First wine flash mob in Koblenz and Trier

October 29, 2012

My own flash mob in Bangkok

About a week ago history was made when the first “wine flash-mob” was conducted in Koblenz, and a much smaller one in my home town Trier. I learned it from facebook, and I wished I were there.

Funny is that the word flash of the term “flash-mob” sounds like “Flasche” which translates into German as “bottle”. So it is a “bottle mob”. Indeed about 200 wine lovers followed the invitation in Koblenz and congregated at the “German corner” (Deutsches Eck), a public square, where Rhine and Mosel river merge.

It was maybe the last warm autumn’s day (according to the organizers 21 Celsius) with blues sky, coloured leaves on trees, soft air with the hint that winter was not far away. Jan Wilhelm Buhrmann and Marco Pusceddu from the wine bar “Gavino” in Koblenz had invited to this un-usual event.

The event was part of an initiative by the German Wine Institute (DWI) to promote German wine. The title of the campaign was “become a wine spotter” (or discoverer) and it was conducted in the third week of October. In more than 400 restaurants all over Germany various events were held to promote German wine.

The bottle flash mob in Koblenz, planned for only 20 minutes, muted into a two hour public tasting and wine sharing where German “Gemuetlichkeit” reigned. Great stuff. I hope I can be there when they do it next time.

The Mosel river

October 10, 2012

The Mosel river near Schweich

I am rapping things up here in Bangkok. Only two more days to go. Friday night I will be on the midnight flight to Germany. After about 11 hours on the plane, I will land in Frankfurt early in the morning. I might have a coffee and breakfast at the train station.

Then I will catch a train to Tier, my home town to see my parents. The train ride will be wonderful regardless of the weather. Autumn might extend its magic with colourful leaves in red, brown and yellow.

First, my trip will lead me along the Rhine river, then I’ll change trains in Koblenz. The next leg of the journey will be along the Mosel river. Some of the views will be spectacular.

I will admire the vineyards of both valleys, the Rhine and the Mosel. On the hilltops will be castles here and there. The slopes are steep, and I will think of all the hard work the vintners put into their vineyards. How can one work these terrible steep slopes? Backbreaking work, done for generations.

Vineyards and wine production have been a feature of the place for more than 2.000 years, incredible. I will have only about 24 hours there before I will move on for a business trip to Berlin.

Saturday night I will patronize my favourite wine bar, Weinsinnig. It will be my cellar door so to speak since I plan to pick up a few bottles of my favourite Mosel wines. There will be certainly a crisp Riesling among them.

I very much look forward to going home.

Along the Mosel river – impressions from a train ride

October 6, 2011

Taking pictures from a train usuallay did not work for me in the past. However, the other day when I visited the Mosel river and my home town Trier, I tried it again with my new digital camera.

The outcome is not too bad, I think. And this is why I want to share it with you here on my blog. Unfortunately, I did not catch famous terroir, single vineyard locations and/or famous wine villages and towns, just some no-name impressions.

In any case, this is maybe the best view one can get of the Mosel: exploring the region on a train.

I suggest to any tourist and casual visitor to this part of Germany to take the train from Koblenz to Trier and enjoy from the regional express train the sometimes spectacular views of the Mosel valley and its vineyards.

You can feel the speed of the train – above the ‘Autobahn’ bridge at Winningen

Most ‘grand cru’ locations are to be found on the steep slopes (right) but there are also flat parts with vineyards (left)

Train station in Bullay with the view of two Mosel bridges

Vineyards on steep slopes

An autumn feeling

Blue slate on the roofs of the houses along the Mosel

The river bed, train tracks, and a country raod, all three have to find a space in the narrow Mosel river valley. That the vineyards are located on the steep slopes is not an accident. This is where the slate underground reflects the sunlight and keeps the vines warm for the optimal ripening of mainly Riesling grapes. The steep slopes are hard work for the vintners.

I love the Mosel. I find it extremely relaxing to sit on the train and watch the landscape along the winding valley.

Alternatively one can also visit the Mosel by pushbike or car. Every way of transport, every way of movement will bring new insights and offer other aspects of this magificent river landscape.