After working hard on our German Christmas Markets trip in November, I find myself with a serious craving an elegant Riesling or a hearty Pinot Noir. Picturing myself by the open fire of a snow covered inn straight out of a Brothers Grimm tale, these are my seasonal favourites I wish I were sipping…
- 1. 2011 Philipps-Eckstein Graacher Domprobst Riesling Sekt
In my perfect wintery setting, I would be starting with a glass of golden, sparling Sekt, Germnay’s sparkling wine. This one is made using the traditional, Champagne method, and stands out for its balanced toastiness and fruit, with just a hint of spice.
- 2. 2011 Saar Riesling Van Volxem
For me, no trip to Germany (even an imaginary one) should be without a glass of elegant, dry Riesling. I love this wine in particular for its mineral expression, lively acidity and delicious hints of ripe apples and pears.
- 3. 2011 Walporzheimer Kräuterberg, Ahr-Spätburgunder
Spätburgunder, (Pinot Noir) doesn’t get any better in Germany than those of the beautiful Ahr Valley. I’ve picked just one example from the many we will be trying on our German Christmas Markets trip: a delicious Pinot Noir with toasty aromas, a delicate hint of vanilla,and bursting with black cherry and ripe plums on the palate.
- 4. 2009 Kollmann-Lex Dornfelder
The Dornfelder grape variety was bred in 1956 and, though a relative newcomer to German viticulture, has already made a big impact with its signature deep colour, velvety texture and ability to benefit from barrique aging. This wine is earthy and almost herbal on the nose, with rich black fruit flavours and a hint of spice.
- 5. 2003 Dönnhoff Oberhauser Bruke Riesling Eiswein
I love the story behind this Eiswein, a German dessert wine produced from grapes frozen on the vine to concentrate the must. Apparently on this particular year the perfect time for grape picking coincided with Christmas day and resulted in the Dönnhoff family spending their Christmas plucking frozen grapes in sub-zero temperatures. But, though I feel for these dedicated producers out there in the snow, I wouldn’t be without a snifter of the stuff each winter! And thanks to this family’s efforts on Christmas 2003, we have a deep, jammy sweet wine packed with plum and vanilla aromas to see us through the cold.