Friday, February 26, 2021

Lockdown...What Lockdown?

Lockdown still very much in force...the Gastronomie are hoping Easter will be a date to get things going again.                                     

My good friend Karl Hodapp...Rebstock...Gasthof/Restaurant in Waldulm...has not been sitting around doing nothing. He has his vineyards...and he has his 'Brennerei'...Distillery.

Evenings he has free of I was there for two days. Spent the daytime walking, listening to music and reading. Just relaxing from the day job.
I arrived midday...and where was he? the Brennerei with son Basti.
Basti ist 13...been driving a tractor for 20 years.  

I unpacked and took the walk high up to Karl's best plot...Russhalde...naked of course at this time of year...but all prepared for the coming months.

Karl no longer sends his grapes to the local Co-Op.
Heinrich Männle in Durbach has the recent vintage. We hope for great things.
Walking back down...the smoke from the Brennerei confirmed what Karl was doing.                                     

That evening we were just the two of Basti was with his grandparents.
Karl's lady Laura had prepared a dish already in the oven.

I had bought along all the wines for the two days...and this evening the first was a recent favourite. I have been trying a few White Burgundies recently.
Marc Colin Chassagne Montrachet Les Cailleretes 2015

It costs € 80,-- which for top wines from this fairly reasonable!
This is already quite open and forward. Lightly toasted, lemon tart, hazelnut aromas. Lemon and citrus notes. Light on it's feet with a gentle creamy texture and a fine finish.
Points 18                     

Hirtzberger Honivogl Grüner Veltliner 1994

The second wine had my name on a white label on the Karl's handwriting. He asked why...then remembered that the wine had already paid a visit to Waldulm a few years before...not been touched...and had been transported back to my cellar                                    

I had brought along my Butler's I expected that the cork would not freely leave it's partner. Clever Barry...but it was not fooled...the Butler got fired...and Karl left and returned with a decanter. Pushing the cork into the bottle as we poured...the medium dark yellow liquid flowed into it's temporary home.
Wonderful nose...Grüner Veltliner extra class. Flavours threw up spices and loads of nuance. Still amazingly young. A real experience.
Points 18.5

A good night's sleep...breakfast I bought at the local cafe and ate in the car.
Off to Achern...first Cafe pick up some chocolates that my wife likes.
Then to the local Supermarket to buy for the evening meal. I was cooking. for a top Chef!

Bought some Sushi from the Supermarket and sat out on my balcony...the sun was pleasant. Had a nap...then up to Karl's apartment. I had the did not have to trouble him...happily burning fruit a hundred metres away.
I was going to prepare a Thai-Style curry...WITH PULPO.
I had wanted the arms only...but at the Supermarket...without my glasses...(can't see with them wearing a mask) ...and standing a few metres from the display... I had pointed to some Pulpo. It was not until I arrived back and opened up the package...that I saw it was not cooked. You have to laugh...and it went into the Bio-bin. I did tell Karl to empty it in the evening! I had enough other it was a Vegetable Curry.

Basti was with us this evening and kindly gave the thumbs up to my food.
Karl ate 3 portions! I rest my case!
The Grosset Polish Hill Riesling 2018 was enjoyed with the Curry.

Two 25 year old French ladies (reds are male, whites are female)...were to be tasted tonight.
The Corovin was the tool to be used to extract the liquid.

Ampeau Puligny-Montrachet Les Combettes 1996

Golden colour...nose flinty....apples and vanilla. Buttery...still some oak. Flavours of burnt walnuts and caramel.
Points 17.5

Ampeau Meursault Charmes 1996

Coravin pressed down...OK...for the first glasses. Next time...Coravin pressed down...cork went down.
Gold colour...nuttiness...toasted ok...but not harmonius. We concentrated on the sister. Karl said he would try it again next day. He did...and the day after just went on improving. So my points really do not do it justice.
Points 17....Karl marked it 94/100 after 2 days. Lucky guy!

