TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



Recent comments

  • Stop misleading customers and damaging the reputation of German wine - an open letter to Waitrose   2 years 46 weeks ago

    I am not living in the UK and I am not a customer of Waitrose.

    The law allows profiteering people to sell wines as "Piesporter Michelsberg" even if the grapes don't come from Piesport.

    I do not expect every customer to know and understand those weired rules which also allow tomato products from China be labeled as "made in Italy" {Pulp fiction :-)}.

    But I do expect experts to have a better grip on the reality of their stocks. I also grow high expectations in connection with words like "LEGENDS" -- so I fully support the approach of the Wine Rambler here.

    Please return to your high standards. Knowing the people behind Wine Rambler are full of real passion for wine I am sure this is a valid point of view from them. Waitrose should check this and act on the results.

    Sincerely
    Nik

  • R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, Crianza, Viña Gravonia, 2000   2 years 47 weeks ago

    Happy to hear the new mobile theme is working better for you than the old one, and thanks for testing it, Andrew. This may need more tweaking on our end. And yes, the wines are delicious!

  • R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, Crianza, Viña Gravonia, 2000   2 years 47 weeks ago

    I like the wines a lot but, to be honest, I just want to see what comment is like on my phone

  • Weingut Ruck, Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg, Silvaner GG, 2009   2 years 47 weeks ago

    Can help out on the price ... bought this one directly from Ruck in Iphofen, early 2011, 18EUR/bottle. Ruck is in the same quality/price league as other highly-regarded Franconian winemakers (I'm not going to promote anyone here, as I like wine but don't like to trade it, so no names. Would be happy to organize a "Franconian Tasting" if a place and enough interested people can be found), all of them will sell their "ordinary" dry Silvaners/Rieslings starting under 10EUR per bottle and their GG Spaetlese for ~20..30EUR, directly at the vinery. Since 2006, prices (in EUR) have doubled; with GBP/EUR parity, tripled in GBP terms...

    But then, purchasing those wines outside Franconia / from elsewhere than directly at the producer is rather difficult. In addition to that, if the wine and/or the year are on the good side, they tend to sell out at maker within less than a year of being bottled. After which, well, let me call them "illiquid liquid assets".
    This pretty much applies to most Franconian wines/winemakers; even the more-renowned ones are family businesses and they want to sell out; they don't age their wines except what they keep for their own consumption.

    Btw, the "yeasty apple" usually goes away from this wine after about three, four years; from my experience, it's typical for a "new" Silvaner and encountering it I see it as the sign of a too-young one, but tastes vary.

    (Really enjoyed reading your blog; there's not many people that know about German wines in the UK, much less so about Franconian ones)

  • Logfiles, webstats, Google Analytics and the fight against blog comment spammers continued   2 years 49 weeks ago

    Cool, thanks for the feedback and quick response!

  • Logfiles, webstats, Google Analytics and the fight against blog comment spammers continued   2 years 49 weeks ago

    Thanks for your comment, Dave. With certain spam bots that may work but as the user-agent strings can be changed easily I don't think this would be a reliable way. At minimum you would have to constantly update the list as user agents change how they identify. I have found it much more effective to use services that analyse comments and block spam. We use http://mollom.com/ with much success.

  • Logfiles, webstats, Google Analytics and the fight against blog comment spammers continued   2 years 49 weeks ago

    Good stuff here - found this post very informative and useful.

    I'm going through the process of analyzing server logs and detecting spamming agents for the first time. One question I have for you is whether it would be possible to block spam to your servers using the user-agent string instead of the IP address. Like you mentioned, since the IP address may change, would it be more permanent to use a user-agent string? Or maybe this could be changed just as easily, making the point moot.

    Regardless, enjoyed this!

  • Zehnthof Luckert, Müller-Thurgau trocken, 2011   2 years 51 weeks ago

    Müller-Thurgau can indeed make good wines, so I would not let this one discourage you, Solomon (also it is not really a bad wine, but for what it is I find it too expensive). Check out some of the wines Julian reviews in the article linked at the top of this post, and I am sure Mark's recommendations will also not let you down (thanks for sharing these, Mark). I will continue to look for a good MT and there is indeed another wine waiting its time in my wine rack...

  • St. Michael-Eppan, Montiggl Riesling, 2010   2 years 51 weeks ago

    Hi there, You have done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I'm sure they'll be benefited from this web site.

