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.

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Roast venison with noodles and vegetables

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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.

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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.


Mother’s cooking: Venison with a Grans-Fassian Riesling, Leiwen, Mosel

April 13, 2011

I love nothing more than when my mother cooks venison or other game meat for me. She does not eat it herself because she does not like game meat at all. But my friend Heinz, a passionate hunter, and me, we just love it.

Mushrooms, Swabian “Spaezle” and venison from a ‘red deer’

In his freezer Heinz has stored all kinds of beautiful pieces of hare, roe deer, red deer, moufflon and wild boar from his hunting expeditions. And when I am home in Trier, we have a feast. This time they prepared a fillet from red deer for me.

And that’s the meal

No better wine with this al of game than a wine from the Saar river, I thought. Because the red deer was shot in Schoden, Saar where Heinz used to hunt. “Used to” because he lost his hunting territory. From the first of April other tenants has taken possession of it. The association of landowners, ‘Gehoeferschaft’ called in German, has decided to award the six year lease contract to another group of hunters.

But I had no wine from the Saar at hand. So what to drink with the delicious venison?

Well, there are plenty of good Riesling wines around. My choice then was a ‘2009 Laurentiuslay GG (grand cru) Riesling’ by Grans-Fassian a top Riesling producer from from Leiwen, Mosel.

Though I am not a “point drinker”, and this wine scores in the mid 90ies, is a ripper of a Riesling. As expected, it did not disappoint me. This is a “must buy” wine. I just love it. I even got a bottle here in my wine fridge in Bangkok.

So if you are traveling along the Mosel, visit Leiwen and buy a couple of cases from Grans-Fassian Estate. You will not regret it.

2009 Laurentiuslay Riesling GG by Grans-Fassian Estate

Address:
Weingut Grans-Fassian
Römerstraße 28
54340 Leiwen, Mosel

Tel.: +49- 6507 -3170
Fax: +49-6507 – 8167
E-Mail: weingut@grans-fassian.de

Monday-Friday
8.00-12.00 und 13.30-16.30 Uhr
or on prior appointment


November ambience in a Saar vineyard

November 29, 2010

Vineyard near Schoden, Saar

When I recently visited my home town Trier, I also had the chance to explore mother nature in nearby Schoden, Saar.

It was a grey and rainy November day as we like it. The weather makes you wish for a hot tea in a warm place, maybe near a window with a view. Or a walk through the steep vineyards in the Saar valley.

Individual vines trained on a “stick”

Some of the vineyards were already pruned. One could spot pruners here and there, alone or in small groups. Please note the pruning style of these vines. November is a good time to visit wine regions. It is less crowded and people have time for a yarn.


Wild pig from Schoden, Saar

September 15, 2010

I am afraid some of you might not like this post and the pictures which I present today. But meat comes from animals and they have to die so that we can enjoy the meals we make from it. Wild pigs are a real pest in Germany theses days, and very difficult to hunt and kill. My friend Heinz shot the little boar in Schoden, Saar.

My mother prepared a wonderful Sunday lunch with the best parts of the meat. We enjoyed it together with a bottle of our Merlot (2004 Two Hills Merlot), and I tell you that was just heaven on a stick, as we say in Australia.

Wild piglet hide

The carcass

…from a different side.

The butchered boar meat

…and in the pan

…and finally on the plate

How tender is this?

My favorite Australian Merlot


Venison from a roe deer for Sunday lunch in Trier

August 24, 2010

My stories from July and August do not come in any particular order. When arrived in early July in Trier at my mother’s place we were greated by a feats, as always. And beecause her partner Heinz is a hunter we often eat game. This time it was venison from a German roe deer (in German: Reh) he had just shot. Needless to say that my mothers cooking is just delicious as you can see from the pcitures below.

Tender venison, a meal in the making

With noodles of course

2008 Saar Riesling Van Volxem Estate

The wine I choose for this meal was a Riesling from Van Volxem Estate in Wiltingen, near Schoden (where the venison was from), one of my favourite producers from the Saar. Tough this is just a “simple” wine, it deplays all the character of a Saar Riesling, fine and delicate which machted the tender venison just perfectly.

Address
Weinmanufaktur Van Volxem
Roman Niewodniczanski
Dehnstrasse 2
54459 Wiltingen, Saar
Ph.: +49-6501-16510
e-mail: vanvolxem@t-online.de


Restaurant review: Gasthaus Bidinger, Schoden

May 5, 2010

Bidinger00

Show me the way

It’s a public holiday in Thailand today (coronation day), and this might be the reason why I am in a reminiscing mood, the dominant “mood of old people”. But Gasthaus Bidinger (Gasthaus/Gasthof = inn) in the hamlet of Schoden, Saar would be a nice place to visit today. Lunch at Bidinger is one of my favourites when with my mother in Trier, Mosel. The food is traditional German country tucker, solid and substantial, and very enjoyable.

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Gasthaus Bidinger, front entrance

Apart from rustique rural food, Gashof Bidinger offers also a nice selection of traditional drinks, for instance Bitburger Pils beer and the local apple-pear cider, called “Viez”. Viez is usually a quite sour, low alcohol drink widely consumed by the local peasantry. Mixed together with some sparkling water it is very refreshing in summer. Moreover, Bidinger also bottles his own local wines. The Saar produces some of the best Riesling wines in Germany, and is one of my favourite wine regions.

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Many empty bottles

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“Moselaner” apple cider, locally called: Viez

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Wines from the Saar

I would love to be at the Saar today. If you have the chance to visit, do so. It’s a jewel, hidden away somewhat but still easily accessible. A visit to the Saar can be combined with a trip to see Trier, the oldest German city and Luxembourg, just next door.

