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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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French

Vieux Remparts, Chateauneuf du Pape, 2010

Vieux Remparts, Chateauneuf du Pape, 2010, red-wine from France

5 points

If you try to do a little research on the Internet, you won’t find out much about this wine. And then you ask yourself: why there is so little to read about this wine, since actually it’s not bad at all, in fact quite good. The bottle itself already says a lot — not only the world-famous name Chateauneuf du Pape graces the label — but the papal insignia is also molded above the label, imprinted into the glass itself. If you were to then read the label: Appellation d’Origine Controllée, at least wine experts know that this is not a special or noble wine of this exceptional provenance, but just a simple geographic denomination. And then it hits me: Mann (in English Oh man!), that’s the Aldi wine that I bought so many years ago! Now, I hope every reader knows what Aldi is: a German grocery discounter that expanded in most of Europe and even in the USA.  For Aldi prices, a bottle of this wine was really expensive, favorable for Chateauneuf-du-Pape numbers (not cheap!). Now I also understand why there’s nothing to read about the winemakers, about some great or boring family that has been producing this fantastic wine for centuries, with the unlikely sacrifice and long-standing faith, ever since the Pope built his summer residence in Avignon – of course because of the great vineyards at lower Rhone. How profane: Aldi has in fact let some unknown mass producers produce a large number of bottles of “red” (Grenache, Syrah, Merlot) at the local appellation. That it’s well packaged, as I said, not only makes things at Aldi interesting and eye-catching, but also does the trick in many fine wine shops.

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The Grand, Restaurant, Berlin

The Grand, Restaurant and Bar, Berlin, Germany

5,5 points

Being asked many times about the best steak house in Berlin I always miss to name “The Grand”. Maybe because it is somehow a “trendy” place for posers of film, music and fashion. This bar and restaurant belongs to hot spots where German celebrities as Til Schweiger party birthday or during fashion weeks hip fashion brands invite for exclusive, very cool events. Am I jealous not being a member of this VIP world or do I hate shallowness? Indeed, I do not like share my time with braggy cockalorums! And a part of The Grand’s target audience are such subjects which leaves one sometimes with an ambivalent feeling!

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