2014 in review

December 30, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 30,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 11 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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New frontier for new latitude wines: Cambodia

November 29, 2013

When I opened the Bangkok Post last weekend, I could not believe my eyes. The headline red “Going wild for Cambodian wine”. Well, I thought why not Cambodia. After Indonesia (on Bali island), Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar, another Southeast Asian country has joined the club of vine cultivators and wine makers.

The grapes for the wine-making are collected from wild forest grapes, the article says. There are photos available also on the internet but they are not so clear as regards the kind of vinus vinifera (if it is vinifera).

Cambodian wine

Bennett Murray and his piece in the Bangkok Post

The wine-making process described in the Bangkok Post article reads as follows:

“The manufacturing process is much the same as for wine everywhere. The juice is extracted from the grapes, and then palm sugar and yeast added”.

Palm sugar, I thought, that’s not just the usual additive to grape wine as far as I know. The article mentioned the problems with the grape quality. Since it is collected and not estate grown-fruit, I can imagine the magnitude of the issue. However, I am still interested to get a closer look at this product.

But there is also a real winery in Cambodia. Located in Battambang province, Leng Chan Thol and her husband Chan Thay Chhoueng, have planted a vineyard. They grow on a 3 ha plot of land mainly Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

I would love to try some of their wines.
My next trip to Cambodia should provide an opportunity for just that.

Address
Chan Thay Chhoueng plantation is located at
#72, Bot Sala Village, Banon District, 16 kilometres south of Battambang City.
For more information call tel.: 012 665 238.


My new Wine Journal

January 3, 2013

My new journal

My daughter Lucy gave me the above new wine journal as a Christmas gift. Now I can again systematically record the wines I was tasting.

Often I displace my notes and when I want to write about a specific wine a frantic search stands at the beginning of a blog entry.

Alas, order has been restored. Now I only have to use the book for the intended purpose.

I am ready for the wines of 2013 it seems. Bring em on!


2012 in review

January 2, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 72,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


3rd International Symposium on Tropical Wine – Chiang Mai, Thailand 2011

November 13, 2011

Sorry folks, I have been absent from the scene for a while. My day job kept me busy, too busy, i.e. away from wine appreciation and culinary exposure trips. Frankly speaking, I had the chance to sample some good wines (alas) but I had no time to write about it.

But finally, my highlight of the year has arrived: I am in Chiang Mai, in northern Thailand, right now and participate in my first ever wine symposium:

the 3rd International Symposium on Tropical Wine.

The chairman of the Thai Wine Association welcoming the participants, Nikki, wine-maker of GranMonte, on the right

Boy can you believe it, me the amateur among all these experts, the wine makers, vineyard owners, oenologists, scholars and wine scientists. These serious guys come from many countries. Tonight at the welcome reception I talked to people from Thailand, India, Myanmar, Brazil, France, Australia, South Africa and my native Germany.

The enthusiastic wine tasters at work

As most scientist, the organizers did not waste words, but went right into the serious stuff and invited all the participants to indulge in tasting the wines on offer from Brazil, Myanmar/Burma and the host country Thailand.

At first I was a bit hesitant but then joined in the tasting wholeheartedly. I found it so interesting to talk to the wine-makers and vintners, and listen to the experts who went from table to table.

I cannot say which wine and/or winery I liked most. One thing is for sure Terry Cummins and the others at the organizing committee did an awesome job in getting this conference together and running.

Tomorrow the serious part of the symposium is going to start. I will need some good sleep to get ready for the many presentations and talks. Seeya tomorrow.

PS: The Thai Wines Association has currently six members, all of them professional and enthusiastic vintners. Congratulations to you for getting such a distinguished crowd of exerts together, luring them to come to northern Thailand during these times of floods is not an easy thing to do.


The program is out – 3. International Symposium on Tropical Wine

August 24, 2011

I have already announced and informed you about the 3rd International Symposium on Tropical Wine to be held from 12. to 18. November in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Now the first draft program is out. Gosh there are so many interesting sessions, international and national speakers, and exciting field trips on offer that I might not know where to go. I cannot attend all for them.

Have a look and check it out.

By the way, you should register, I have already done it.


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.

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