To blog or not to blog?

December 23, 2012

Mosel Bullay

Mosel in mid December near Bullay (shot taken from the train)

Is the retirement of the Man from Mosel River imminent?

Every December I ponder the very same question. Shall I continue this blog or not?

You might have noticed that I am struggling this year. The last three months were particularly painful. My day job is sucking up all my energies. I have been feeling drained and empty for a while. One could say that I am Gulliverized by my professional responsibilities, which have grown over the years and weigh more heavily on me now that I am getting older.

My stats show this too. I have been sliding a little, and continue to slide a little every month.

I started this blog in January 2007 and have posted a couple of hundred entries. At the end of this month I have six years of blogging under my belt. They say ‘people do not read blogs any more’; these days people are on Twitter and Facebook instead.

So why waste so much energy and time?

When I scroll though older posts I also notice that I am repeating myself. I eat the same food, visit the same places, and tend to drink (if possible) my favourite wines. Am I spent?

Not quite, I think.

Let me tell you what happened to me last weekend in my home town Trier. I had only about 43 hours available. I arrived late the first evening and was much too tired to do anything.

Saturday night, after a family meal, we watched some slides and family photos, before I could go on a stroll and check out the Christmas market. I also intended to have a glass of wine. My favourite wine bar, ‘Weinsinnig’ was my destination.

The place was crowded and I only found a table at the back. That table, however, was reserved and I was asked to swap with a place right across the “wine list”, a wall with about 20 or so wine bottles in metal holders and a description of the wine and the producer. I will tell you another time which wines I sampled that night.

When I went up to that wall with my phone to document what I had tasted (two reds) and returned to my table, a woman approached me and asked: “Are you the Man from Mosel River”? You cannot image how flabbergasted I was. How could she know?

It turned out the the woman was Manuela Schewe, the owner and initiator of ‘Weinsinnig’. She had seen my last post about the wine bar. After the introduction, we had a good chat about wine, wine bars, the vagaries of life and so on.

Well, and when I was leaving I thought that I should think it over again before giving up my blog and retiring the Man from Mosel River.

Advertisements

Roast venison from Schoden and a Riesling from the Mosel

December 20, 2012

It has been a while since my last blog entry. Somehow my work does not allow regular blog entries any longer. You will have guessed right: I was on an extended business trip to Germany.

After my official program was completed I also visited my mother in my home town Trier, just for a short weekend only. It was a cold and rainy day when I arrived late in the evening. My beloved Mosel lay in the dark.

Fortunately, a splendid meal was waiting for me. My friend Heinz had prepared roast venison for me. It was the last piece of meat he had left over from his hunting days in Schoden, Saar. In spring 2010 Heinz and his friends had lost their hunting rights to a group of hunters from Luxemburg.

Fortunately, he had the freezer full of delicious meat: venison, wild boar, wild sheep among others. The last piece of a young deer was just the right stuff to make me happy. As you can see from the two pictures below, the meal was awesome.

Wild 1

Roast venison with noodles and vegetables

Wild 2

What a fine consistency

What wine would go with this meal? Well, since the meat came from the Saar, the wine had to come from the Mosel. Fortunately, we had a bottle of ‘1999 Neumagener Rosengaertchen Riesling Spaetlese’ by Rainer Krebs, a winery in Neumagen-Drohn, Mosel.

MSR 1999 1

1999 Neumagener Rosengaertchen Riesling Spaetlese

The wine was amazing. It had the nose of petrol fumes, was full and buttery. Despite its age, the wine still displayed its great character. I do not know how many more year it would have lasted.

MSR 1999 2

It complemented our meal in a perfect way. We were reminiscing about the glorious hunting days in Schoden, the nights we spent together sitting in the cold and waiting for deer or wild pigs to show themselves. It was a wonderful time, and I am sad that the hunting rights could not be retained. But such is life, good things come, and go.

I salute all the hunters who treasured their time in this fabulous place.

Address:
Rainer Krebs
Weingut in Neumagen Dhron
Hinterburg 14
54347 Neumagen Dhron
Tel.:+49-6507 / 5934


Mosel wine in the EVA Air lounge in Taipei

November 22, 2012

The other day, while I was waiting for my flight home to Bangkok, I discovered to my great amazement in the business class airline lounge of EVA Air, that a wine from my native Mosel was on offer.

What a pleasant surprise, I thought, when I spotted the label in the wine cooler. It was a ‘2011 Bockstein Kabinett Grand Cru’ by St. Urbans-Hof in Leiwen, Mosel. The wine village of Leiwen is only a couple of kilometers away from my home town Trier.

I have visited the winery and love their crisp-dry Rieslings. For the first time I had the opportunity to taste one of their off-dry wines. The terroir, “Bockstein” in Ockfen, a small village at the Saar river, a tributary to the Mosel, is also a place very dear to me.

From the raised hides in the hunting territory of Schoden (another village at the banks of the Saar river) one could have a glimpse of the “Bockstein”, a rock formation towering over the Saar valley. It’s vineyards are very steep and the Riesling grapes grown are famous for their high quality.

Off-dry whites are not my favourites, but of course this wine showed it’s outstanding quality. It was full and lush, smooth as silk in the mouth, with intensive and mellow Riesling aromas. It had also a long finish, and I loved the balance of sugar and acidity.

Moreover, I found my beloved Mosel (Saar) here, thousands of miles away in a place of Asia where I least expected it.


My favourite wine bar in Trier: Weinsinnig

November 20, 2012

Selecting the wine

If you want to imagine me happy, imagine me in “Weinsinnig”, my favourite wine bar in Trier, Mosel.