  • Zehnthof Luckert, Müller-Thurgau trocken, 2011   2 years 51 weeks ago

    Müller-Thurgau can be a superb wine! My suggestions:
    - Rainer Sauer Müller-Thurgau FRANK & FREI 2011 (even the Müller in the 'Literflasche' is great!) | Franconia
    - Seegut Kress Müller-Thurgau 2011 | Bodensee (Baden)

  • Zehnthof Luckert, Müller-Thurgau trocken, 2011   2 years 51 weeks ago

    Sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your Muller Thurgau trocken from Franken. I have only tried it once, it was around 2-3 euros. I had heard so much bad press about it so I wanted to find out how true it all was and sadly it was true; a very dull and boring wine.

    I did see some higher priced Muller Thurgaus and I was wondering, "if the price is higher, will that change the quality"? Thankfully I didn't waste any money on that, and yes for that price you can find a much better Riesling, Grauburgunder, or Weissburgunder any day.

    Cheers!

    Solomon

  • Who are you? The Wine Rambler 2012 Web Stats and Reflections on Wine Blog Readership   3 years 4 days ago

    Thank you for your comment, Paul. I think the situation in the UK is not as bad as it may sound - depending on which market you are considering. There are new importers and a few wine merchants who really champion German wine, the wine trade is really interested and more and more sommeliers but German wine on their menus. However, here we are talking about the premium market. In the supermarkets (who control around 80% of the market), well, you have seen it.

    Sadly I don't right now have the time to discuss this in more detail, but take a look at the "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" section in a lengthy article on Riesling and food matching and a summary on a panel on German wine in the UK.

  • Who are you? The Wine Rambler 2012 Web Stats and Reflections on Wine Blog Readership   3 years 4 days ago

    Hi guys. What a sad inditement of the British knowledge and understanding of German wine, despite all the massive efforts of the DWI in both Mainz and London, however having spent 2 weeks back in the UK over Xmas and shopping in the dreadful supermarkets with my wife, it is obvious that Liebfraumilch still rules; the merchandising in stores still places this and it's Black Tower cousins in key positions on the shelf, and it's only in Waitrose with their army of MW's who are giving quality German wine the space it deserves. I would also add that my wonderful army of German winemaker friends do nothing for the general public to understand what is inside a bottle of "Rudesheimer Berg Rottland Spatlese Trocken Erstes Gewachs"' and now with the recently revised rules by the VDP it is becoming even more goddam difficult to fathom, and I'm not the only 1 saying this as I just spent 1 month back in September at 4 VDP auctions and without naming names, many of the top winemakers are aghast at these changes. These masters of winemaking need to understand that marketing plays a very important role in the sale of wine, and in all honesty if I was an English customer I too would play safe by only purchasing wines that I had a faint idea of what's inside. I noticed that Erni Loosen now sticks a "DRY" sticker on his GG's, an admirable start that it no way detracts from the usual illegible (and often artistically beautiful) wine label, how about the others follow suit? Or what about a "traffic light" system on the reverse as some Riesling makers in Australia follow? As you might guess I am a passionate devotee of German wine and Riesling in particular, and having lived in Asia for 17 years and sharing my German wines with both foreigners and locals, once you get a Mosel Riesling in the mouth of a Vietnamese or Thai person to go with their very light and delicate cuisine, you will have a follower for life. What do we need to do guys to spread the word?

  • Who are you? The Wine Rambler 2012 Web Stats and Reflections on Wine Blog Readership   3 years 6 days ago

    Thank you for sharing this, Solomon. As I mentioned in my comment above I am not really concerned that so many people search for Liebfraumilch or Black Tower. After all those who search for these wines are at least curious and willing to do a little research. Maybe one day they will feel more adventurous. So I guess I agree with you, every single person convinced to enjoy wine is a good thing!

  • Who are you? The Wine Rambler 2012 Web Stats and Reflections on Wine Blog Readership   3 years 6 days ago

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, Colin. It is really good to meet some of the readers we can track in our stats but don't know much else about. I am happy to hear that you found something that interests you here. Also, just for the record, Liebfraumilch used to be an outstanding vineyard - until the law was changed so that pretty much every wine could be labelled as such. I still plan to taste an original Liebfraumilch and maybe then we will find a wine that reflects the unique reputation - in a good way!

