Friday, June 11, 2010

Wine & Water

Hotel Restaurants are usually a no-no! The reason for our visit to Favorite in Mainz was on the recommendation of fellow blogger Alex.
There was a new wind blowing....with Tim Meierhans now in charge of all things edible.

Six of us arrived on a Sunday evening....My wife & I, our eldest daughter and husband-to-be and the parents of my godchild. The photo is my daughter & I...yes...I know it is hard to believe...but we are not the same age!
Weather outside...slightly cloudy skies...so the chance of sitting out on the terrace were null. Frau Abend is in charge of the restaurant and the staff were well drilled. We ordered menus and A La Carte...but it was no problem for Frau Abend....very flexible.


























I had received the wine-list per email...2 days in advance....this saves me getting impatient looks from fellow guests...although....they know it is worth the wait. So....the Sommelier arrived...and I showed her my list...and the four wines were decided. Now...the whole evening the general consensus of opinion was...really excellent food....across the board...it is not cheap here...but quality abounds...and it was a complete success.
Why am I giving kudos up front.....?....well....here we go.
Two things always annoy me in top restaurants. Firstly...the constant filling up of water glasses...even when they are 2/3 full...we know why of course....at € 8,-- a bottle...there is profit to make. I have learned to live with this. My problem this evening was....I said to Frau Kantwerk...the Sommelier … as were were finished ordering...'I have 2 wishes...please don't fill the white wine glasses with too much wine..as it is warm here in the restaurant..and..only fill them when the glass is empty'. It makes sense...and all seemed clear. You think so?....The second part was managed...BUT....the first wine arrived...I was given a small drop to taste...then on to our guests...and guess what...mighty drops into the glass...and even after the first...I said..not so much...but it seemed it was something strange for them. The second bottle of white had been decanted...and the same procedure....it got to the point where we passed the glass from guest to guest to share out. Now...I'm not saying they filled to the brim...let's make that clear...BUT...it was a warm evening...and 5 minutes in the glass...etc. As one guest said...'it seems the learning curve of the lady is low'. Maybe the 'water system' was in use.....fill up the glasses in the hope we sell more. At first it was annoying...then irritating...and as we left..I pointed it out to Frau Abend. Next time....bottle next to the table...I will serve the wines. Which brings me to marks for the whole evening. Food, wine-list etc. 8 out of 10....so you see...we enjoyed it...just that some people have 'cloth ears' as the saying goes...and don't listen.

And so to the wines...not too much noted as the conversation was priority.

Eric & Walter Polz Hochgrassnitzberg Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Steiermark, Austria
It had been a choice between Sabathi's Pössnitzberg 2007 or this one. The 2007 was now the 2008...so that decided it. With all the New World SB's around...I have to admit I am wary ordering the grape. That 'over-done' gooseberry is not what appeals. The other question here was....too young?...and therefore not a good opening for our guest. No worries though...an aromatic opening...intense grassy smell...pineapples....yes...and gooseberry...but nicely done...juicy with good filling....it was just lovely...and has loads of things telling you this will also age.
Points 16.75



Keller Westhofen Kirchspiel Riesling trocken GG 2008

Rheinhessen, Germany
This had been decanted...which was just as well...because otherwise it would have been more closed. Potential...and maybe should have been tried before the Polz. A layer of smells and flavours....grapefruit, citrus....and the palate shows minerality extreme. At the moment ...a racy youth...and bound for a long mature future...but not easy at the moment. Alex had tried the 2007 and commented very positively...but...he is a lover of young Riesling. Difficult to appraise with the meal...At the moment....
Points 16.75
Maybe the lesser wine 'Von der Fels' 2008 would have been a better choice for the evening.




Kuhn Mandelberg Spätburgunder trocken Barrique2006

Pfalz, Germany
There were a few wines on the list that I had already tried...and this was one of them.
I knew what I was getting here. So full of aroma...strwaberry and marzipan...still a touch firm...but good Pinot needs that tannin to
show it's very best. Creamy..and it evolves in
the glass...exciting wine.

Points 17.75









Karl Johner Spätburgunder SJ trocken 2002

Baden, Germany
The memory of a memorable 2003 drank a couple of years ago...urged me to try this...although...at the back of my mind I was a little tentative. I maybe should have listened to that little guy back there. Not dead yet...but the sweet fruit is becoming a little 'mouldy'...no doubt a decent drink a couple of year ago...
Points 15








Those were the four wines...but the poor showing of the Johner meant a quick decision...
and there was a very good selection of cheeses....and we tried all of them.
They cried out for a Bordeaux....so I chose the German version.
Knipser Cuvee X 2005

Pfalz, Germany
A year ago with friends...I opened my last bottle of the 2003 vintage...which was suberb.
Talking to them recently..they told me they had purchased a double magnum and had drank it at Christmas. It was ages away from maturity....which...is normal in a large bottle. This 2005 in the usual size....is very good indeed...but needs maybe 2 years to attain the 2003 standard. Deep opaque colour...power...sweet cassis nose...packed with fruit...long...and with substance. The cheese needed this...and this needed the cheese.
Points 17.25



4 comments:

Edward said...

Barry,

I would much prefer to pour my own wine too and would be happy to pay for the honour.

Being antipodeans, my brother in law and I prefer to eat and drink at venues that allow us to bring our own wine and we usually open the bottles ourselves - so we can blind taste and make fools of ourselves at our own pace!

Alexis said...

Now that you wrote it, I remember we had exactly the same situation with the overmotivated waiters pouring glasses of wine while we hadn't finished the last bottle... and even if we told one, the next waiter would come and we had to explain it again... The 2007 Kirchspiel was perfect back then, could well imagine the 2008 a bit closed.. Sorry about that. It's a good restaurant, but it could be better right?

Barry said...

Ed...the wine list is quite good...and not overpriced....so...not really necessary to BYO...but maybe BYOWW..yes(bring your own wine waiter)

Alex.....glad you remembered...yes...even when the glass of Champagne was still partly full..they were going to pour some white wine into a glass...such basics...and I can slightly excuse 'overmotivated waitresses'...they are told what to do...but the Sommelier should know better.
Good restaurant yes...and as most school reports say 'Could Do Better'

Online Wine said...
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