Address:
Gasthaus Bidinger,
Klosterstr. 30,
54441 Schoden
Tel: +49-(0)-6581/99260
Fax: 06581/99261
e-mail: Gasthaus-Bidinger@t-online.de
www.gasthaus-bidinger.de


Moufflon leg and Loch Riesling

October 15, 2009

Loch1

When I am at home in Trier, Mosel my mother cooks for me. This time Heinz had shot a young moufflon (a kind of wild sheep) in Schoden. He prepared a leg of the lamb and we had it the traditional way. It was simmering on low heat for ages. The meat was tender and had a fine gamy taste.

This feast was accompanied by a wine from the same place, a ‘2008 Schodener Herrenberg “Stier” by Weinhof Herrenberg and the Loch family in Schoden. This Riesling shows that it was made by hand. It has a fine character, is minerally and fruity with good acidity and length, a perfect Saar wine to be enjoyed right away or cellared for a couple of years.

Nothing could be more perfect, I thought. The moufflons might have roamed the very location of the Herrenberg, the vineyard where the Loch Riesling was produced. I consumed the fruits of the land, the forests of Schoden and the dedicated vintners from the Saar. I am glad my mum is such a good cook. Cheers

Loch2

It’s vintage time at the Saar right now. Why not go on an outing and drive along the romantic Saar river, visit wineries and enjoy rustic German food?

Address:
Claudia and Manfred Loch
Weinhof Herrenberg
D-54441 Schoden/Saar
Tel.: +49-6581-1258
Fax: +49-6581-995438
info@lochriesling.de
www.lochriesling.de


2008 Loch Riesling

October 10, 2009

Loch0

When I opened the first bottle produced by Weinhof Herrenberg, a ‘2008 Loch Riesling’, a was quite surprised when I found a it to be closed with a metal cap.

Loch00

This was the first time in my life that I was confronted with such a kind of enclosure. In the process of getting to the wine unwrapping some of the plastic, I first thought it would be a glass stopper. But then I discovered the metal cap. Whow, all my traditional gear, my corkscrews, were useless and could be pushed aside and I searched for a beer bottle opener.

Loch000

The above picture shows all the elements of the metal cap including the plastic covering it.

The Loch Riesling is a clean wine typical for the Saar. Aromas of tropical fruit, fully ripened, were displayed. The wine was fresh, a little spicy, with good structure and a medium finish. I had it without food, just like that, on a beautiful autumn afternoon. The golden colour of the wine reflecting the golden autumn sun. I recommend you try it.

Address:
Claudia and Manfred Loch
Weinhof Herrenberg
D-54441 Schoden/Saar
Tel.: +49-6581-1258
Fax: +49-6581-995438
info@lochriesling.de
www.lochriesling.de


Weinhof Herrenberg – Loch Riesling, Schoden, Saar

October 8, 2009

My friend Heinz was kind enough to help me out. He dropped by the Weinhof Herrenberg in Schoden, Saar, on his way back from the hunt and bought three bottles of Loch Riesling. I had planned to visit the Loch family winery for some time but never managed to get there. There was always something else when visiting Trier, my hometown nearby, a birthday, a visit, a train to catch etc.

Heinz brought back the box shown below and three different Loch Riesling wines, all of the 2008 vintage. Regular visitors of my blog know that I am a Riesling lover, especially if they were grown along the Saar, my favorite provenance of German Riesling wines.

LochRiesling2

The treasures from Weinhof Herrenberg and the two brochures

The three wines were a ‘2008 LochRiesling’ (8.90 Euro/bottle), a blend of Riesling grapes from various vineyards, a ‘2008 Schodener Herrenberg “Stier”‘ (12.90) and a ‘2008 Schodener Herrenberg “Stoveler”‘ (13.90), both wines from my favorite ‘terroir’, a very steep vineyard called “Herrenberg” bordering a forest and enticing large groups of wild pigs and deer to visit and taste the sweet grapes during vintage time. I had walked the vineyard and heard about the Loch wines but never tried a single drop. It was high time to change that.

LochRiesling3

2008 Loch Riesling wines from Schoden, Saar

I also love the brochure with the “whole” (the “Loch” in German) explaining the philosophy of Claudia and Manfred Loch, the proprietors and vintners of the boutique winery “Weinhof Herrenberg”, which is the basis for their wine-making. In short, the Loch’s aim for authenticity, uniqueness, they reject designer wines but quest for a unique character and truthfulness.

The brochure is a very unusual one, telling people why to keep their hands off LochRiesling wines and what the weaknesses of the wines are: for instance that their wines are unknown, consumer hostile, old fashioned, egoistic, lawless, dangerous and limited (in numbers of bottles!). I like this brochure.

LochRiesling5

The “Loch” brochure with a whole in it

The wine list also includes wines from locations in Ockfen and Wiltingen, two famous Saar wine villages. The “Beerenauslese” wines are not available any longer. The Loch’s also produce a dry, sparkling wine. All wines are reasonably priced.

LochRiesling4

The current wine list

You might wonder what they taste like? Well, I will tell you more about this at a later blog entry. But if you are near Schoden or in the vicinity of the Saar, please visit the Loch family vineyard at Weinhof Herrenberg. If you cannot visit in person, visit the website which is very informative.

Address:
Claudia and Manfred Loch
Weinhof Herrenberg
D-54441 Schoden/Saar
Tel.: +49-6581-1258
Fax: +49-6581-995438
info@lochriesling.de
www.lochriesling.de