Again...a great evening.

Next morning...breakfast in the car...the Autobahn was empty on a Saturday...and I was home in 90 Minutes. Porsche Cayenne...had it 10 years now...still wonderful!

Unpacked...prepared lunch...sun was shining
Had my Havana Cigar ready...doorbell rang.

Package...bottles of wine...does it never end?

Monday, February 15, 2021

Ott not too hot

Sunday evening...and after a hard day at the Snooker table I needed something quick and easy. I love Gnocchis and the Gorgonzola sauce with some added walnuts was quite delicious.

The white had been opened a few I find the Ott wines need airing

Ott Rosenberg Grüner Veltliner 2018

Rich concentration is the overall short version.
Rich peach mixed with buttery smoky undertones.

Round, lush and intense on the densely textured palate, this is a full-bodied, rich and and powerful Veltliner. Generally I am fan of the Winemaker....but found this a touch too much.

Points 17


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Buses from Australia

Strange world of wine...this was not planned...and I do not have many Aussie wines. Like buses....two come along at the same time after waiting ages.
Well..ages it has not been as my opening wine since I relaunched...was Grosset Polish River Riesling 2018.

A Thai Green Curry asked for a Riesling...not too dry.

Grosset Springvale Riesling 2018
Clare Valley
South Australia

This is not bone dry like the Polish Hill...
just on the verge of being off-dry.
Nose shows touch of petrol....I am a fan already...
limes, plenty of citrus zest as well as fresh cut pear and green apple.
A zingy lime acidity and full fruits across the palate and a long finish of honey and chalk.
Very juicy, flavors that envelope the mouth and acidity that gets the mouth watering. Delicious...and PERFECT with Thai Curry.
Points 17

Next day...I decided on Iberico Pork Chops. Spanish pigs lead a happy life....certainly those I have come to love. Marinate in olive oil with Thyme, Rosemary and Garlic. Hot pan...two minutes per side...heat down...then 4 minutes each side...add some butter...and serve.

A red would be a match...but a Chardonnay of class would be no hardship...price € 60,--
Vasse Felix Chardonnay Heytesbury 2017

Margaret River

Pale yellow colour...aromas of smoke, incense, lemon peel, lime juice, honeysuckle, butter, vanilla, walnut.

Steely with medium body and mouthwatering acidity, tastes of lemon peel, lime zest, grapefruit, clementine, yellow apples, flinty.

Leaves you wanting more.

Great balance with lovely crisp acidity keeping the wine vibrant and fine.

Points 18


Monday, February 08, 2021

Serious Rosé

Rosé wines are not for serious wine drinkers.!!! That is what you will hear from the majority of serious wine drinkers.To be honest...I would never order a Rosé wine in a restaurant...and can't remember making up a mixed case with the pink stuff. The problem may be that some are beefed up whites and the others watered down reds.
Robert, friend and wine merchant...paid a visit and we shared a few glasses of white.
As a present...he gave me a half bottle...and a few days later..I risked it!

The food was a favourite...Lamb Filets...with some Dauphinoise Potatoes and very fresh Mushrooms.

Mint sauce...very English. Very delicious. I still can't convince the Germans to try it...they all expect something like a Peppermint tea!

Château de Pibarnon Rosé 2018

Intense salmon color. Nose of apricot core, tangerine, fresh pineapple, licorice...even a trace of mild whiskey. Palate of citrus and stone fruit with well balanced bitters and acids.
Points 16

Friday, February 05, 2021

The Butcher from the Pfalz

Uli Metzger took over the reins at this property in 2010 from his father and has invested intensively....not only in vats and barrels...but in the marketing. Of course...with a name like Metzger (Butcher) the oportunities were there. His reds are worth searching for...with names 'Prago', 'Arthos' and 'Melandor' added to the labels.
I was shopping in my new favourite Supermarket...and they have a massive wine selection. Not that I ever buy from large chains...but this Edeka Scheck-In has a really good as I filled my trolley with plenty of food goodies...I also slipped in this white.

