I went to Summergate‘s wine tasting at the Hilton last week and it was a big mistake. I tried four wines from Dr. Loosen – a Pinot Noir and three Rieslings – and talked to the man – Dr. Ernst Loosen – himself. I found the wines interesting and took lots of notes. And I chatted with wine-lovers-about-town Fongyee Walker, Edward Ragg and Gabriel Suk.
So, why a mistake? Because as I left the tasting in Zeta, I saw the ensuing wine dinner in One East on Third under way, and it dawned on me that I had missed a chance to hang out with Decanter’s Man of the Year for 2005. Duh!
I was kicking myself the next morning, though not too hard, as I’m losing my flexibility to age…
Loosen spoke briefly at the tasting, stressing that his wines are not only fruit-driven, but also low in alcohol, thus, “it’s best to drink two or three bottles, or, if you’re with a friend, four.” I chatted with him after that, the exchange going roughly like this:
BB: Do you think China’s market has huge potential?
EL: People get drunk on this idea. They are besoffen.
You mean the idea of selling a billion glasses of wine?
Yes, it’s such a childish view.
By the way, what does besoffen mean?
It’s German for “drunk.”
Oh. Liebe das guten Leben (that’s German for “live the good life” and pretty much exhausts half my knowledge of that language.)
Here are my notes on the wines:
Villa Wolf Pinot Noir, Pfalz 2004: It smelled better than it tasted, with some toast and cherry. I found it too tart.
“Dr L” Riesling 2006: Peach and lychee, with hints of grapefruit soda. The literature called it “bursting” and that seemed apt.
Wehlener Sonnenuhr (Sundial) Riesling Kabinett 2005: Petrol on the nose. Peach and honey, but not too sweet. A nice mouth feel. (It seemed a bit unripe to me, but maybe that’s the lemon mentioned in the notes.)
Urziger Wurzgarten (Spice Garden) Riesling Spatlese 2003: Petrol on the nose here, too, but this one was crisper. Peach, lychees and some sweetness, with a very good mouth feel.
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