So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Tag Archives: Mosel

Wine topic of the day – German wine regions – The Mosel, final part

This month, we’ve concentrated on the Mosel region of Germany. I hope that the previous posts have given you a broad overview of he region and has inspired you to investigate further.  I avoided getting too specific about the high end “dessert wines” of Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswine, mainly because I rarely get to drink them, since they’re way out of my price range. Let’s just say that they are highly concentrated, almost syrupy sugarbombs (in a good way). If  you’re interested in them, and your pocketbook allows, you can google and get some specific flavor profiles and recommendations.

Robert Parker has rated the Mosel vintages in this manner:

2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991

Mosel 97T 93T 91 92T 95T 76I 86E 92T 88R 91T 90R 94R 91R 87C 88R

Key: Caution  Early maturity  Tannic or too young   Ready  Irregular

He ranked the key turn of the 90s vintages as:

1990 – 96R, 1989 – 91C and 1988 – 92R

Keep in mind that Parker will change his rankings up or down later if the wine hasn’t worked out the way it seemed initially, which happens occasionally. This is his most recent series of ratings:

THE WINE ADVOCATE VINTAGE GUIDE 1970-2008 Date:05/13/2009

http://www.erobertparker.com/info/VintageChart.pdf

Now, I’d like to finish with some key winemakers and bottlings of the region, courtesy of “The Wine Doctor” (in no particular order). This doesn’t imply that bottlers not listed shouldn’t be on the list, just an acknowledgement of space constraints.

J.J. Prum

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/jjprum.shtml

jj prum

Fritz Haag

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/fritzhaag.shtml

108lb_BJS

Dr. Loosen

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/loosen.shtml

Dr_Loosen_Gaach

Selbach-Oster

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/selbachoster.shtml

ZeltSchl%20Auslese%2003%20label200

Egon Müller

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/egonmuller.shtml\

egonmullerscharzhofbergerkabinett

Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/vonkesselstatt.shtml

2006-front

Weingut von Hovel

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/vonhovel.shtml

291653991_bbeda99157

Markus Molitor

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/markusmolitor.shtml

markus molitor weissburgunder 2003

Jon. Jos. Christoffel Erben

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/germany/jjchristoffel.shtml

christoffel-747811

Wine topic of the day – German wine regions – The Mosel pt. 3

German wine has a bad rap among some of the wine-drinking public. “Too sweet”, they moan. “I don’t like dessert wines”, others declare.

In a lot of ways, Germany only has itself to blame. Thanks to the popular brands like Blue Nun and Liebfraumilch, German wines were known as  cheap sweet white wines popular with unsophisticated young people and lovers of white zinfandel. Because of the high yield of Riesling and Müller-Thurgau, they were able to put those two brands in every cheap liquor store’s reach-in cooler.

But in the 80s, they started to turn this around. And the Mosel region was typical of this German resurrection. Even though they weren’t guilty of the above two wines, they recognized that the easy large yields of Riesling-based wines, coupled with the use of ller-Thurgau and Elbing, diluted the great character that could be achieved in the region. As the wine-drinking public became more sophisticated and discerning in the 80s, this allowed the Mosel wine community to be able to justify pulling up Müller-Thurgau vines and replant with Riesling,while simultaneously thinning the existing vines to cut down the huge yields, all with the aim of increasing quality. Having several of the most recognizable vineyards in history help Mosel hit its stride with the increasingly sophisticated wine public.

Vintners also started to produce Trocken (dry) styles as well as reducing the sweetness and trying to preserve the natural acidity that Riesling exhibits. They were also given a big shot in the arm by the incredible three years of ’88, 89, and 90.

Today’sMosels have become far more consistent in their quality, although there are still some that pander to the old style of big, sweet and flabby. You don’t have to buy a Trocken style to get something that works well with food. If the acidity is there and the sweetness backed-off a hair, you can enjoy a Mosel with many dishes. It especially works well with shellfish. It also works well with cheese selections, creamy soups, glazed foods like ham or carrots, Asian foods with spiciness like Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, and certain Chinese dishes.

Mexican food works somewhat well if you decide that you want to drink wine instead of beer or tequila, and salads but i find that the food is generally a little too heavy for Riesling to work well.

Obviously most fish dishes work well, although I prefer to pair it with lighter, flakier white fish like grouper, halibut and sea bass, leaving such darker, steakier fish as tuna and salmon to pinot noir and chardonnay. This is just a personal preference though – Riesling works just fine with those fish. Fruit sauces and fruits incorporated in dishes work well, especially when you pair a Riesling with a certain fruit flavor like apple or peach with its corresponding fruit. I tend to avoid using anything less than a Beerenauslese with desserts. Some people like using Auslese with desserts, I’m just not one of those, unless I’m having berries. I just think that there are better choices.