Metzger St. Stephan Chardonnay Reserve 2018

Light yellow in colour...gentle aromas of lime and lemon...yellow apples...which crossed over to the palate. Medium acidity and trace of oak. Well balanced...and good value at Euros 20,—

Points 15

Friday, January 29, 2021

Classy Glasses

I have loads of wine glasses...all those years of drinking the stuff.
Lots have broken...others are too thick...
Anyway...I decided to buy some new ones...just for me.
The first was great...the other a mistake.
My I only realised when it had arrived...that it had a stem...but no foot. It is recommended as the perfect glass. Pour in a small amount of wine (not for drinkers who fill to the rim)...smell, taste...then lie it down on the table. There is a small flat side to the bowl. It works but is not going to be a regular visitor to the table.

The other glasses I saw on the net...four different from Riedel.
Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet.

Previous posts...Polish Hill Riesling and Chablis were tried in the respective glasses. Perfect. I also tried using the 'wrong' glass...and to be honest..there is a difference. That does not mean if you want to drink good wine you have to have special glasses. They just look and feel good..and we wine freaks are a bit crazy!


Mellow Yellow

Fish is easy to prepare...if you just remember the rule. Don't cook it if you want to fry it. Salt, pepper and some flour...then 4-5 minutes hot pan. It works....
I have tried many different species. Cod I like best breaded. Kingklip was a recent find...and it holds tegether better in the frying pan than cod. Difficult to find though.
Rotbarschfillet...which gives two translations in English...Ocean Perch or Redfish.
Prepared as above...and served with yellow potatoes and corn...yellow of course...the fish took on a colour of it's own...yellow.

What I needed was a mellow wine to go with it.
Rarely drink Chablis nowadays...but I am on a Burgundy trip at the moment.
Start at the top I it was a Grand Cru.
They generally need 5- 8 years before they show their best.
Domaine Christian Moreau Pere & Fils
Grand Cru Les Clos 'Clos des Hospices' 2012

Lemon and melon aromas...delicate...not for nose drinkers. Vibrant acidity. Tropical flavours. Die-hard Chablis drinkers may think this is too lush...but hush...there are many way to please a wine drinker. This was a perfect match with the meal.
Points 17

Steak for Kings

Meat is not meat. Steaks are never cheap if the quality is good. I have a local eatery that does really good rump steaks. Outside of them...I would never risk it. Never seems worth the money.

As so it was...that I landed in a shop in Mainz...'EdelBeef'.
Huge sides of beef behind glass...massive selection of top meat. I dived in and told the owner to give me a selection. Four different cuts...price? never ask a woman her don't ask the price.

I have always wanted to try the Japanese Kobe Beef...Kagoshima Entrecote was the selection.
Hot pan...two minutes each side...then onto a warm oven tray and at 60 degrees....15 minutes to develope.
I will never forget the first mouthful. It looked perfect after cutting a piece.
It looked like steak...but just seemed to melt in the mouth. Unforgetable!

Two other cuts were Ok(and not as as get what you pay for)
The last one I had popped into the deep freezer after purchase and was looking forward to this Australian version...Westholme Waygu.


          From the shop                 Pre-Oven                      Read to eat

 So...when I feel like going over the top....I will treat myself to the Japanese version...but the Aussie would not be any trouble.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Corsica Gem

Situated in South Corsica in the Taravo valley, the domaine Comte Abbatucci was founded in 1950. With 18 hectares of vineyards planted on granite slopes at 100m above sea level, the domaine is a veritable museum of Corsican viticultural history and heritage. Antoine Abbatucci, father of the current winemaker Jean-Charles Abbatucci, was a passionate man and was devoted to local grape varieties, in fact, if it wasn't for him, many of them would have been lost to international varieties. Jean-Charles followed the footsteps of his father and became the winemaker of the domaine, preserving a 100 year heritage. Since 2000, he has moved towards biodynamic principles and also joined the association Renaissance des Appellations (created by Nicolas Joly, Clos de la Coulée de Serrant). 

