December 4, 2010
The two wines of my sample
The only consolation for an “economy-class-only-frequent-traveller” is the use of the airline lounges. Although Beijing does not offer wine, Shanghai does even if one has to drink the fermented grape juice from paper cups.
My favourite airline lounge is the Lufthansa Lounge at Berlin Tegel Airport, but the one in Frankfurt is also acceptable.
If time permits I usually conduct a private tasting. That’s what I did last time.
The white was a ‘2009 Hugl Gruener Veltliner’, very fresh, spicy and very pleasant. Weingut Hugl, a family-owned wine business, is located in Ketzelsdorf-Poysdorf, a part of Austria they call the northern “Weinviertel”. Martin Hugl and his wife Sylvia are young and enthusiastic vintners. About 70% of their production is Gruener Veltliner.
The red I tasted was a Rioja Barbaro, a bit oaky but still with lots of fruit and very round. Overall a pleasant experience and the highlight of my trip.
December 3, 2009
The other day Lufthansa celebrated it’s 50 years of scheduled flight services to Bangkok, Thailand. I was invited to a function at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel which provided not only a splendid backdrop to the event but also supplied the guests with very jummy culinary delights.
Also the wines, a red and a white, both from Germany, were first class. Lufthansa served a 2008 Spätburgunder from Meyer-Näkel, Ahr and a 2008 Riesling from Hermann Dönnhoff, Nahe. What a treat. I could not believe my luck.
When I was a student of agriculture at Bonn University, one of my fellow students, came from the nahe wine region. She had a sticker on her car reading: “Nahewein ein Edelstein”, freely translated as “Wine from the Nahe a gemstone” (unfortunately this does not rhyme as the German slogan). Both wines were gemstones, indeed.
In the end the Riesling somehow blended better with the food, a mix of Thai, German, and other cuisines served in small portions in a snack-type fashion. The anniversary was celebrated in style with beautiful visualizations (among them old photos from good old Bangkok), street food, a twist dancing group, sepia photo taking, a choir and other singers. I wish Lufthansa many more successful years with their venture in Thailand.
PS: I did not bring a camera and therefore do not possess any photos. I also somehow forgot to study the labels of the bottles carefully. That’s a cumbersome affair for me if waiters are serving.