Der Weinheuer Weinclub

Santa presented us membership in the Weinheuer Weinclub. They present themselves well online and offer a friendly and professional service. The first wines arrived: a crowd pleaser from Minervois and a very interesting Loir Chenin Sparkling. We look forward to the Weinheuer Wine Tour 🍷📖🔬

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Luxembourg

My wife and I ventured to Luxembourg on the weekend. Although our time was limited to 24 hours, I can definitely recommend the following:

  • Hotel Parc Beaux Arts – A1 positioning, friendly service, comfortable
  • La Bulle de Vin – Excellent hosts, wines and food, you will learn something here, best cake we’ve ever had.
  • Konrad Cafe – buzzing crowd and staff, tasty beer on tap, perfect afternoon activity
  • Schmit-Fohl Mosellia – an elegant, fortified Pinot Blanc from the region

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Palate-Training @ Vinokammer: Vol.1 – Italian Red

Vinokammer Vol.1 – Italian Red, clearly indicated a need to re-enter the chamber for some intensive palate-training. The following data has been locked away (A BIG thank you to the Vol.1 – Italian Red Crew for sharing the wealth):

Wine 1.  Valpolicella Ripasso: beefing up Valpolicella (mainly Corvina variety) by re-fermenting the young wine on the unpressed skins of Amarone wines (dried grape wines). So you’d expect some serious astringency and possible bitterness? If the grapes used for Amarone are dried correctly, polymerization of tannins in the skins lead to a rich, balanced blending partner for the Valpolicella (Corvina).

Wine 2.  Nero d’Avola (also known as Calabrese) is at home in Sicilia. This bold red wine supports  naturally high tannin levels with adequate acidity. Our 2010 example from Lamera was showing signs of excessive oxidation which encouraged most of us to push it back a few years on the vintage scale…..Jan and Tom seemed to know something the rest of us did not. The lads found some youthfulness in there somewhere and positioned it correctly.

Wine 3.  Barolo continues to make cracking examples of Nebbiolo.

Wine 4.  Negroamaro (native variety to DOC – Salento in Puglia) is a dark-skinned grape which produces really enjoyable, primary fruit-driven wines.

Wine 5.  Sagrantino is a vicious protein-binder. I haven’t experienced tannins like this for a long time. The 2006 Fongoli example was surprisingly youthful on the nose and palate. Add this to the  glue-like tannins and you can easily mistaken these wines for a recent vintage.

Wine 6.  Brindisi is a DOC in Puglia which also produces some interesting Negroamaro. Our 2008 example from Conte di Campiano was well-balanced and looking very youthful.

Wine 7.  Primitivo came back on to the scene thanks to it’s DNA similarities to Zinfandel. Also grown in Puglia, thought to have been introduced from Croatia. Unfortunately our example was green all over.

Up next from Vinokammer Vol.2 – >100g/L Restzucker….

Vinokammer Vol.2 - >100g/L Restzucker

 

Gudrun’s Game in the Garden of Bella

My mother in law, Gudrun, stayed with us a couple of months ago whilst we adjusted to an expansion in family life. This image was taken during one of those special events when time stops and all focus is placed on the moment. Gudrun has been the catalyst of such events in my life for the past ten years. This was no exception:

It’s classic how often you find images of food on the web after people come down from such sensory experience highs. I’ve been reveling in this current comedown for months.

Two hands sent me back to 2005 at the Barossa in a bottle of Shiraz whilst Gudrun conjured up the smells and tastes of a Rethem forest in Germany. Australia to Germany and back with every sniff, slurp and chew…

Alko

I had the pleasure of meeting a friendly group of wine-lovers from Finland on Sunday morning. It is so refreshing to be in the company of people who have a real interest in wine and how it is produced.

I asked them if they would like to hike to the vineyard or risk life and limb in a trailer behind the tractor…they opted for the trailer 😉

We sampled a few styles of Mosel Riesling at the vineyard whilst they bombarded me with questions – it was fantastic. These are the type of people who buy their food direct from the farmers ensuring themselves and the farmers the opportunity to control prices and quality. Today, I have been investigating the logistics of sending wine to Finland. The government-controlled company, Alko, is the national alcohol retail monopoly in Finland and 45% of the costs involved with buying a bottle of wine are tax related (Australia isn’t far behind with its 29% WET and 10% GST system). Funnily enough ‘Alko’ has to collect such taxes to supposedly cover the healthcare costs due to Finns drinking too much.

Sadly for Finland, the climate isn’t suitable to grow vitas vinifera varieties like Riesling. My Finnish friends pointed out that due to the high taxes and the inability to grow grapes, everyone turns to producing alcoholic beverages from berries, flowers and anything else that they can extract starch/sugar from. I have visions of many underground fermentation vessels and people rolling wooden casks of newly fermented alcohol out into the alleys for the midnight bootlegging markets….somebody reserve me a seat on the next Ryan Air flight from Traben-Trarbach!