Descending directly from high profile commanders under Napoléon Bonaparte and faithful to the Corsican charm, Jean-Charles Abbatucci is a proud defender of the tradition and the environment. Ambitious, passionate and keenly aware of his land as a jewel of nature, he has managed to reconcile the tradition of the Corsican terroir and the modernity of the biodynamic viticulture.

After that information above you should be kneeling when tasting this wine.
Not tonight Josephine!

I prepared a red Thai Curry with squid and some Risi Bisi rice.
Cooked separately then thrown together in the pan.


Domaine Comte Abbatucci Diplomate d'Empire Cuvée 2016

The wine would be a 'killer' at a blind tasting. Guess the grape!
After about five attempts you would get on one knee and beg it to be a
Cuvée. Arise Sir Lancelot.
To be honest...there is no instant singular aroma.

The blend: 37% Vermentinu, 20% Rossola Bianca, 19% Biancu Gentile, 14% Genovese, 10% Brustiano
Reminded me of Rousanne wines in the South of France. Glossy...pear and melon...exotic...what I needed for the food. Lush texture...vanilla...low in acidity...
delicious wine.
Drinking well now but has potential to age.
Points 17.5                     

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Malmsey 1920

The gastronomie are going through a difficult time. They have done so much to follow the rules...and I would feel safer in a restaurant than at the gates of the local school!
My good friend Karl...Gasthof closed at the moment. That does not stop me visiting him. I get room 7...and spend the days walking, reading, maybe watch a movie...then up to his apartment in the evening. One of us cooks...and we enjoy the wines.
One visit recently...and I decided it was time to take along this bottle. It had been in the cellar 30 years and every time I found it...could not decide when and where to open it. Why not on it's century birthday.

I have drank 'older' Madeira...Madeira...but they were Solera...which means that the barrel was topped up with equal quality vintages until it was bottled.

I had decanted the wine before leaving home. Cleaned out the bottle then poured the liquid back into it's century old abode.
We sat out as the evening was was finished...cork was viewed.

Wine poured...smelled...tasted. The usual formular. I made some notes...but when you drink old always tend to associate with history. The First World War was just mum (who is 96) was not yet born...a world so different to today and this bottle had been filled with a magic juice. We had planned to drink a small amount but a second glass was needed. Karl called his head chef up...he tried a glass. There was still some in the after pouring a small amount in a water take back home...the remains were given to Karl. He had been saying that on Friday evenings there is a tour of his wine cellar for guests. He is always asked...'What is the oldest wine you have in your cellar?'. As soon as the lockdown is over...guess what he will be showing them.                                


Cossart Malmsey 1920

Clear, pale garnet. Aromas of almond, walnut, fudge, chocolate,
sweet dates and Christmas pudding. Perfect acidity, medium body and long finish. Very complex. Memorable wine.
Points 19


Return Of The Blogger

Age, other interests, business, and a whole lot of other reasons have meant that the blog has been empty of anything to do with wine, food or gastronomical pleasures.
I can't promise this reappearance guarantees permanent reports...but it is a start!
The silence did not mean I had stopped eating and drinking...just that I could not be bothered writing much down. Eat, drink...and mind your own business.

Where to start then? How about with a polish Australian? I smiled as I smelled from my new Riedel Riesling glass. A few years ago at a tasting with friends Volker and Robert...the bottles had been covered...Robert had offered up this Aussie. I sniffed and tasted...and guessed the wine. No idea why...but a previous tasting had stayed with me.

Corona has meant less enjoying my refound hobby...Snooker(Google it). What to do with so much time? Start to cook I thought...and I have. Nothing world beating...but good enough for my daughters to insist we would not get take-aways when they visit.
So here we are...first post...and the meal was pasta filled with truffel in a  mushroom sauce.

