A Taste of Pinot Noir

“Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific little tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot’s potential can then coax it… Continue reading A Taste of Pinot Noir

Württemberg Wines: Worth a Detour

Okay, time for a quick and dirty geography lesson (with apologies to my German readers): Baden-Württemberg is the German Land (state) just across the Rhine from us in Alsace. It’s a prosperous place, home of Daimler, Porsche, Zeiss and a whole bunch of Mittelstand companies, backbone of the German economy. Northerners come down here to… Continue reading Württemberg Wines: Worth a Detour

Is the Auberge de l’Ill Over the Hill?

Plenty of people in Alsace – myself included – have a sort of emotional investment in the Auberge de l’Ill. It’s there, within easy reach, for when we feel a birthday or an anniversary celebration coming on, or just for a classy, companionable lunch. It’s a bit like having a much-loved Granny nearby. She lives… Continue reading Is the Auberge de l’Ill Over the Hill?

Time to Make Sloe Gin

The sloe (Prunus spinosa) is a prickly beast. In order to brave the dangers of picking its bloomy fruit, it helps to understand the wonders of sloe gin. Faithfully brewed in the pantries of English country houses since Victorian times, this wonderful drink (known in our family, and doubtless many others, as ‘sluggins’) is a… Continue reading Time to Make Sloe Gin

Présentation et Dégustation de Grands Crus, Château de Kientzheim, Alsace

Every year in early November, CIVA (Alsace’s professional wine association) invites the region’s winegrowers to present their Grand Cru wines at the Château de Kientzheim near Colmar. If you’re anywhere in the neighbourhood today, don’t miss this great opportunity to taste Grand Cru wines from the length and breadth of the Route des Vins and… Continue reading Présentation et Dégustation de Grands Crus, Château de Kientzheim, Alsace

A Magnum Opus from Restaurant Bareiss, Baiersbronn, Germany

An astonishing tome just landed with a thud on my desk: it’s an elegant, linen-bound, limited edition of Claus-Peter Lumpp’s lavishly illustrated book about his fabled 3-star cuisine at the Restaurant Bareiss. It’s not the kind of book you can snuggle up with in bed (unless you banish any sleeping partners), or one to take… Continue reading A Magnum Opus from Restaurant Bareiss, Baiersbronn, Germany