Manuela Schewe and her team are doing a great job. I just love, that the wine bar is also a kind of cellar door for quite a few wineries. Most of them do have a cellar door of their own. However, with Weinsinnig they have a cellar door right in the middle of town.

I love this concept.

Among the wine producers you can find: Winery

Bender
Deutschherrenhof
Heymann-Löwenstein
Jakoby Pur
Lauer
Markus Molitor
Maximin Grünhaus
Nick Köwerich
Pauly
Philipp Kettern
Stephan Steinmetz
Van Volxem
Von Hövel and
von Othegraven

The selection of these, mostly local, wineries guarantees to the wine lover that he or she can choose from a broad range of different wine styles, varieties, terroir and even wine regions.

So far I was not able to try all of them as yet, but believe me I am working on it whenever I visit my lovely Trier. Stay tuned.

Cheers

Address:
WEINSINNIG
Weinbar & Verkauf
Palaststraße 12
54290 Trier
Tel.: +49-651-979 01 56
info@weinsinnig.com


Pork on the rotisserie the German way: Schwenkbraten

November 17, 2012

‘Schwenkbraten’

Actually, ‘traditional German ‘Schwenkbraten’ is when the pork is on a movable gridiron which is beeing moved over a coal fire. The above picture is more of a rolled piece of pork on a rotisserie.

However, that may be, the German love to grill as much as the Australians do. And since the summers in Germany tend to be unpredictable, often short, every opportunity to be outside and operate a grill is used to everybodies delight.

What a delicious piece of meat?

The pork is stuffed with onions, bacon, maybe herbs

My friend Juergen doing the carving job

Ready to be served

Note: Let me tell you that the above pictures were taken in Eitelsbach, Ruwer. My old friends Elisabeth and Juergen Olk had organised a family reunion to which we were kindly invited. It was a lovely summers afternoon, with little children darting through the garden, and adults chatting, telling stories, and drinking and eating. Apart from some Ruwer wines, mostly Riesling, the preferred drink was beer. We had a delightful time. What a beautiful day that was.


Food and wine pairing: Pasta and Steinberger Riesling, Kloster Eberbach

November 2, 2012

My readers know that I adore Riesling wines. Here is another one which we had with a delicious pasta (see photo above) the other day. The intensity of the tomatoe sauce was matched by the vivid citrus aromas, the fine balance of the acids and the mineral character of the Riesling from the Rheingau, Germany.

The ‘2011 Steinberger Riesling trocken (dry)’ by the famous estate of Kloster Eberbach is a great drop for every day consumption. It is their basic wine, and at the cost of 8.90 Euro it is quite affordable. The wine has all what it takes to be an excellent Riesling.

Enjoy.

As the name “Steinberger” suggests, the vineyard is a kind of “stone hill” and just located nearby the monastry. For centuries fine wines were produced from this terroir. The short video below gives you an idea about it.


Wild boar the German way – fine dining with fine wines and best friends

October 31, 2012

As you know, I like to eat game of all kind. The best wild boar I have eaten in a long time was served to me by my good old friend Ulrich Hillejan and his wife Elfriede when we visited them this summer near Muenster. The so called Muensterland is a very picturesque agricultural region right north of the former industrial heartland of the Ruhr.

Ulrich comes from a tranditional farming family which goes back a couple of hundred years (he keeps very impressive records). He inherited one of the traditional farm houses away from the manor house, just outside the nearby village.

His mother (I call her aunty Doris) prepared for us the leg of a young wild boar, shot by Ulrich’s younger brother Georg. Let me say from the outset that this was the best piece of game I have ever eaten. I asked her to tell me the secret of this delicacy. Her instructions were rather sketchy. I figured that mustard plays a central role. The meat needs to be rubbed carefully with a mustard-pepper-salt potion.

The following photos show what we had for dinner. Of course the side dish with the carbs consisted of good German potatoes.

The potatoes

The young wild boar’s leg

On the plate

And after….

Needless to say that we had various kinds of delicious wines with our meal. We started the extensive tasting with a white wine, a fresh Gruener Veltliner from Weingut Setzer, Austria. The Setzer winery was decoreated with the “winery of the year 2013” award.

The estate has about 30 ha under vines and produces a wide variety of wines. Main grape variety are Gruener Veltliner, and red Veltliner. Recently, Hans Setzer, owner-operater of the estate, was awarded with the “Vinter of the year award” for 2013. With its low (11%) alcohol content, this wine is wonderful for warm summer days. It is refreshing and shows great temperament.

Gruener Veltliner Vesper, Austria

Knipser Riesling, Pfalz

We followed up with a German dry Riesling by the well-known Knipser Estate in Laumersheim, Pfalz.In 2009 the winery was awarded the “vintner-of-the-year” award by Gault Millau.

The ‘2001 Laumersheimer Kapellenberg Riesling Kabinett Trocken’ was just the right wine to complement the meal. I like the minerally note and the tropical fruit aromas.

Barbera and Nebbiolo blend by Villa Contessa Rosa

Mid-term through the meal, we changed colour and switched to a red wine from Italy. Villa Contessa Rosa has currently about 70 ha under vines. The blend of Barbera and Nebbiolo, produced in the wine region Langhe, was also a good accompliment to the wild boar.

The meat from the forest animal and the red and Forest berry aromas from the wine went well together. Below you see the colour of the drop from heaven.

From here on I lost track of the wines we sampled in the course of the evening. There were a few more red wines, but honestly I cannot recall what they were and where they came from.

The generosity of our hosts knew no bounds, I might say (thank you again Ulrich and Elfriede). It was a terrific evening of reminiscing about the past and making plans for the future.