Saar Riesling: Ayler Kupp

April 19, 2009

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Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti alle Vongole was the right pasta to be enjoyed with one of my “treasure” Riesling wines. From my last trip to Germany I had brought two bottles of Riesling back to Thailand.

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One of them was a ‘2007 Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett’ (dry), Saar from Bischoefliches Konvikt Trier. Nothing special, you might say, but a very decent Saar Riesling for sure (price: about 10 Euro/bottle). The terroir “Ayler Kupp” is world famous for producing excellent Riesling wines.

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The wine is a typical young Saar Riesling. Actually the wine region’s official name is Mosel, but I stick to Saar, Saar being the river where the grapes for this wine are grown in a small hamlet with the name of Ayl.

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We poured the wine, which had a light straw colour and is low in alcohol (11%), so that I could take a picture. I love the Saar Rieslings, they are wines to die for. They are well balanced, acidity, sugar and alcohol in a perfect combination. They have character, texture and structure. Aromas of melon, citrus, passion fruit, peach and/or floral notes are to be found.

The match of the food with the wine was perfect. The slight spiciness of the seafood pasta and the basil went very well with the citrus aromas of the young, slightly bubbly Riesling. The wine was very fruity, a citrus bomb, so to say, marvellous. If you have a chance to visit the Saar region, please take your time and taste some of the local wines.

PS: After the extensive lunch, by the way, we had some chocolate, espresso and port of course. I smoked a big Cuban cigar. The tropical heat made us feel mellow; what a joyful day.


Country Inns in Germany: Asparagus and river perch

May 18, 2007

While travelling in Germany recently, I had a lot of fish and seafood dishes, the reason for this being that I accompanied a group of visiting Indonesians to a number of coastal towns on the East and the North Sea. Since Germany had a splendid spring, this was the more enjoyable.

Later, together with my brother and my old folks in Trier, I visited one of the traditional German country inns so prevalent in my home area, the Mosel River Valley, the Landgasthof Kopp (www.landgasthofkopp.com) in Hentern, a small village between the Mosel tributaries Ruwer and Saar.

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Landgasthof Kopp main entrance

Springtime in Germany is ‘asparagus time’. Everywhere the lush white sticks can be purchased or consumed. All four of us ordered some kind of an asparagus dish. I had asparagus with perch (German: Zander).

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River perch with asparagus

With this delicious meal, I drank the house wine, Ockfener Scharzberg Riesling, a local product from a small village on the Saar river called Ockfen (www.ockfen-home.de). Ockfen has about 700 inhabitants and of the agricultural used land of 246 ha about 90 ha are under vines on very steep slopes. The most famous terroir is ‘Ockfener Bockstein’ which is among the best wines from the Saar. The wines from this location are very dry, minerally and fruity with a good structure.

From the Middle Ages onwards it was the monasteries along the Saar river that cultivated vines and promoted the wine industry. The wealth and prosperity of Ockfen was almost exclusively based on its wine industry. The many small villages and towns along the Saar river are worth visiting (among them Saarburg, Ayl, Kanzem, Oberemmel, Serrig, Wiltingen to name only a few. I highly recommend this very beautiful part of Germany.

As regards the inn, the Landgasthof Kopp, this place is a must, not only because of the superb quality of the food and the service. The price too was a pleasant surprise, unbeatable, I must say. For the four of us, including drinks, we spent a total of only 60 Euro for a memorable family lunch.