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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

Kupra, 2008

Kupra, 2008, red wine from Italy

7 points

In June 2015 I wrote about Marco Casolanetti’s famous Kurni. If you are interested in Marco’s wine-making, and if you don’t know Kurni, please have a look here: Kurni, 2008

When I visited Marco – probably it is now perhaps even eight years ago – he also introduced me to his second wine, Kupra. Since he produces only 400 to 600 bottles of this wine per year, you would think that this is the little brother of Kurni, also because Kurni is so prominent. Actually, this would be wrong: first of all, Kupra is not made from Montepulciano, but rather from a grape called Bordò, a kind of a clone of Grenache. Secondly, it should be higher quality than Kurni, which is ambitious to say.

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Hutong Yakiniku – Bade Road Branch, BBQ Restaurant, Taipei

Hutong Yakiniku – Bade Road Branch, BBQ Restaurant, Taipei, Taiwan

6 points

So this time I’m talking about a restaurant in Taipei that I could actually eat at, and which I really liked. It’s called Hutong Yakiniku and is one of several in Taipei (and if I am not mistaken, there is a branch in Beijing, too) – the Bade Road Branch. Again, it is difficult to find references online in English; both the website (http://www.hutong.com.tw/store.php?cid=2&id=4) of the restaurant and the FB page are available exclusively in Taiwanese. Maybe it’s just out of western arrogance that I’d wish for broader language skills. Nevertheless, it is also curiosity, because the restaurant is absolutely recommendable.

I felt like eating meat that day, was tired of running around for hours, and was more in the mood to go to a non-experimental location, but one which still fit well with Taipei. In addition, one that was not too far away from my hotel (Artree Hotel), which I’ve already praised in a previous review.

Continue reading “Hutong Yakiniku – Bade Road Branch, BBQ Restaurant, Taipei”

鷹流東京醬油拉麵蘭丸, Ramen Kitchen, Taipei

鷹流東京醬油拉麵蘭丸, Ramen Kitchen, Taipei, Taiwan

0 points

Taipei, a city many of us probably do not know. If not, then, forgive me. Anyway, I was unprepared for a stopover of three nights in the capital of Taiwan. Frankly I had no great expectations. Since my blog is not about traveling, but about wine and food, I will not go too far here, but I must say that my visit to Taipei really impressed me and therefore I’ll allow myself to share my impressions with some photos:

Until now, I have not experienced a city of international standing where so few people can speak English or any other “international” language. That already ensures a pleasant deceleration. I was surprised by the subtropical climate; it is definitely much warmer there than expected. All makes a very friendly impression to a first-timer and, although the city is huge, you can get around easily on foot — if you use the well-organized public transport in between, or you just use taxis a bit here and there. There are also plenty of bicycles that can be rented on the side of the road, if you’re willing to download a complicated app — and to divulge your bank details and much more. You should also not be taller than 1.70m, because the bicycles are all rather something for the little ones. Continue reading “鷹流東京醬油拉麵蘭丸, Ramen Kitchen, Taipei”

Kolos, 2004, Edi Simčič, Goriška Brda

Kolos, 2004, Edi Simčič, Goriška Brda, Red wine from Slovenia

6,5 points

For me it is rather difficult to begin with an article about Slovenian wine, because I know it rather well. So far I wrote only a few reviews about it, perhaps already more than you would find in any other blog. I am big fan of Slovenia, a small country with three very different faces: Alpine, Mediterranean and Balkan. Cuisine and wine in Slovenia are a fusion of these three cultures. There is a – yes we can say – famous chef who represents the variety, richness and capacity of “Slovenian” cooking at its best: Ana Ros. (Hisa Franko, Restaurant, Staro Selo Kobarid (2nd report)). Her husband Valter is responsible for my knowledge of Slovenian wines because he once got me drunk on some extraordinarily good and rare wines.

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Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens

Casa Enrique, Restaurant, Queens, New York, USA

6,5 points

When we talk about New York, most of us are actually just talking about Manhattan. In reality, New York is much more: Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx. I recently stood for the first time not in Manhattan but in Queens. Not too far away from the end of Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge —  at the Z NYC Hotel (I don’t think I will go back). From the roof, you have an amazing panoramic view of Manhattan.

The area around the hotel is – let me just say – special. Taxi garages, bakeries, craftsmen’s workshops, stores for work clothes like uniforms and safety wear – but then also design studios, exhibition halls and cool working spaces, hotels and hostels called “The Local NYC”…it is an area in transition.

In particular, on the banks of the East River there are many new real estate developments. Those faceless glass modern sleeping towers that dominate Toronto’s waterfront as well. Although I guess it isn’t bad to have a flat there.

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Columella, 2001

Columella, Liberatus in Castro Bonae Spei, Vindemia 2001, red wine from South Africa

7,0 points

I don’t know very much about South African wines. Once in a while, my friend Grant Hill – who is the most generous wine lover I know – and I spend an evening together, tasting wines and talking about the world! He always opens some rare wine that I haven’t tried before, sometimes I can even surprise him with a wine he doesn’t know.

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Grant is from Australia and therefore much more open to wines from the so-called New World. He simply knows many more wines from there than I do. Maybe it’s also that he’s a bit older than I am, so he’s had the chance to taste more broadly.

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Magnus Merlot, 2011, Villa Tolnay

Magnus Merlot, 2011, Villa Tolnay, red wine from Hungary

5 points

One of the most beautiful areas in Hungary is located between Tapolca and the north-western shore of Lake Balaton: hills, soft valleys often with cottonwoods, beautiful views – a place of relaxation and peace.

