A short break to Franken..3 nights..the last evening was spent in Nürnberg celebrating a family member's birthday...I had started to search for accommodation a few weeks ago( Nürnberg holds many exhibitions and all hotels were full..this time it was 'Window-Frame Exhibition'..yes.. I yawned as well!)..we managed to find a small hotel-restaurant in Erlangen-Frauenaurach.
The village has some Storks..and a Metzgerei(Butcher) with a name that German readers will understand..the rest of you can use your imagination. Amused us both every time we drove past.
The 'Schwarzer Adler' is 300 years old and had been renovated 25 years ago. Friendly owner..but soft mattresses..and a church nearby that rang it's bell every 15 minutes..I don't need to know the time in the middle of the night!
We had booked the restaurant in the hotel for the first evening......
Cosy, friendly..with a french waiter...who was charming...
The food was good....
2 stars from 5....
Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce..a 'Greeting from the Kitchen'
I then tried a Crepe-Bag with Bear's Garlic filling and Gorgonzola Sauce.
This was followed by
Tagliarini with Bear's
Garlic Pesto and
Coquilles St Jacques
(Scallops to you!)
The main course
planned for the wine
was Lamm Carré on Kohlrabi
with Sheep's Cheese and
My wife had the Guinea Fowl on Leek with Potato Gnocchi.
The hotel and restaurant are full of antiques and bric-a-brac.
The wine-list I had seen by fax (we wine nuts don't wait until we get there)...and had seen nothing in 'red' from Franken that interested me. A relative of the owner has Italian connections and half of the list was from this country..so I decided on the...Silvio Grasso Barolo Bricco Luciani 1996
It was decanted about an hour before tasting...
Colour..very good..still dark with orange brown rim..swirling the glass showed superb 'legs'..long time since I had a glass with this amount...the first impression on taking a smell..was violets, truffles..roses, cedar, tar, smoke ...first sip...a hefty attack of raw tannins, leaving your mouth as dry as a desert....it craved for food...and did soften after 3 hours(or was it my palate accepting I was getting nothing better..no matter how long I worked on it).
Drinking Barolo reminded me of MANY years ago in a small restaurant in Italy..masses of Barolos..all ages..and we tried about 6...some were too young..some too old...I laughingly said that they would all be perfect for one second of their lives..but when would that be?
Things have changed..and modern styles have meant the wines are easier to drink over a longer period...but at 12 years old...this should have shown more...
I had visited the restaurant at
midday to check the winelist
(yes..I know I am crazy...
but if you don't prepare..
you risk being disappointed)..
A visit to Herzogenaurach..a pretty town nearby...occupied us early afternoon..then a snooze(cushion over my head..
those **** bells)..and we
returned for dinner.
We ordered 3 courses..which
became SEVEN...as we ended up
with two 'Greetings from The Kitchen'..plus a sorbet before the
main course and some
petite fours to finish off
(we packed them in a
serviette for later).
Here are the two 'freebies'
Because I was drinking red wine throughout the meal..I chose the Tuna Fish in a Pepper Coat..with Artichokes and a Sesame-Wasabi-Vinegar...an excellent match with the Burgundy..
The aforementioned Sorbet came next..then the main course..
Duck's Breast with Goose Liver Parfait.
The faxed wine-list I had received after booking the table a month ago had not appealed..but I had been told a few days ago that they had some excellent Burgundies..this was SO correct. I name-dropped (a wine merchant I know)..and told them I wanted an excellent wine that evening...giving them a price I would pay.
The owner suggested 2 bottles...my choice was what follows...
Marques d'Angerville Volnay Champans 2000
The 2000 vintage was excellent in Burgundy...this had a medium deep colour with the usual light rim...strong liquorice aroma..soft, gentle tannins and elegant fruit...
After one hour it really blossomed...sweet strawberries..silky..layers of fruit on the palate..classic Pinot just about at it's best.