Wine bars – Le Sommelier in Metz, Lorraine, France

August 22, 2011

One of the good things when in Trier is that one is very close to Luxembourg and France. Both countries are ideal destinations for day tours. It was a cloudy day when we set out. Our first stop was at Nennig where we visited the Roman villa with its fantastic tessellated floor.

When the weather changed and the sun cam out, we spontaneously decided to continue our tour and visit Metz, the capital of the Lorraine region of France, just about an hour from the German-French border.

My last visit to this historic and picturesque town was when I was at the gymnasium, about 40 years ago. Because I belonged to the “French branch” of my high school, and French was our first foreign language, school trip brought us regularly to neighbouring French regions. My family had never been there, and of course Metz is also situated at my beloved Mosel river, and French vintner produce good wines as well.

When another rain shower surprised us during our city walk, we found refuge in a wine bar which we had spotted earlier; Le Sommelier, it was called. While writing this blog entry I learned that Le Sommelier gets extremely good ratings in trip advisor which doesn’t surprise me at all. The service was just excellent.

Wine bar Le Sommelier ‘cave à vin’

The entrance to ‘Le Sommelier’ with the blackboards with wine list

The bar

Shelves with wine bottles

The lady behind the counter was very friendly, rearranged chairs and tables to accommodate the four of us. The children had soft drinks and we adults embarked on a tasting of Moselle wines. We were also served a platter of various cheeses and cold cuts, delicious stuff. The wine list if short but there are many more bottles on the shelves which one can buy.

A well kept secret: Pinot Noir from the Moselle

The Saint-Stephen Cathedral of Metz just opposite of ‘Le Sommelier’ with some stained glass windows by Marc Chagall

We settled for two wines by ‘Le Domaine les Béliers’ in d’Ancy-sur-Moselle, Moselle. The Maurice family is working the vineyards at ‘Domaine les Béliers’ since 1650. The total area under vines is only about 4 ha. This is a small vintner to my liking. The main varieties are Auxerrois, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Pinot Gris. No Riesling, as the Riesling lovers will notice.

We tasted the Auxerrois and the Pinot Noir, which we liked best. Needless to say that we bought some bottles of these wines. More about the wines and the winery another time.

Visit the cities of the Moselle/Mosel Metz, Thionville, Trier and all the rest. Its truly worth it.

Address:
Le Sommelier
Cave à vins
27 place de chambre, 57000 METZ, France
Te.: +33-3 87 36 84 91
Open Weekdays 9:30am-1pm, 3pm-8:30pm; Sat 9:30am-1pm, 9:30pm-8:30pm;
also open Sun


Home again celebration – 2008 Redmont, Markowitsch, Austria

August 12, 2011

Bangkok August 2011: rainy season but with splendid mornings

How nice to be back home again. This time “home” means our flat in Bangkok.

After about four weeks on the road which brought us, among others, to my home town Trier in Germany and Ontario in Canada, we are finally back in Thailand and our “normal life” can resume.

Needless to say, we had a great time. Not only visited we family and friends but we also had gone on often spontaneous short trips for instance to Metz the capital of Lorraine, France, and Echternach in Luxembourg where we explored local culture, food and wine (Auxerrois wines in Lorraine and Elbling in Luxembourg).

Our visit to Ontario, Canada was mainly aiming at seeing friends of old student times. Two of my best friends, Dominik Franken and Gerd Eilers, had migrated to Canada after they finished their masters degrees in agricultural economics. After more than 20 years, it was time to renew our friendship and catch up with each other. That’s what we did.

We also used the opportunity to learn more about the “wineland Canada” as well, especially two regions were in our focus: the Niagara Peninsula and Prince Edward County, a marvel of a new and coming, cool climate wine region just south of Kingston, Ontario.

I have collected many stories, pictures, tasting notes, leaflets and brochures of wineries and other places we visited which will keep me busy blogging.

This abundance of material will also nurture my curiosity to learn more about the wines we tasted and the wineries we visited and embark on more research.

Due to the erratic availability of internet connectivity I have neglected my blog. The good news is that the Man from Mosel River is back. Now I just need some free time and opportunity to bring my notes into shape and share with my esteemed readers our recent wine experience.

Postscript
Question: What did we do after we arrived after a 10 hours flight from Fankfurt?

Answer: Well, we had a pasta, “bucatini alla amatriciana”, and a wine from Carnuntum, Austria which I had picked up while in transit on Vienna Airport.

The ‘2008 Redmont’ by Markowitsch, a blend of Zweigelt (50%), Blaufraenkisch (15%), Cabernet (15%), Merlot (10%) and Syrah (10%), was an inexpensive wine which I had grabbed without much thought, turned out to have a mighty nose and great aromas, which caught me by surprise.

The wine is well balanced and full bodied. I really enjoyed it. The only thing I did not like was the slight bitter after-taste one could feel on the palate. But I plan to buy another one of Markowitsch’s wines when I am in Vienna next time.