    Also, I don't despise about the statistics. Yes, quite a few of those who randomly find us through search engines move on after, but others come back. When we started this we did not expect that was essential was (or is) a dialogue between two friends separated by hundreds of miles and a few borders would attract hundreds of readers every day. Cheers to all of you!

  • Who are you? The Wine Rambler 2012 Web Stats and Reflections on Wine Blog Readership   3 years 6 days ago

    Based on the special features of the Champagne posting that you mentioned, here's what I think took people so long:

    1. Listen to Oasis song
    2. Go to dictionary to puzzle out cool Latin motto
    3. Listen to Oasis all over again
    4. Look for place to scribble down or file to save cool Latin motto
    5. Look for more Latin mottos / Oasis videos, leaving browser window open
    6. Reflect on laddism and classical education as two equally doomed social phenomena

  • Who are you? The Wine Rambler 2012 Web Stats and Reflections on Wine Blog Readership   3 years 6 days ago

    That's lovely, Colin, many thanks for your encouragement. Torsten does all the stats, cogs and wheels on the Rambler, so it's really he that should comment here. Myself having been absent from the blog these few weeks, though, I'm really glad to hear from people who don't come for the quick fix, as it were, but enjoy what we're trying to do here over the longer term.

  • Who are you? The Wine Rambler 2012 Web Stats and Reflections on Wine Blog Readership   3 years 6 days ago

    No I didn't look up Liebfraumilch, no I didn't look up sweet Riesling or any of this other rubbish. I came across the Wine Rambler while reading Wine Searcher and it was a good find.

    I think that although its beyond sad how most people come across this blog, but the end result is the most important; as if you get just a few people telling their friends, family members and acquaintances saying the following:

    "There is a wonderful world of German wine beyond that plonk of Liebfraumilch, Black Tower and other rubbish. If you want to play it safe then drink Riesling in all of it's many hues and tastes. Then if you're truly brave try some great aged Spatburgunder Spatlese and have a real grand time".

    Yes, German wine has a pretty bad rap, but let's not forget where other wine regions and countries were at 10, 20, 30 years ago and where they are at today. If others can re-invent and re-brand than so can we and we had better do it soon, before the South Africans and Portuguese leave us in the dust!

  • Who are you? The Wine Rambler 2012 Web Stats and Reflections on Wine Blog Readership   3 years 6 days ago

    I confess that I came across your blog via a search for Liebfraumilch, after wondering one day why it has its somewhat unique reputation. (And you saved me the trouble of tasting it myself.) But I stayed, and have been an RSS subscriber for nearly a year now, so don't despair too much about your most viewed pages!

  • Matching food and wine: oven roast pheasant and Pinot Noir   3 years 1 week ago

    Happy to hear you enjoyed the bird - pheasant is lovely; shame the season is ending... And cheers to Côte-Rôtie!

  • Matching food and wine: oven roast pheasant and Pinot Noir   3 years 1 week ago

    I have tried the recipe yesterday…taste was very good….just instead of pinot noir I took Cote-Rotie…combination was lovely..mmm

  • German Riesling Rap (Must Be Seduktion)   3 years 1 week ago

    See, I had not even thought of that, but now that you have brought it up I almost feel I should consider which of us would look better with such a wig...

  • German Riesling Rap (Must Be Seduktion)   3 years 1 week ago

    I would say that, too. Maybe because I stand above such foolishness, but just maybe it's also my failed youthful dream of rap stardom gnawing away resentfully at my civil servant soul with sad, defeated eyes saying that. Also, the question of who is Big Swanky and who is Dr. Hans in this here operation is better left unanswered.

  • German Riesling Rap (Must Be Seduktion)   3 years 2 weeks ago

    I _would_ say that Julian may just have a sense of human dignity...

  • Markus Molitor, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spätlese, 2006   3 years 3 weeks ago

    I should have trusted my Co-Rambler Torsten when we had the second bottle of this on New Year's eve. Why I thought I needed to dampen expectations on this and raise all kinds of concerns, I can't even remember. Maybe I was worried about the vintage, which is known to have been problematic, or I half-remembered a lukewarm review, or, and this is the most probable explanation, I didn't know what the hell I was talking about. "Not to worry, from what I remember, this will be pure peachy goodness.", Torsten said. "So you think it won't be too much of a disappointment?". "Julian, it's gonna be allright. Peachy goodness, depend on it". When I still mumbled incoherent objections while opening the bottle, Torsten countered with a curt, just ever so lightly irritated "peachy goodness". It was, of course, peachy goodness.