Some NYC wine guys recently had a discussion about tasting notes on Twitter. One of them pronounced a stranger’s tasting notes about as meaningful as a Beijing bus schedule. Which tells me that a) presumably Beijing busses don’t run on time, b) these guys are tired of writing them (tasting notes, not bus schedules), and c) they might not read the right ones (tasting notes, again). Of course, translating sensual impressions into words is as tricky to get right as any other translation, perhaps even more so.
But why do I write all this, instead of raving about the (former) content of this bottle? Because I just caught myself wanting to jabber about yellow fruit, summer meadow, minerality … and I just know you’re as tired as me of reading this kind of stuff. It’s not Beijing, but rather the overfamiliarity of your daily commute, about as sexy and inspiring as a green apple from a NYC fruit cart. So, let’s start again. Because I think that writing about wine does matter – if we want to believe in communication at all (the alternative seems utterly bleak to me). The other night I opened this bottle of 2012 Silvaner trocken “Quarzit” from Carolin and Erik Riffel in Bingen. The wine combined the richness of fully mature, but not overripe grapes with a freshness and single-mindedness that was simply a joy. I happened to have some smoked salmon from Micha Wickert, the fish-smoking genius from Glut & Späne at Markthalle Neun here in Kreuzberg, which he had marinated in Riesling from Westhofen. And I found some sauerkraut, which I dressed as a salad, with a little sesame oil and chili. No further tasting notes or bus schedules, just this to conclude: wine and salmon gave me immense pleasure. Which is what life should really be about, as much as possible.
PS I just assume you’re competent enough to find out for yourself that the Riffels not only are Silvaner experts, but also excel at Riesling and have revived almost single-handedly Bingen’s unique old Scharlachberg vineyard.
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