Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen


March 2015

Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin, Scotland

Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin, Scotland

5 points

While on a short journey through Scotland, we spent only one night at a hotel called Pierhouse at Port Appin. Unless you were a fisherman, you would likely not end up in Port Appin if you weren’t looking for a unique and rather peaceful place on the Western coast of Scotland.

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Marcqués del Hueco, Rioja, 2012

Marcqués del Hueco, Rioja, 2012, Vendimia Seleccionada, red wine from Spain

4,5 points

Unfortunately I don’t know anything about Spanish wine. Since I am a subscriber of a degustation packet of German’s daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung every three months I have the chance to get to know new wines. As always, sometimes it is rather disappointing, sometimes one can discover something new and compelling. So I opened a bottle of Marcqués del Hueco, a Rioja. I was actually astonished and very pleased! If every unknown wine were so good and digestible I would be really happy.

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Milijan Jelic, Chardonnay, 2011

Milijan Jelic, Chardonnay, 2011, Valjevo, white wine from Serbia

1 point

This wine is another attempt to adapt the taste of American Chardonnay, although the area Milijan Jelic makes wine is obviously somewhere else. It is in Serbia – which makes its interesting to taste, and since it isn’t cheap you would expect something special. Unfortunately, it isn’t interesting or surprising.

It is very golden in colour. It has a rather nice smell although not terribly special. The wine has recognizable quality but is a mixture of rather flat aromas. It is too sweet and I don’t think it is reasonable for this wine to have so much barrique – oaky – tones.

The labels looks a bit like the wine tastes….

Serve it very cold, then perhaps the sweetness won’t completely over some other undiscovered flavors.

For further information, please see at

Angerer Alm, Restaurant, Hochgurgl, Tirol, Austria

Angerer Alm, Restaurant, Hochgurgl, Tirol, Austria

7 points

Imagine you are in the Alps: perhaps you associate this experience with some special music (hopefully not with DJ Ötzi, since then you would be a real freak, but perhaps with music of Hubert von Goisern:, and of course with a lot of amazing nature and countryside – but probably also with typical Alpine food. This could be “Leberknödelsuppe” (liver dumpling soup), “Kaiserschmarrn” (Kaiserschmarrn), “Schweinebraten” (roast pork) or, for example, venison. Alpine cuisine is “bodenständig” (this is a wonderful word in German, but you are damned if you need to translate this into English: it is probably a mixture of down-to-earth and native). In my experience, you either get rather cheap food which isn’t terribly delicious but is quite filling – and at least it’s affordable – or you get slightly “better” cuisine which can cost you a fortune, even though you know they haven’t used the freshest ingredients. In all likelihood, the meat was frozen and probably isn’t from Tirol but rather Slovakia. The chefs are probably not even the culprits; some smart managers of hotels and / or restaurants are likely to blame. Much of this kind of food is made quite cleverly and with a lot of “show”. After two or three days, you begin to realize that the sauce always tastes the same, no matter what kind of dish you’ve ordered. There is too much sugar in the salad dressing – you can tell that they’re using spice or herb mixes  for dressing, broths, and any kind of sauces. Quite an effort at deception !

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Angerer Alm, Hotel, Hochgurgl, Tirol, Austria

Angerer Alm, Hotel, Hochgurgl, Tirol, Austria

7 points

I don’t know how many years I’ve been coming to Hochgurgl – which is at the very end of Ötztal in Tirol. Hochgurgl is a part of a village called Obergurgl and consists of only six or seven hotels, ski lifts and a little chapel. Actually it is in the middle of one of the best skiing resorts in Austria, at a height of over 2000 m!

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Klingenmünsterer, Maria Magdalena, Portugieser Rotwein S, 2009

Klingenmünsterer, Maria Magdalena, Portugieser Rotwein S, 2009, Siftsweingut Frank Meyer, red wine from Germany

5,5 points

WP_20150316_001Portugieser is a type of grape which is normally used for mass-produced wines and it therefore has a rather bad reputation. Many years ago this wine was introduced to me by the waiter of the restaurant of one of my favorite hotels on the Baltic Sea – the Speicherhotel Barth. I loved it immediately; maybe because it fits with the rougher climate of the Baltic Sea.

