Winefriend by David Way

Writing about the wines of Piemonte, Italy and France


The wines of Germany

The old and the new Germany

In the 1970s my parents were in the habit of eating out on a Sunday evening on a regular basis. I guess it was a sort of brief respite in the lives of two busy doctors. They were not great wine drinkers but like many of their generation, they would routinely drink a bottle of

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Dipping a toe into Baden

At the recent Rheingau Riesling 2012 launch in London, there were also tables dedicated to other regions with VDP status, the collection of wineries in Germany with the best sites and wines.  Whereas Rheingau is basically dedicated to Riesling with Pinot Noir as a sideshow, other regions have completely different traditions.  Weingut Dr Heger showed

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Riesling generations

Riesling – 1-year, 30-year or 60-year old?

The Rheingau preview in London once again gave the chance to evaluate the latest vintage – 2012 – and, by way of advertisement or just sheer joie de vivre (for which there must be a German equivalent), the celebration of old vintages, still in the prime of life.  In the Rheingau, 2012 was light in

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Riesling review

The noble Riesling grape variety is probably German in origin. According to Wine grapes, the name has many German synonyms and may be mentioned as far back as 1435. Certainly the variety is suited to Germany’s cold winters, hot summers and long dry early autumns. With its hard wood and late budding, it is equipped

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The theme for the blind tasting group in Overton for February 2013 was nominally Germany. But as most people brought wines they already had in their collections, it turned into something of a Rieslingreise, a Riesling journey. Even though there were eleven wines, this was no bad thing as the variation in age, sweetness and

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Rheingau Riesling rapture

The Great Rheingau Riesling Review was primarily about launching the excellent 2011 dry wines. These are the ‘Erstes Gewächs’, the premier or grand cru wines from the top estates in the Rheingau, in the modern dry style.  But if you want to catch the attention of journalists and writers you need to give them something

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What no Grüner?

July’s BBC 2 blind tasting was on the theme of Austria, with recourse to Germany as necessary. As Austrian wines are not widely available in the UK and few wine lovers have Austrian bottles in their collections, we agreed to allow German bottles as a second option. And, let’s be honest, we were all concerned

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24-bottle dinner

Some wine occasions really stand out. Obviously you need top quality wines or, at least, wines of exceptional interest. Hopefully, there is really good food to go with it. And you certainly want congenial, knowledgeable and appreciative company. Saturday night’s dinner more than met all these criteria. People had clearly searched their cellars for precious

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Rediscovering German wines

If you are of a certain age you will have a very clear memory of German wines – inexpensive, sweet brands (Blue Nun, Black Tower). And then suddenly these wines became deeply unfashionable – our tastes moved South to the sunshine of Spain, Italy and the New World.   Liebfraumilch became the least cool drink on

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To cork or not to cork …

Corked bottles continue to be a real problem.  Some years ago I visited a fine new winery in Campania, Southern Italy, and over lunch in the spectacular winery restaurant had a corked bottle.  I didn’t think about it anymore until at dinner we ordered the same wine in a local Naples trattoria and it was

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