Thursday, September 19, 2013
It is quite fashionable, in the wine world, for us professional types to play the "jaded sophisticate" card - like Holden Caulfield with a tattoo fetish and a legitimized drinking problem. Oftentimes, you'll hear complaints from pros about how traveling to European countries to visit producers is no fun because it’s for business, with a rigid schedule; or that a tasting of elite Grand Cru wines was overrun with too many people.
Well, I say that these wine-specific opportunities are laced with the thing itself that we’re in "the game" for: to meet passionate people who make pleasure their life, and want to share it with other people.
I had a chance, a few weeks ago, to experience some of that passion. Dirk Richter of Weingut Max Ferd. Richter was in town to promote his new 2012 wines, as well as share some older vintages that he had brought from his cellar.
Make no mistake: they were out to sell us wine (they succeeded), but more importantly to me, it was dinner at má pêche with over two dozen world-class Rieslings, both new and old. Dirk Richter himself is a devilishly opinionated traditionalist. At Richter, they make Riesling. Period. They make it very well. Their vineyard plots are legendary; their history runs long (over 300 years). Herr Richter is a force, and I got the (slightly nerve-wracking) honor of sitting next to him. He can tell story after story, laced with humor and information – a rare combination My senses were fired up, and running hot: a beautiful room; fragrant, exotic Rieslings; the peripheral pleasure of good service swirling around; and the complex combinations of Chef de Cuisine Johnny Leach’s food, with its bright colors and textural variations. I felt that heady, slightly swooning feel of wines working in concert, all the nuances of the terroir, all the effort of the workers and the winemaker.
All the things we’re here for, in the wine world; all the things that matter to us. Sharing is caring.
“ZEPPELIN” RIESLING, MÜLHEIMER SONNENLAY 2012
VELDENZER ELISENBERG RIESLING KABINETT 2011