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Alexander van Dülmen

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Billy Wagner

Amass, Restaurant, Copenhagen

Amass, Restaurant, Copenhagen, Denmark

7 points

How many times have I heard that Copenhagen is the culinary capital of Europe? Not Paris. Not Rome. Not Berlin. I still can’t really say because, in Copenhagen for the first time, I relied on a tip from Billy Wagner. His tips are as reliable as ever but you should be careful to have enough money with you — eating out in Copenhagen is not exactly cheap. And truly, there is one 3-star Michelin restaurant, six 2-star Michelin ones and even 12 (!) with one star. Next to the most famous and obviously one of the best restaurants in the world, based on a questionable ranking by San Pellegrino, Geranium (place 19), which is the 3-star restaurant, are there any good alternatives? Apart from the fact that I do not like to pre-reserve months in advance, since food always has something to do with mood and desire – I mean, imagine your mother dies and you have been waiting for months for your reservation at Noma, the other world famous restaurant in Copenhagen (which is closed anyhow for some months). What do you do then?

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Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016

Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016, white wine from Italy

7,5 points

Until now I have not written about COS, although I am a big fan of this winery. Not only because of the great wines of Azienda Agricola Cos, but also due to the presence of Joanna Dubrawska, who for many years was not only responsible for marketing and sales for COS but could also introduce wines in a very special way. She left COS a few months ago and is now working somewhere in France. Behind the winery are actually three founders, C. O. S. is a reference to their surnames.

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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”

Weinbar Rutz, Restaurant, Berlin (3rd review)

Weinbar Rutz, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

8 points

There’s really not much more for me write about Marco Müller and his restaurant Weinbar Rutz in Berlin? Or is there?

Last November, Rutz joined the very exclusive circle of Michelin two-star restaurants in Berlin – and with that, Marco is to be counted among the best chefs in Germany. I recently tasted his current menu and am, once again, as enthusiastic about his culinary artistry as I am impressed by his enthralling creations. He certainly engages with the “regional” trend, while managing to avoid the excessive dogmatism of some others in Berlin, such as Einsunternull (Einsunternull, Restaurant, Berlin) – right around the corner.

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Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, 1993

Brunello di Montalcino – Madonna del Piano, Valdicava da Vincenzo Abbruzzese, 1993, red wine from Italy

7 points

Drinking wine, enjoying wine is so often also an emotional experience. Particularly if it’s a good wine! There are these special moments in life when you know afterwards why life is so beautiful, sometimes so grandiose …. Berlin, one of “the” towns of the world, Friday night, finishing work late, hungry for a “platform” for the transition from a heavy working week to a weekend! Relaxation is needed, but you cannot simply decree this to yourself. Too hyper to sleep, but also too tired to sleep.

Music is another element of emotional cognition. Friendship, too. On a recent Friday night, I rang the bell of Nobelhart & Schmutzig after midnight – a nice welcome, without any attitude like “hey, we are just cleaning up, almost closed, it’s “nice” to see you, but…”. Crossed the cleaned public kitchen area, seated at the bar next to Billy, who asked what I would like. Red. I got Adrianna Occhipinti. Sicilian wine. Wine experts among readers know it, and probably also know that this is a very good wine. I need to write about it, as this is also one of my favorite Italian winemakers. More importantly, someone tries to describe your sentiment, combines it with their own, the wine is in the bottle, and it smells delicious – although you already know it, or is it because you know it?

The restaurant is almost shut down for the night, the rest of the staff leaving, saying good night. Reduced light, the blue reflection of the screen of your friend’s laptop and – excellent music! A conversation among friends is never something about only one subject but so many at the time. A mixture of private, professional, daily, but also long-term things, all at once, slowed down by every sip of wine.

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Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Restaurant, Berlin (2. report)

Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

7,5 points

It’s actually not so long since I wrote about Nobelhart & Schmutzig – please see my last review here: https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/09/18/nobelhart-schmutzig-restaurant-berlin/! The concept of this restaurant is the most radical conceptualization of real regional cuisine; Micha Schäfer and Billy Wagner call it “brutal regional”.

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Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Restaurant, Berlin

Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Restaurant, Berlin, Germany

6,5 points

It took me a while upon this review. I slowly got my thoughts and impression into something you can read: My master of wine – Billy Wagner – and his partner Micha Schäffer succeeded generating a remarkably positive hype about their new restaurant called Nobelhart & Schmutzig. Not everyone has expected this as it is an unorthodox but dogmatic concept which they are following. Without real compromises, the sitting arrangement, the way of cooking and obviously the selection of wine is unique in Berlin! It takes you almost your breath when you get into the place first time so inspiring and even for Berlin standards unconventional it is. Some critics already wrote that it nuts to need ringing the bell to get access to restaurant as the door is locked. This indeed is pretty seldom in Berlin but probably also a concession to the interior because a wall between entrance and the sitting areas provide snugness for those who otherwise would have the door in their back. 28 seats along a three side counter which goes around an open kitchen and the bar. 14 seats on big table. Cool music out of gramophone records…

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Riesling, Kalmit, 2011, Weingut Jürgen Leiner

Riesling, Kalmit, 2011, Weingut Jürgen Leiner, Ilbesheim, white wine from Germany

6 points

This is the sister or brother of the Spätburgunder from Kalmit which I introduced yesterday. Therefore I don’t need to describe the winery and winemakers in detail here – you can read everything at https://avdwineandfood.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/spatburgunder-kalmit-weingut-jurgen-leiner-2009/.

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Weinbar Rutz, Berlin

Restaurant and Winebar in Berlin

7 points

As many of my friends know, my favorite restaurant in Berlin is WEINBAR RUTZ . There are hundreds of trendy places, a remarkable number of Michelin star restaurants in the city and probably some location with a lot of good wine as well. But there isn’t any other place comparable to this one.

It is an easy but unique concept as at the lower level you have rather a food-bar or tavern with slightly more basic but fantastic dishes along the motto “Save the German Food Culture”. You get blood sausages or some liverwurst or rutabaga stew or – at least at the moment “crispy haddock, chestnust, red cabbage and baked kale – but also just a solid “home” aged steak. All this usually is not served with a typical German beer but with the best mostly German (white) wines. You would only very seldom get such high quality wine by the glass anywhere else. This place offers you even sometime a Großes Gewächs (which is similar to a Grand Cru) by the glass and if you become a “friend” of the house, they might open a bottle just for you without letting you buy the entire bottle if you didn’t drink it. If you go for first floor, please ask for the table in front of the kitchen because then you can watch my friend Marco Müller preparing the plates with his amazing and always surprising culinary art and extraordinary taste experience. Here you encounter Chinese or other Asian flavors combined with regional ingredients and condiments. Marco is always spunky enough to present unusual and sometimes, I would say, experimental combinations of taste.

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