Tag Archives: Germany

Weekly Wine – Mosel

7 Jun

Schmitt Sohne Mosel Gold Riesling
2015
Germany
750ml
11% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

I thought that this wine would give me instant diabetes.
When I picked it up at the store I thought it would be sweet and just shrugged – accepting my fate.
It is sweet – but not too excessively. Perhaps I’m a bit biased because I’m having a bit of a sweet-tooth crisis at the moment and enjoying sweet stuff. This wine fits this bill I guess.
It is fruity – that is to be expected. It has the taste of an early harvest basket – pears, apples and peaches predominantly. The wine has a nice crispness to it. A nice little bite. There are no harsh over or undertones – except for the sweetness.
I like the look of the bottle but the label makes it look like an inexpensive wine. The back label has a caricature of a stereotypical German in lederhosen which also adds to the ambiance of cheap frivolity. If the labelling gets fixed, I’m sure they’ll start charging more for this wine.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Wine – Black Tower

29 Mar

Black Tower Rivaner
2015
Germany
750ml
13% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

I was not expecting to like this wine.
The Black Tower wines I had many moons ago was sickly sweet and syrupy. But that was probably the Riesling … this is a grape called Rivaner.
To be fair, this is not a wine that is dry. The sweetness is more subline and mixes well with the fresh fruit flavour – I get a bit of apple and lemon here. There is a bit of acidity and it balances well with the lightly sweet fruitful flavour.
It is quite a nice wine, one that I would recommend to friends who like wines that aren’t bone dry. But in fact, mix this with some fruit and club soda and you will most likely get a really nice affordable spritzer drink for the summer deck, or porch or stoop.
There is a sticker on the bottle that touts the new design – it is a two-coloured bottle. I thought it was the same sickly sweet wine. I was wrong in my impressions. This is a very nice wine – no two ways about it.

Old Prescription

28 Jun

As generations pass on, much that is interesting can be tossed. Books are one of the main items that get discarded. I got many a good book from a family friend that had passed away – everyone agreed that the books should be tossed into a bin – I took them all.
In this collection was an old Ukrainian-English dictionary that was published in1947 in Germany – Nuremberg and Bayreuth to be exact. This is actually fascinating as the Displaced Person camps set up for refugees after World War Two concluded were quite full of life and political and cultural activity.
But although interesting, the book itself is not the main star. In its pages I found an old prescription from a doctor in Lviv, Ukraine. The prescription seems to be dated the 21 November 1941. It could be 193something as well.
This was a turbulent period for Lviv, Ukraine and Europe. World War Two was in full swing – Germany had invaded the Soviet Union. Lviv had been occupied by the Soviets, who invaded Poland, only two years prior. A Ukrainian government was trying to establish itself in the wake of the Soviet retreat.
I have asked a few friends if they know anything about this doctor or even the street he practiced on but they were unsure.
Perhaps someone in the virtual world can help.

Weekly Wine – Sangria

13 Apr

SangriaFünf 5 Sangria Spain
Year: N/A
Germany / Spain
750ml
7.5% ABV
$9.15 (LCBO)

Fünf 5 is a German wine maker that makes a fairly nice Riesling.
This wine is a bit confusing as it is a sangria, which is traditionally a red wine based beverage and originated, I believe, in Spain and Portugal.
This is a German wine company using Spanish wine for its product. Says so on the bottle – Spanish Red wine … Cellared and bottled in Germany.
OK. Why not. Is it good?

It is OK. The wine is a bit heavy for me. It has a fairly heavy body and the fruitiness is quite sublime. It is not at all like home-made sangria. Further examination of the bottle I see that this concoction is made with natural fruit flavours. Natural fruit flavours does not mean that they use the essence of lemons or oranges. So it is no wonder there is no great fruit blast that usually accompanies sangria.
This wine, sangria, is ok if you are very, very lazy. Better to buy a nice inexpensive bottle of wine, use real fruit, and make it at home. Honestly, it is not very difficult or time consuming.