This is a very soft and dry red wine. The rather light flavor of the wine receives a very special “drive” as it is matured for 24 months in oak barrels. It is really very woody and delivers all good aromas of barrique: tobacco and pepper. It isn’t fruity like many Portugieser, and but condimental along with some strong red berries (even cranberries). Continue reading “Klingenmünsterer, Maria Magdalena, Portugieser Rotwein S, 2009”

Newton, Chardonnay, 2007, Napa County

Newton, unfiltered Chardonnay, 2007, Napa County, white wine from the USA

5,5 points

What I really like about wine is the astounding variety. Each region and country has its own particular styles and types. For example, it’s impossible to find anything that really compares to a German Riesling – except perhaps a few select wines from Austria – but I guess everyone would agree that this is something typically German. Also some people like to find comparable to Barolo, which is in itself so strictly Piedmontese, and therefore so Italian. As a European, it is – due to our lack of knowledge – much more difficult to detect all of these differences when we speak of so-called “New World” wines. As soon as you leave the European continent, so-called “New World” wines are encountered much more often, for a variety of reasons: perhaps you are either in a “New World” country, like Australia – or a place where Australian wines are imported since it is either geographically closer and/or more reasonable due to clever marketing campaigns. German wines are not well exported! Firstly, because Germans like to drink their own wines and secondly, why work too hard if you already have your grateful costumers right around you. But also because there isn’t any special marketing or publicity campaign for German wine abroad. Chilean wine, for instance, is very popular in Poland and even there are, of course, great wines from Chile, while those you can get in a normal restaurant or in a supermarket are rather bad. But it is trendy.

I even don’t know if wines of California belong to wines of the “New World” officially, but I put them in this group!

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Domaine de Beaurenard, Chàteauneuf de Pape, 2007

Domaine de Beaurenard, Chàteauneuf de Pape, 2007, red wine from France

5 points

I didn’t know anything about Domaine de Beaurenard and I have to admit that I don’t even remember how I came into these bottles of wine. Nevertheless, this wine tastes quite different from what you would expect if you open a Châteauneuf du Pape – it is much less
fruity and heavy than many other common ones. This one is much more straightforward – I actually think the German word “geradeaus” is clearer. Although already more than seven years old and, of course, produced from such typically rather sweet and rich grapes as Grenache and Syrah, this is one of the “coldest” Châteauneuf du Pape I’ve encountered so far.

Normally Châteauneuf du Pape has no tastable acidity but is something even like a praline this one is exceptionally sophisticated, cool and refreshing. Taste-wise there are notes of forest berry and spicy condiment. It reminds me a bit of moss. All this is pretty contradictory to the area of the Coté de Rhone, which is a rather warm wine area.

The wines of this winemaker are organic and biodynamic. And since this wine is so different and interesting, I recommend spending some time on the winery’s very informative and well-done website: You will find all the information you need about Domaine de Beaurenard.

Laurentiuslay, Riesling Alte Reben, Carl Loewen, 2012

Carl Loewen, Riesling Alten Reben, Erste Lage Laurentiuslay, 2012

7 points

This is another review about a Riesling from the Mosel! It is too ambitious to say that this is the best region for Riesling, since some people would protest – and with good reason. But I would risk saying that there isn’t any other region, possibly anywhere in the world, which delivers such a variety and plurality of really top quality Rieslings in such a small area. At each corner, on every hill and slope grows Riesling. It is a great and inspiring competition among all wineries since many of them have one very special and ‘world’s best’ vineyard.

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Steigenberger Hotel, Linz, Austria

Steigenberger Hotel, Linz, Austria

This place is attracting customers with misinformation: the hotel is, indeed, directly on the Danube  – but it’s surrounded by an industrial harbor, an Autobahn, and a refinery.  The location of this hotel is ridiculous. (

Since the room was totally overheated, I had to open the window – resulting in my room being filled with a strong “odor” of petrol and gas. It is like a deal with the devil: if you close the window it gets warm since you cannot regulate the heating and the “odor” remains in your room. If you keep window open, you at least can let the “odor” mixed with some cold air but you will be entertained the whole night by the Autobahn traffic noise.

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Heimann, Birtokbor, Szekszárd, 2011

Heimann, Birtokbor, Szekszárd, 2011, red wine from Hungary

4,5 points

My friend Gabor Kereszty brought me a box of six different wines from the Hungarian winery Heimann.  Although I thought I would know more than others about Hungarian wine, I must admit I didn’t know of Heimann, from the southern city of Szekszard.

Like all really good Hungarian wine, this is a cuvée! Birtokbor contains Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) and Syrah – according to the website of Heimann ( It is the very well-balanced combination of grapes that makes it very notable and, simply speaking, good.

WP_20150311_001 WP_20150311_003

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Sole, Chardonnay, 2014, Recas

Sole, Chardonnay Barrique, 2014, de Recas, white wine from Romania

2,5 points

According to the back label, there are only 25,000 bottles of this wine, which is produced from Recas’s best vineyards – “Dealul Tiganulul” or “Gispey Hill”. It was given to me by a brave Romanian who told me about the surprising quality of this Romanian chardonnay. I have always been surprised by interesting and good wines from Romania. But I believe I was always tasting only the top wines  – since the people who offered me some of these wines knew that I like wine and pretend to understand something about it.

Until then I had only tried red wines – this was the first white.

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