Restaurant review: Schlosshotel Cecilienhof, Potsdam

October 1, 2009

cecilienhof

Schlosshotel Cecilienhof

I had the great pleasure to participate in a formal dinner at Schlosshotel Cecilienhof in Potsdam. This hotel is part of a historic castle of great significance: it was the site for the Potsdam Conference which brought peace to Europe at the end of World War II. It was in this building that Truman, Churchill and Stalin (among others) negotiated the fate of Germany in 1945. But I will not bore you with too much history today.

The dinner was a very enjoyable affair: I had great company, the food was excellent, the wines were very, very drinkable and the service was eminently suitable. I went for the seafood choice below: first a salmon starter followed by a “Zander” (pike perch) fillet.

Zander0

The starter made of salmon

Zander

“Zander”/pike perch fillet for main course

I also tried both wines on offer. The choice for white consisted of a ‘2007 Weingut Schloss Sommerhausen Riesling dry’ from Frankonia in Germany and was an excellent pairing with the starter. Schloss Sommerhausen is located between Ochsenfurt and Wuerzburg, the home of my maternal grandfather who introduced me to the wines from Frankonia.

I just love Riesling and Silvaner wines from Frankonia, but they also produce excellent Spaetburgunder and many other wines. The shape of the Frankonian wine bottles is unique (only the sweet Meteus wines from Portugal can also be found in such bottles), they are called “Bocksbeutel”.

Sommerhausen Riesling

But I also wanted to taste the Pinot Noir, a young wine from 2008, ‘Alde Gott Spaetburgunder dry’ from Baden. This was my second Pinot Noir from Baden since I arrived in Germany and I must say, both wines (the other one was from Affental) were excellent.

Both are produced by wine co-operatives. “Alde Gott” is located in Sasbachwalden, a village near the cities of Buehl and Baden-Baden were also the wine co-operative of Affental can be found.

AldeGott

Addresses:
Weingut Schloss Sommerhausen
Familie Steinmann
Ochsenfurter Straße 17–19
97286 Sommerhausen
Tel. 0 93 33/2 60
Fax 0 93 33/14 88

Wine sales at Schloss Sommerhausen
Steinmann family
Hauptstraße 25
97286 Sommerhausen
Tel. +49 – 93 33/2 60
Fax +49 – 93 33/14 88

Opening hours:
Mo. – Fr. von 9.00 – 18.00 Uhr
Sa. von 10.00 – 16.00 Uhr
Public holidays 10.00 – 14.00 Uhr

Wine Co-operative Sasbachwalden
Talstraße 2
D-77887 Sasbachwalden
Tel.: +49-07841 – 20 29 – 0
Fax: +49-7841 – 20 29 18
E-Mail: info@aldegott.de


Autumn in Berlin – Affentaler Spaetburgunder

September 27, 2009

Abendstimmung

Evening at Griebnitzsee, near Berlin and Potsdam

I am in Germany right now attending meetings and conferences. Ever since I landed in Hamburg, the weather has been fine, with mild and sunny autumn days.

Today is election day and at about 18 h we will know who is going to govern the Germans for the next four years. Last night we were all invited by our boss to dine at his home. He and his wife are known for their hospitality. One of the wines on offer came from Baden, a famous German wine region. I must admit that I am rather ignorant about it’s wines.

Affentaler

2008 Affentaler Spaetburgunder 1.5 liter bottle – look at the colour

I was presented with a glass of ‘2008 Affentaler Spaetburgunder’ (12.5% vol. alc.). Needless to say, that I had never heard of “Affentaler”. And only while writing this blog entry I learned that the producer of this excellent German Pinot Noir is a wine co-operative. “Affental” is located 10 km south of Baden-Baden and belong to the city of Buehl.

This is a very elegant wine, fruity, dry and very harmonious, a thorough enjoyment. The 2007 vintage had earned 87 Parker points. The 1.5 liter bottle lasted a while but it was difficult to drink any other wine after we finished it. All of us wished for more. I will look out for it when shopping for wine next time.