TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



Weingut Wirsching

Posted by Julian 23 Dec 2011

If you follow this blog regularly (and if not: why not?), you will know that the VDP, Germany's trade association of elite wine estates, hosts an annual tasting in Munich every November that has special significance for the Wine Rambler. We have reported on it last year and the year before that. And we will do so again in a minute. Just a few words to introduce the photographic theme of this posting: Since that chandeliered, psychedelically carpeted lounge has become an extension of our living rooms, as it were, we also take a keen interest in the other tasters gathered there. There are always some sociological observations to make, of course, and to discuss afterwards, about age structure and gender of the sample group, and in fact I think we can report some tentative progress in those two categories, wink wink. But this time, it was something rather different that caught our attention: Shoes.

Hip shoes, boring shoes, sexy shoes, sensible shoes. Endless variety with a few common themes, which makes shoes a bit like wine. That's the kind of thought that looking at mind-altering carpeting in state of growing tipsiness will bring up in the course of an afternoon. In pursuing it, however, we could profit from Wine Rambler Torsten's keen photographic eye, as well as some underhanded camera moves he learned by prowling London as a street photographer.

Posted by Torsten 11 Feb 2011

During the busy January wine trade tasting season there was one event of special importance for the Wine Rambler, the annual tasting of The WineBarn. The WineBarn is a UK distributor dedicated to German wine with a great portfolio including some of Germany's best wineries and some our the long-standing favourites. So one January afternoon I trekked over to the posh Mayfair neighbourhood of St James's Hotel and Club to enjoy some German wine and German wine conversation.

I found myself in a somewhat labyrinthine room with very low ceilings and an interesting combination of natural and artificial light coming from the roof.

Posted by Torsten 14 Nov 2009

Wine tastings are like battlefields, it is everyone for themselves - or so I have heard people say. Actually, at least the recent VdP tasting in Munich was more like playing a part in the submarine movie Das Boot. Periscope out, zoom in on the next lovely wine and then you give the order: 'Both planes zero. Stand by battle stations.' 'Bottle one through four are ready.', the reply is almost instantaneous. However, before you can strike your helpless target, sonar picks up that sound again: Swoosh slurp swoosh schrub slurp. A split second of panic, then you go: 'Close bow caps! Dive!' Luckily, the enemy passes above you and disappears again. 'Is it getting louder?' 'It seems constant. Ahead of us.' The awaits your next move. As the Old Man said in Das Boot: 'Now it gets psychological, friends.'

That it was, but also great fun with some amazing wines, this year's VdP wine tasting in Munich. VdP stands for 'Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter', or Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates, a group of highly decorated German estates, 'the world’s oldest association of top-quality wine estates'. Every year in November some VdP members hold a wine tasting in Munich. And the Wine Rambler attends, hungry for prey.

Posted by Julian 07 Aug 2009

German department store chain Hertie / Karstadt is broke, and the market on my way to work is one of those that are to close permanently. I couldn't help but look in on its second-but-last day out of morbid curiosity. Amid the eery atmosphere of an empty supermarket, on one of those cheesy fake barrels of the wine section, I found them: Ten or twelve little golden half-bottles, like a lost flock of ducklings, sporting blow-out price tags, but shunned by the bargain hunters. One I took home.

Wirsching is one of Franconia's most reputable producers, with hefty dry Silvaners. "Wiqem" is a rip-off on Chateau d'Yquem, of course, the world's best know dessert wine. Even the lable mimics Sauternes. It's a sweet Auslese made from a mix of grape varieties. [read the full post...]