German Wines

October 23rd, 2009 by Jeff


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Wines featured in today’s show:

  • Geschwister Simon Riesling Spätlese Ayler Kupp 2007  (~$12)
  • Domdechant Werner Riesling Kabinett Hochkeimer Hölle 2005  (~$18)

Recommended food pairings from The Som:

I shall focus on the crisper, fresher flavors of the 2007 Ayler Kupp Spätlese.  It’s a little less rich with brighter acid.  What do acidity and sweetness eat for lunch?  Heat/spice.  If you have yet enjoy the wonders of Thai food with German Riesling here is your chance.  A very simple recipe that includes the requisite heat (but by no means over-board) and an affordable, well made Riesling from the Saar River.  Sounds like a perfect Saturday afternoon lunch to me.

More on the trip:

My tour of the the Mosel and Rhine regions was mind-blowing, educational, and fun as hell.  The super steep vineyards and the proximity of the vineyards to the river can all be noted in photographs.  By the way, do you realize why the best vineyard sites are right along the rivers?  Yes, the steepness of the river banks is one reason and every vine gets hit with full sun.  But keep in mind that Germany is a pretty cool growing climate and ripening is not always a sure thing.  The refection of sunlight off the river helps the grapes alone in the ripening process (every little bit helps).  What is not translated by pics is the enormity and vastness of these vineyards.  They go on forever and each one is unique.

I did want to talk a little more about the Geschwister Simon Estate.  Calling it an Estate does not bring to mind what they are really about.  As we drove up, parked in the gravel parking lot, and unfolded ourselves from the mini-vans, here comes this guy that looks like Michael Palin’s brother playing the part of a German grape grower…if that makes sense.  He looked like a farmer to be sure; strong forearms and hands, thick, dirt stained fingers, short sleeves and an indestructible triple knit vest that would cost $150.00 at Cabalas.  He spoke very little English and relied heavily on his two daughters for translation duties.  The oldest daughter, Marie, who is 16 and has spent some time in England and a few weeks in Chicago.   She was the main translator.  Dad always tried to keep her handy.  Barbara, the 14 year old, has been taking English for a few years in school and tried her best to translate when her sister was not immediately available.  She and I had a long conversation on our way to the top of the Kupp vineyard, and she would get so embarrassed if she had a tough time with a word or phrase.  I was telling here that she was doing great.  I speak NO German and that she was blowing me away with how well she communicated.  Here is a picture of the family taken from the top of the Kupp vineyard.

Their home lies just at the bottom of the hill and in toward the town a bit.  It’s just a house and a large barn that appears to be where they keep the tractor and a few other implements.  They are farmers first and winemakers second which is the way it should be.

The wife made a fantastic dinner for us.  Beef (from the cows they keep out front) goulash, au gratin potatoes, salad, and fruit.  You name it, they put it out for us…and it was fantastic and well received.  Of all the places we went, this is the one that left the most lasting impression.

Kupp Vineyard (on right)
Kupp Family
The Som

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