Weekly Wine – Blue Nun

17 Feb

SONY DSCBlue Nun Deutscher Tafelwein
2013
Germany
750ml
9% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

For some reason I have forgotten that this wine exists. It conjures up other aptly named wines consumed in my youth – Baby Duck, Moody Blue … There were a few others.
Not sure about the others but here I am with the Blue Nun.
Funny that the blue bottle does not make the wine appetising. The light colour, looking like diluted apple juice you give to children, does not hold much promise either.
What first hits is the sweet. Ah the syrupy sweetness of this concoction washes out any other sensation that your mouth might have had. The aftertaste is a tangy bitter experience. It tastes like apple juice that someone poured a bit of cider into it and then it went a little bad. So you refrigerated it and then served it chilled.
What confuses me is that the label states that it is “fresh, crisp & fruity.” It is not fresh or crisp – fruity yes. One out of three is not on a claim is not good.
I understand that this wine has been around for eons and is quite popular. It gets bad reviews and is a byword for an ill-tasting wine. I wouldn’t buy it… for even half the price.

Weekly Wine – Liebfraumilch Drathen Rheinhessen

3 Feb

SONY DSC

Liebfraumilch Drathen Rheinhessen
2014
Germany
1000ml
8.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

Wow.
This is one of those typical German sweet wines.
It is very sweet – much to sweet to my liking.
This makes it hard for me to review … If I really dislike the style of wine, how can I make an impartial review?
Here goes.
The label states that this wine can be enjoyed with spicy food. I grabbed some very spicy Italian sausage and had a go. The spice keeps the sweetness in check and the result is actually good.
The wine does not have any harsh or weird aftertaste – It is quite smooth. But it is sweet and I honestly would not be drinking this wine with spicy foods or with much else.
I have friends who like sweet wines and this perhaps would please them. The wine is quite fruity, has a nice sweet body and is quite sweet but not sickly sweet.
Another bonus is that there is a litre of this stuff although the alcohol content is quite low.
It might be nice to use in mixing up a batch of sangria in the summer.

Thankful for Thanksgiving

26 Nov

Today it is Yankee Thanksgiving –I do celebrate it.
I eat the turkey and watch the football – NFL style.
I also try to think of something to be thankful for. Well something besides health, family, friends and such.bu
Where does one find something to be thankful for in a world of tears? Where does one find reaffirmation of the spirit of humanity in a world that is on the edge?
In politics?
In the arts?
In science?
Nope.
In a newspaper’s strange news section…
There was a story about a man watching burlesque video in an adult emporium in Hamburg, Germany. The store caught on fire, but the man refused to leave until his private screening had finished. The firefighters came and had to physically remove him from the flame engulfed smoked filled premises.
This is dedication. This is complete insanity. This is standing tall when the chips are down.
This is what I can be thankful for – that there are people in the world with principles that will not let anything get in the way of satisfaction.

Weekly Wine – Fünf5

31 Jul

Fünf5Fünf 5 Riesling
Germany
750ml
9% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

There is always a danger when getting a German white wine. They tend to be sweet. Especially the inexpensive ones. They sometimes are so sweet that they will put soft drinks, like Coke, or 7up, to shame.
Fünf is sweet, but not so much. More fruity than sweet, it is a nice drink to close out a glorious summers day. It has a nice balance of flavour that does not diminish when the cold leaves the glass. Truth be told I am quite taken by this wine as it is a perfect summer wine.
The bottle is striking, having a white plastic wrap and very sparse lettering. The look is a bit too trendy. The marketing drivel on the bottle encourages the customer to, “add a little Fünf to your life.” OK I get it — “Fün begins at 5” the label says.” We all knock off work at five. This wine seems to be a development of brand marketing professionals. I would have preferred to think of this wine as the fifth blend that the winery made. The wine is great. The marketing a little obvious.

Weekly Vinyl – Grobschnitt

26 Jul

Grobschnitt
Grobschnitt
(1972)

SONY DSC

This is one of my favourite bands. They are a strange lot – mixing psychadelic, progressive, symphonic rock music together. How did they do this? With humour.
Not some kind of grand exotic humour one would expect from music of this ilk, but rather ironic and sophomoric humour.
It works at times.
This is the band’s first album and the band is still looking for its voice. The songs are a melange of styles awkwardly fitting into each other – some better than others. The symphonic elements are here, there are but four “songs” on the album, notably that the first song is called Symphony. It, and most of the songs here are meticulously performed and a pleasure to hear. The only song that is “radio friendly” is the first song on side two –Wonderful Music — a naive little ditty that exists firmly in the flower-power era.
I listen to this album in the context of their following albums and I hear where they are going musically. This debut album was a good one.