I want, I end up with what I call industrial wines, standard blends of grapes from many locations and different grape varieties.

The wine is a blend of Sangiovese 85%, Merlot 10% and some other red grapes 5% which are not specified. It has a beautiful colour, and a fruity aroma of red berries with notes of vanilla, a bit spicy. The wine is matured for about 10 months in French oak but the oak is not overpowering. The tannins are well balanced.

Leonardo Chianti Riserva

I admit that I bought the bottle because of its label. Who does not like Leonardo da Vinci and his famous drawing of the Vitruvian Man. I am a Renaissance man myself, a polymath, a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Beautiful dark red colour

Address:
Cantine Leonardo da Vinci
Via Provinciale di Mercatale, 291
50059 Vinci (FI) – ITALY
www.cantineleonardo.it


Sunday roast – lemon chicken

April 4, 2011

Chicken is not my favourite meat. Therefore, I have really high quality standards when a chicken dish is brought before me.

Well, in comes the classic cookery book “Sunday Roast – the complete guide to cooking and carving” by Clarissa Dickson Wright and Johnny Scott.

Their suggestion for a lemon chicken on page 100 is just a treat.

It is a traditional Greek recipe and you need the following ingredients (4 serves):

– 1.3 kg whole chicken
– 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– salt and freshly grounded black pepper
– 1 large onion, finely sliced
– 3 carrots sliced
– 1 celery stick
– 6 sprigs of basils
– 2 lemons
– 300 ml of hot water

And what do you do with all this?

Well, heat the olive oil in a casserole and brown the seasoned chicken. Cook the onion slightly until it is transparent. Then add all the vegetables and the basil for a few minutes. Put the chicken back into the casserole atop the vegetables and pour the juice of the two lemons over the chicken. Cut the rind of the lemon in small stripes and sprinkle it over the chicken. Then you add the water and cook for about one hour.

And ‘simsalabim’, magic is done: serve.

Doesn’t it look great: Lemon chicken the Greek way

The asparagus with tomatoes

We had some boiled baby potatoes with it and a side dish of fresh asparagus with tomatoes. All in all super delicious. I could not believe it. The meat was not dried out at all, it was moist and very tender. Chicken can be very tasty. It just needs to be prepared the right way.

A great dish and a great Sunday lunch

Unfortunately, we did not have a Greek wine (no retsina or a nice red from the Greek islands). Therefore a bottle of ‘2009 Yellow Label Merlot’ by Wolf Blass, South Australia had to do the trick.

Beautiful colour

This Merlot is an industrial wine, well made, something for every day. I did not have anything else at hand, and did not want to plunder my already diminished treasures.

The front label of the Wolf Blass Merlot

I just love a straight Merlot. The Yellow Label Merlot is medium bodied with all the characteristics of the grape variety.

It matched the chicken very well, because it was not overpowering and not as fruity as for instance our own Merlot is (lots of cherry in the 2004 vintage).

13.5% alcohol

PS: I love this old fashioned book by Clarissa Dickson Wright and Johnny Scott.