Breathtaking. Just out of a postcard. This would summarize the quaint little town of Bernkastel in Germany. Situated on the gentle Mosel River, Bernkastel is best known for some of Europe’s finest vineyards (best in the world in my opinion) most notably Bernkasteler Doctor, Dr Thanisch , J.J Prum, Willi Schaefer, Selback-Oster, Scloss Leiser….
Riesling, the noble grape, lines the steep hilly slopes along the Mosel. The view from the ruins of the castle above Bernkastel is that of a yellow green wall of vines. There’s no doubt that the Riesling is at its best in the Mosel….
There’s something about the slate in the soil along the slopes that impart a unique “Minerally” “Stony” character to the wines.
Pale with just a hint of green, a Riesling is known to have aromas of lime & petrol. Take a sip & feel the initial sharpness countered almost immediately with sweetness & hold on…finished off with a crispiness. This is exactly what the finest winemakers in the region strive to achieve- finding the right balance of sugar & acid.
“The greatest of them, long lived, pale gold, piquant, frivolous yet profound,are wines that beg to be compared with music & poetry”- Jancis Robinson
A good Riesling is your summertime best friend & goes with almost any cuisine. NOTE: is excellent when paired with our Indian curries!!
Visitors to the main town of Bernkastel are greeted by the spectacular sight of the steep golden hued vineyards surrounding the town square(The picture above was taken from the street in which our B&B was located) Take a short stroll down to the Rieslinghaus to sample the famous wines of Bernkastel. Head down to the banks of the Mosel River and visit the Vinotheque or Bernkastel Wine Museum- an exhaustive source of information on the wines of this region. If you are feeling slightly wined out then relax in one of the many restaurants lined up on the river.
A must try includes the FLAMMKUCHEN, the German version of a thin crust pizza only far more crispier. A typical Flammkuchen consists of sour cream or Gruyere cheese with ham & onions. Delicious when eaten anytime of the day & washed down with a chilled Riesling or Beer
The town of Bernkastel though popular among the domestic German tourists, is relatively free of all the tourist trappings prevalent in Italy and France. We got the rather surprised & amused Mr & Mrs Dillinger to show us their modest, rustic winery(Here’s a picture of the lovely couple) We were extremely lucky to visit at a time when harvesting or picking of grapes had just begun
RIESLING THE SOMMELIERS DARLING:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-larkee/summer-of-riesling-bringi_b_1654682.html utm_hp_ref=fb&ir=Food&src=sp&comm_ref=false
Unfortunately given the archaic laws that govern import of anything related to liquor, we don’t find too many interesting wines let alone Rieslings from the Mosel region. We can take consolation from the fact that Sula makes a fairly decent Riesling which is now available in most liquor stores in the country.