So I’m in Germany, where I’m going to be very quickly checking out the regions of Reinhessen and Pfalz in the company of several bloggers from around Europe (plus one each from Canada and China). Last night (I write this shortly after breakfast) we did nothing more than have an extended boozy dinner, where the food was largely Scottish (Scottish salmon followed by Angus beef) but the wine was distinctly local. The big hits were a couple of rieslings (of which more tomorrow), the big flop was the wine whose label is pictured above – Blutsbruder (that’s Blood Brother, translation fans, hence the crossed-wrist motif) “Fur immer vereint”. It was probably the most attractively packaged German wine I can remember seeing, but inside the bottle lurked a fairly foul blend of Cabernet Cubin – new to me, a cross of Lemberger and Cabernet Sauvignon – Regent and Cabernet Sauvignon. It smelled cloying and sweet and confected and fake, as if had come in powdered form and simply been mixed with water. Apparently it sells very well here as an easy-drinking red wine, for around 10 Euros a bottle. But it was very attractively packaged. As, indeed, was the wine queen of Reinhessen, a tantalising concept for which I’ll be providing photographic evidence before my trip is over.
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Questions: Are you not obliged to refer to the region as Palatinate? Who are your wine blogger companions, are you allowed to disclose? Have the Germans not gone too far now with the wine and cheese thing by crossing Cabernet Sauvignon and Limburger?
Nobody told me to call it a Palatinate, and as I’m not entirely sure what one is I’m extremely happy to ignore it. The other bloggers were a diverse bunch, hailing from Canada, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, China and the UK. If you really want to know exactly who they were, let me know and I’ll tell you (or try a search for #germanwineblog on Twitter and see who pops up). And, yes, cabernet cubin (shudder) is a cross between cabernet sauvignon and the grape properly known as blauer limberger, but also as lemberger – I’m not sure when or how they arranged the vowel swap, but it was quite possibly to avoid confusion with the popular cheese – or blaufränkisch. Plantings in Germany trebled in the five years to 2006, to 68.5 hectares. It is my new least favourite wine grape. Cabernet sauvignon would almost certainly taste better if blended with cheese. I might try it one day, as a blind tasting.
I think it is positive that native names are more commonly used in the English language. Pfaltz is surely less pretentious and more fun to say. Moscow, Cologne, Naples etc. may follow.
Yes I recognise a few familiar social media personalities on #germanwineblog. Must have been a nice trip although seeming shortish. (2 days?)
I can imagine something strange resulting from the crossing of CS and blaufränkisch and will dutifully taste if it should appear, as one must. There are those that do like it? To date my least favourite grape meeting has been a Saperavi with excessive barnyard-badly spoiled milk-character (with gag reflex), though it was amphora treated and maybe too young, it should ofc be revisited some dreaded day.