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Wine and Food

Alexander van Dülmen

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Syrah

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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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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Clos Saint-Joseph, Syrah, 2013, Villars sur Var

Clos Saint-Joseph, Syrah, 2013, Villars sur Var, Red wine from France

7 points

Perhaps the first thing I should say about this wine: it is too young! It could be better to let this wine age one more year before selling it. Since Roch Sassi produces only a few hundred bottles per year of this remarkable red wine, it’s not terribly easy to buy wines from him. Because the wine is of great quality and has a very special character,  you would expect that his wines are pre-sold anyhow, although they aren’t.

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Domaine de l´Horizon, Rouge, Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes, 2009

Domaine de l´Horizon, Rouge, Vin de Pays des Cotes Catalanes, 2009, Red wine from France

6,5 points

This is probably the only French wine which is sold more in Germany than in France. For example there are two wine stores in Berlin but only one in Paris where you can buy this delicious wine.

The reason is rather easy. Domaine de l´Horizon was initiated by German oenologist Thomas Treibert. Today it is owned by German wine trading family Christ and him. The vineyards according to their webpage are between 40 and even 100 years old. They produce a clear amount of wines: two white and red ones and one rosé.

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Domaine Duclaux, Cháteauneuf du Pape, 2000

Cháteauneuf du Pape, Domaine Duclaux, 2000, Red-wine from France

4,5 points

This Cháteauneuf du Pape is from a winemaker family Quiot, which produces wine since 1748. They should know to make wine, and they do! Everything you like to know about them, you can find at their webpage: http://www.famillequiot.com/

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Merengö, St. Andrea, 2006

Merengö Egri Bikavér superior 2006, St. Andrea, Red wine from Hungary

6,5 points

My favorite Hungarian wine maker is St. Andrea (http://www.standrea.hu/). So far I haven’t had a chance to visit them, although this is a producer I would really like to get to know. They produce a variety of wines: white and red, from typical grapes of the Eger wine region in Hungary, but also Pinot Noir. Most of the wines of St. Andrea are cuvées.

While I’m a big fan of their Pinot Noir, the most prestigious and certainly also their top wine is called Merengö. It is a cuvée made from ca. 50% Kékfrankos, then Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

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