If you’re a parent, then you’ll identify with this statement, “It seems like whatever I do is either for or because of my kids.” Sound like you?
Well, for me, this story is another example of what a self-sacrificing dad I am.
You see, my middle son, CJ, wants to be an opera singer. So, after getting a Masters of Music degree, he, of course, moved to Germany. Now, if Terry and I want to see him, we have to travel to Europe. We’ve decided to do exactly that. Ah, the burdens of parenthood.
While we’re over there, we believe it is incumbent upon us to properly expose him and his two brothers (who will be travelling with us) the pride of German wine, the wineries in the Mosel/Saar/Ruwer area.
To prepare for our viticulture journey, Terry and I visited K & L Wines on March 30th to get an introduction to German wines.
K & L is a great wine store on Vine Avenue in Hollywood. They have two weekly tastings, Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons. They are very inexpensive and offer some quality product hosted by staff members who really understand what they’re pouring. They also have some outstanding annual events, like their Champagne festival. Every fine Champagne house shows up, from Dom Perignon to Krug to Cristal. You can sample about $3000 worth of sparklies for less than $100. This is usually held in the fall.
But back to the matter at hand. On the 30th, Illya Haase of K & L provided samples of ten different German wines, all white and all Riesling except for one Pinot Blanc.
Both Terry and I went to this figuring we would have a lot of slightly to very sweet, insipid wine. But, thankfully, we were mistaken. We also learned a thing or two.
For instance, did you know that the reason why a style of German wine is called Kabinett? It’s because it’s a good quality everyday wine that the winemaker would have in his “cabinet” or “Kabinett” in German. An excellent of this was the 2009 Von Hovel Riesling Kabinett that retails for the staggering price of $13/bottle. Even though it sees little oak, it is buttery, with a refreshing apple finish.
While the Von Hovel was relatively dry, we also enjoyed the 2011 Dr. F Weins-Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese (just rolls off your tongue, right?). This was sweeter than the Kabinett but had an excellent balance of acid with a delightful honeysuckle nose. And at only $27/bottle, it’s a great wine to offer with Asian food, spicy sausages or a fruit dessert.
The tasting got us all charged up about sampling some more wines at their source. I’ll report back to you after we do that.