"In Berlin the demand for German wines is very high"


The German Wine Institute (DWI) occasionally interviews bloggers, sommeliers and influencers on the topic of "Germany as a wine country". We recently asked Serhat Aktas from Berlin, some questions about German wines. He is the organizer of the Berlin wine competition, the ‘Lagen Cup’ and is also now running a bistro & wine bar there called "Der Weinlobbyist".

What's on your mind at the moment, Serhat? What are you working on?

My new project, The Wine Lobbyist Bistro & Weinbar, takes a lot of time and energy. It's the little things that take the most effort. But it's a lot of fun! At last, I have made my dream come true. On top of this, my wine competition, the LagenCup Weiß 2020, is currently underway. In August I tasted over 400 single-vineyard wines with nine other jurors. As the number of entrants was significantly higher than expected, the jury will have to meet again this month to taste the remaining wines, as well as carry out the final tasting in order to be able to select the winners.

What role will German still and sparkling wines play on your wine bar menu?

A very big one! The concept of "Der Weinlobbyist" is based on this. Admittedly, the wine list is not yet the size I want, because I had to put the brakes on due to Corona. At the beginning, when I took over the wine bar in February, I wanted to start with 300 listings. Then Corona intervened. To have 300 listings on the menu at the moment would be pure suicide. The wine list is now being gradually expanded. There are currently around 100 listings. But that is already a sign of things to come. In addition, I will also create a large menu for Sekt, German sparkling wine, because I am myself a big lover of Winzersekt, sparklings that are grown and produced by local winemakers.

Why is your latest venture good for "Germany as a wine country"?

"Der Weinlobbyist" bistro & wine bar is located in the middle of Berlin, in Schöneberger-Kiez. That means that I have guests from every layer of society, from doctors to lawyers, from bakers and Lidl cashiers to students. That's why you can find everything on my winelist: from simple estate wines to Großes Gewächs (Grand Cru) to aged treasures. The whole thing goes back to 1994. The sommelier is an advocate of the wine producers, so a wine lobbyist! I do my best to do this job well and to bring the wines to the consumer in an uncomplicated way. The guest shouldn't be too much in awe of the wine. This builds up a psychological barrier. I want the wine to become an everyday drink again and, as is common in southern European countries, to be drunk at lunchtime. Or as Manfred Klimek once said: "Save the midday wine." I want to establish that in my wine bar. Will I succeed? I hope so!

German wine producers are / will be / were ...

German wine producers are very good and just keep getting better! The highly qualified "young generation" is rightly famous because it is open to the world and eager to experiment. That is a good thing. It is also essential to become better than the previous generation as they face many new challenges, for example, climate change. Of course, that is not one little thing that can be mastered in a few days or weeks. No. It's a completely new situation that you have to deal with over a lifetime. And in order to manage that, the young winemakers have no choice but to keep getting better.

In Berlin, German wines are...

... very popular and in demand. The demand for German wines is very high in Berlin. I also notice that the interest in wines with residual sweetness, such as the classic Kabi (Kabinett), and above all, Winzersekt sparkling wine is growing. My guests explicitly ask for German sparkling wine and not for Prosecco etc. I think that's awesome!

Your last post about Germany as a wine country?

A 2011 Pinot Noir from the Gutzler winery in Morstein. That wine was a grenade. Unbelievably fresh, with great fruit aromas, the tannin ripeness was perfect and the finish was magnificently long. The subtle tones of ripeness made the already complex wine even more layered.

Which bottle of wine / sparkling wine did you open first and why?

The first sparkling wine was a 2016 Pinot Brut from Weingut Münzberg in the Pfalz, which was on the lees for three years before it was disgorged. For me, this sparkling wine has the best combination of freshness, fruit, creaminess and wonderful yeast aromas. The first wine was a 94 Geheimrat J. from Weingut Wegeler in the Rheingau in a 6-litre bottle. It was meant for the opening but I was able to sell the bottle within three (!) days. I was so amazed.

Related Links
The Wine Lobbyist bistro and wine bar:
The LagenCup:

Interviews in English from this series:
Black metal musician Sigurd Wongraven
Jessyca Lewis, (MBA), Marketing Expert


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