Avoid heavy meat dishes with rich veal stock-based sauces, but feel free to pair with grilled meats.

I actually like to drink Mosels by themselves. If they have sufficient acidity, they can be very refreshing, especially in the spring and fall.

In the next installment, we’ll list some specific wines to look for.

I hope that these short essays give you the push to dig deeper into the world of wine. Obviously, they are only thumbnail sketches. And, don’t forget, if you’re just getting into waiting tables, or you’ve been in the business for years, your income can depend on how well you can describe and sell the wines that are available to you.

riesling-and-asian

Picture from the very good wine blog, Rambin’ Wino’s Wine Guide. You can find a well-worded entry from March 29th about pairing Riesling and Asian food here:

http://ramblinwino.com/

Wine topic of the day – German wine regions – The Mosel pt. 1

map

From http://www.winepage.de/

Wine has been cultivated in Germany since the Romans left outposts of their advancing armies and created settlements in the Mosel River, Rhine River and Eifel Mountains region. As the vineyards of Germany are about the most northerly of the world’s vineyards, the varieties of grapes that can be commercially grown for wine are limited. This is also the reason why all of the regions are based on rivers, which act as moderating influences, adding humidity, reflected heat and helping to create a variety of micro-climates. There are 13 official wine regions (Anbaugebeit) of which 6 are consider primary, Nahe, Rheingau, Pfalz (formerly known as Rheinpflalz),  Mittlerhein (Middle Rhein), Rheinhessen and Mosel. The other 7 are considered “minor regions” (with the possible exception of Baden, which is, by volume, the third largest wine producing region in Germany), unless of course you’re a fan of those wines or you actually live there. The thing is, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere will rarely, if ever, see any product from those regions. 

The Anbaugebeit is then divided into different Bereich, or districts. 

The next official division down from Bereich is Grosslage, which is roughly similar to  the French appellation (although Bereich could also be called similar as well, with Grosslage being an even smaller sub-region such as a town name)  , followed by Einzellage (single vineyard) of which there are approximately 500, less than a fifth of which are of any real significance.

While there are a few examples of red wine, the predominate grape grown in Germany is white. 

During this month, we are going to concentrate on each wine-growing region (Anbaugebiete) in Germany, starting with the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region, named for the three rivers that provide the slopes and banks for growing.

The Mosel, known by the French as the Moselle is a river that runs north from the Vosges Mountains in southeastern France, forming the border between Germany and Luxembourg and finally emptying into the Rhine River at Koblenz.

The Anbaugebiete Mosel is informally divided into thirds, the Upper, Middle and Lower Mosel, athough there are five official Bereich of which  the Bereich Bernkastel is the best known outside of Germany and of generally higher quality than the other areas . If you’re looking at a map, down is up – remember, the Mosel actually flows north to the Rhine. So, the Lower Mosel is actually at the northernmost part of the Mosel. while theUpper Mosel is at the southernmost German part of the river and also comprises the smaller Saar and Ruwer tributaries. Obviously, the Mittlemosel lies between these two regions, centered between roughly Trier and Zell, with Bernkastel about midway. This is where the Mosel is at its twistiest and carves its most picturesque landscape through the Eifel and Hunsrück Mountains.  This is also where its wines are the most magical. Due to the very steep, grey slate strewn slopes, the sun is captured at its most optimal and the best producers have set up shop there, growing on every patch of sun-soaked slope that it’s possible to get a row of vines planted (many of these slopes have a 26% grade).  This is a map of the section of the river where the greatest vineyards lie and the finest wines are produced:

mapgermanymosel2Map courtesy of www.thewinedoctor.com  

Here you’ll find such famous vineyard names as Doctor, Sonnenuhr, Himmelreich and Würzgarten. But don’t be fooled – a vineyard designation doesn’t necessarily mean that all grapes from that vineyard have the exact same characteristics or quality, as micro-climate is extremely important in German viticulture.

While other varieties such as Müller-Thurgau and Grauburgunder are grown in the region, it’s Riesling that’s king of the mountain.

In the next installment, we’ll talk about the characteristics of Riesling. Since Riesling is the predominate grape in all of the major regions in Germany, we’ll discuss it globally, i.e. we’ll address the main characteristics and then discuss the differening characteristics of Riesling in the varied regions, so we don’t have to repeat ourselves as we survey the various regions.

mosel

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 42 other followers