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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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2007

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica

Melisse, Restaurant, Santa Monica, USA

7 points

Let me begin with perhaps an unfair quote: This restaurant is cursedly expensive. This is quite a controversial statement since passionate chefs, engaged restaurant entrepreneurs, and audacious sommeliers all have to calculate very carefully: top quality, super fresh, preferably organic vegetables, fish, seafood, meat and other ingredients, and exotic or rare fruits. Regional does not automatically mean less expensive, since the work and desire of farmers, fishermen, and cultivators is the same almost everywhere on the planet. Raising organic shrimp in Vietnam is probably cheaper than in Louisiana – but causes pollution due to long transport distances. And how many hours does a chef spend just on thinking, testing, and creating a new dish? And to what end? Isn’t it well known that salaries in the field of gastronomy are rather low? In the US, tips are a crucial part of the income of any server.

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Colle Vecchio, Offida Pecorino, 2007

Colle Vecchio, Offida Pecorino, 2007, white wine from Italy

5,5 points

I never believed that this experiment would end well! Two or three years ago I discovered that I still had one bottle left of a rather typical – certainly not top – white wine from Cocci Grifone, vintage 2007. If someone had asked me – even five years ago, I would have said that this wine had very likely gone bad. I would have been wrong. And I was wrong. From the first nose it was clearly not off. But would it be a good wine? To my great surprise, the wine was still very good and, due to its age, had probably become something special.

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1479 Nelles, Riesling, Alte Reben, 2007

Riesling Alte Reben, Nelles, 2007, White wine from Germany

5 points

Please find my previous reviews of wines from the Nelles winery here: https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/05/02/1-ahr-spatburgunder-nelles-2010/ and https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/06/07/b-52-spatburgunder-nelles-2006/. Since you will find a lot of  information about Nelles there, here I will concentrate only on the wine.

Although the lovely valley of the small river Ahr is further north than Mosel, this wine region stands for the best red wines. White ones are rather rare.  Soil almost in the entire valley is mostly schist.

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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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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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