The first wine:

Grosset Polish Hill 2018
Clare Valley
South Australia

Very good right now, with potential to develop into something more with another 5-10 years of bottle age. What I love...notes of petrol...white flowers, slate on the nose.
Steely acidity, beautiful balance. I expected a harsher palate but this is already enjoyble. Citrus and pears.
Points 17.5

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Casamia, Bristol

Not writing too much on the blog does not mean I have not been enjoying food and drink. ...but my most memorable meal in 2017 was in the U.K. A recent trip to England to see my mum was preceded by a visit to Bristol to meet up with old friends. I stayed with Peter and we spent our days playing snooker...and trying to eat well in the evenings. I had planned a few eateries.
One was Casamia...tried to book 3 weeks before my trip...and spoke to Roman a few times...and finally we found a date which suited. No way to bring my own wine...but he sent me an email with the wine list...and hurrah...they have a Coravin...and enough fine wines per glass to satisfy this wine buff. Nine tables in the able to accommodate about 30 and only the tasting menu...12 courses...would Pete and myself manage this at our age?
Situated down by the Harbour...we found a parking space just round the corner
We arrived punctually and were immediately impressed with the welcome....and the service was superb the whole evening.
Our menu was:
Parmesan tartlet - great start
Carabineros, seaweed - beautifully presented, left you wanting more
Scallop, pomelo - the zing of the pomelo worked perfectly with the scallop
Winter salad - lovely
Beetroot risotto - this was exceptional 
Brown trout, crab - very good
Lemon sole, sabayon - even better
Duck: part one - break the yoke before you eat we were advised
Duck: part two - perfect
Passion Fruit tarragon - could have eaten more
Variations of rhubarb - clever and beautifully presented
Turkish delight - melted in the mouth 
Mushroom fudge - very clever

Don't query the price of the tasting menu...this was 2 star quality...they only have one star I think...breathtaking flavors...each course with a short description from a member of staff or the kitchen. I have been to all the fine restaurants in 40 years of dining...this was memorable. If I lived near Bristol again...this would be a 'must' visit once a month.
The Coravin choices...
Bründlmayer Zöbinger Heiligenstein
Riesling Alte Reben 2002
Kamptal, Austria

Fine yellow/ green...still all there. Trace of petrol on the nose...elegant ripe apples. Perfect mix of slaty minerals and fine acidity. A lovely mouthful and at 15 years old a real surprise.
Points 17.5
The white Burgundy I had been looking forward to...
Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux

Meursault Les Perrières 2007
Burgundy, France
This was fine, although not the gem I thought it would be. A little tired but the food was taking center stage.
Points 16.5

The red wine was superb...

Father John Oehlman Vineyard
Reserve Pinot Noir 2013
Russian River, U.S.A.
Sexy aromas of cherries, spice and raspberry preserves. Very elegant, but highly flavorful. A cherry-driven core of vibrant fruit framed by silky tannins, integrated acidity, and finishing with plenty of cherry goodness.
Points 18.5

I had a 'rapport' with Roman. Although this is a top restaurant...most customers will take a simple bottle...or the menu with a fine wine selection. It was obvious that he enjoyed a customer who was a wine freak...talking about wine. Although I headed for a Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris 2008 for the dessert....he said a sweet wine from Australia a...Chateau Tahbilk...would be a perfect partner...and it was. The 4 hours flew by...and we headed home in a gastronomic trance...Pete was driving...and had been a good boy and only had a couple of glasses.
Every single member of staff knew how to deliver the best quality of service and nothing was too much 
Every course is lovingly prepared in an open kitchen right next to the diners. Chefs brought their dishes to the table: each was immaculately prepared and executed.
I was reminded to post I am off to England again in March...and have already booked again.

Watch this space...