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The countryside is a mixture of Mediterranean views and volcanic landscape. Lovely: wine almost everywhere, mainly still owned and cultivated by private families – not as winemakers but private gardeners. Continue reading “Magnus Merlot, 2011, Villa Tolnay”

Baan Boon, Restaurant, Krabi

Baan Boon, Restaurant, Krabi, Thailand

5,5 points

Sometimes I am asked to give an example of typical German food. Usually my answer is that it depends where in Germany one wants to eat. Even though the differences between the regions in Germany are marginal, I would still say that Bavarian cuisine is different from typical down-to-earth food in Dortmund, for example. That said, the variety among European cuisines is immense, as we all know: Irish and Italian or Bulgarian and French.  I have the impression that too many people think Asian food is Asian food, except of course Asians themselves,. This is simply stupid. However… Sometimes you’ll pass by a place where you can get Chinese-Vietnamese-Thai food. To top that, you could perhaps also get some sushi at this same place. Somehow, it is a less respectable concept of selling cheap food – considering that a chemical sweet and sour sauce topping some bad pork and clumpy rice could be Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese all at the same time. What I know from my own experience is that the diversity of cooking in Vietnam – but also in China – is one of the richest in the world. Unlimited with respect to ingredients, herbs, flavors and spices – it is even difficult to speak about “the” Vietnamese or “the” Chinese cuisine. Not for nothing, it is called Peking Duck and not Hong Kong Duck.

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Iturup 2017

This report has nothing to do with wine and food. It is about a journey to Far East Russian island Iturup in July 2017. It is written in German. Anyhow, if you are interested in this, please do not hesitate and begin to read right away! Please enjoy. 

Ein persönlicher Bericht über eine Reise nach Iturup im Juli 2017

von Alexander van Dülmen

Fotos zu diesem Bericht befinden sich am Ende des Textes.

„Frühstück!!!!!!“, leicht thüringisch angefärbt, von manchen fälschlicherweise als sächsisch eingeschätzt, auf jeden Fall markdurchdringend und nicht nur in unseren bescheidenen Zimmern der gastgebenden Fischfarm zu hören, sondern ganz sicher auch im dreiviertelstündig entfernt liegenden Kurilsk zu vernehmen, so begann jeder unserer Morgen auf Iturup. Es kann nur einen geben, der derart laut „ansagt“ (ich kann nicht schreiben, dass es schreien ist). Einer, der einmal sehr viele Matrosen kommandiert hat, als Kapitän der DDR Marine zur See gefahren ist und den Natoverbänden, nicht nur ob der Bewaffnung seines Schiffes und Geschmeidigkeit seiner Fahrweise Respekt eingeflößt hat, sondern mit diesem Organ auch ordentlich einen Schrecken eingetrieben haben dürfte. Mir ist jedenfalls nicht bekannt, dass es in der Zeit des kalten Krieges zu ersthaften Spannungen in der Ostsee gekommen ist. Udo. Der Name Udo, ein Paradox zu diesem Organ. Aber er hatte ja auch die russischen U-Boote unter seiner Fregatte und die hörten durch ihre Röhren eh erst hin, wenn man schrie.

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Macelleria Popolare, Milan

Macelleria Popolare, Milan Street Food, Milan, Italy

5 points

valentina-lori-foto.1024x1024I am delighted to introduce you to another guest writer: Valentina Lori. She is born in Milan but lives since many years in Berlin. 

 

When I tell people I am from Milan, 90% of the time their reply is either, „Oh, I have never been there“ or „Oh, yes, I have been at the airport / at the station / on the freeway on the way to Florence / Rome / Liguria etc. “.

Fact is, Milano is not well known. It does not have the eternal appeal of Rome, the elegant charm of Florence or the unique beauty of Venice but it should not be underestimated. It is famous for its design and fashion industry but it has more to offer than fancy shops and a beautiful cathedral that took centuries to be completed. It has a few popular spots but also hidden treasures, unknown sometimes even to its citizens. It is also one of the very few cities in Italy where sometimes things really change.

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Jungbluth, Restaurant, Berlin

Jungbluth, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

5,5 points

You won’t find all of Berlin’s best restaurants in the city’s center or only in trendy areas. The diversity and, in a certain sense, the attractiveness of particular parts of the city is reflected in their culinary possibilities, and this of course goes beyond Mitte and the West. I’ve already reviewed a few of these restaurants, for example „Bieberbau“ in Wilmersdorf (Bieberbau, Restaurant, Berlin).

Michelin bestows not only stars but also the Bib Gourmand Award disctinction. This happens to be a really good thing, and is given to restaurants whose culinary offering is solid and high quality, although not on the level of Michelin-starred places.

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And this is what brought the Michelin testers to try Jungblut, a restaurant located in Berlin-Steglitz. The fact that I was willing to go all the way to Steglitz for a restaurant should demonstrate the faith I have in their recommendations. I mean, no one really wants to go to Steglitz, though of course there are some lovely spots there, as in every other part of Berlin.  Excluding, of course, Spandau!

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Nhà hàng Khám Phá Việt, Restaurant, Sapa

Nhà hàng Khám Phá Việt, Restaurant, Sapa, Vietnam

4 points

Nhiem, my Vietnamese friend and partner, has once again tested me. The Meos or Hmongs, the minorities from Vietnamese mountain town Sapa, have their own traditional dishes, as do all of us.

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There is a kind of cooking element on your table, fired by gas, in which broth gets heated. This broth is made out of horse meat, bones etc. – containing horse innards and congealed horse blood. The broth is precooked and added to the pot at the beginning. Continue reading “Nhà hàng Khám Phá Việt, Restaurant, Sapa”

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