Saturday, 26 June 2010

I'm not going to mention a certain football match tomorrow...

I'm getting sweaty palms just thinking about it. No, instead, I'm going to write briefly again about last weekend in the Pfalz.

We went to the annual Burg- und Weinfest in Wachenheim and met some friends there who live in Heidelberg. Although living in Basel, I have a lot of past experience with Pfälzer wine fests. To the uninitiated, drinking spritzers containing Riesling (or off-dry blush) and fizzy water from dimpled, half-litre glasses can be a shock to the system (and one's constitution). When served, the wine/water combination should theoretically be half and half. However, in practice, the wine tends to account for quite a bit more than a half. The secret, I suppose, is to pace yourself.

Apart from wine fest escapades, Jenny and I stayed in a lovely guest house in the picturesque village of Deidesheim. On the Friday evening, we ate at Hofgut Ruppertberg and enjoyed the food and ambiance in the courtyard there immensely. Geese and cockerels took care of the farmyard sounds, and with a herb garden and vineyards aplenty nearby, the place had a certain Mediterranean flair.

Before meeting our friends in Wachenheim the next day, we ventured into the vinotheque of Weingut Bassermann-Jordan and tasted a couple of wines. I bought three bottles from the 2009 vintage: 2 x Riesling Forster Ungeheuer "S" trocken and 1 x Riesling "Auf der Mauer", the latter being a blend from the best vineyards in Deidesheim and Ruppertsberg, i.e. Hohenmorgen, Grainhübel, Kalkofen and Reiterpfad. The parcels of land in question are situated on mini-plateaus surrounded by tall vineyard walls - hence the name Auf der Mauer ("On the wall").

After a surreal moment outside Deidesheim's very own Togolese Consulate (see photo), we then proceeded to walk through the vineyards to Wachenheim via Forst, where we had a late lunch (Saumagen-Maultaschen, anyone?). We then eased gently into the vinous festivities with an aperitif at a local well-known fizz purveyor, before settling down with Rieslingschorle in hand at the castle overlooking Wachenheim. You can't beat a good wine fest.

On the Sunday, we spent a leisurely few hours in lovely old wine town of Neustadt an der Weinstrasse before heading back to Basel later in the afternoon - glad of having spent a weekend "away from it all".

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