Stuart Pigott on the German Wine Queen and Wines of Germany
What is so effective in the media about the office of the German Wine Queen?
At first glance, the German Wine Queen looks like a dusty fairytale princess, but she isn't that at all! They are strong young women with an in-depth knowledge of wine who are ambassadors around the world. With wit, sensitivity - and sometimes also a bit cheeky - they convey the wonderful diversity of German wine.
Which bottle of (German) wine will you open next?
It will probably be a bottle of dry Riesling from Gut Hermannsberg on the Nahe, where I work as a Riesling Ambassador. But in my cellar there are a number of top Pinot Noirs from the Rheingau, Rheinhessen and the Pfalz that I really want to taste.
What comes after Orange Wine?
The formulation is correct. Orange Wine is undoubtedly a fashion, and there are many free riders among the producers who believe that they have to offer something like this in order to “be there” or at least not to appear “uncool”. On the other hand, this wave has brought a wealth of stylistic innovations, and some of them have a future as important niche products. Nobody can say in advance what will follow. My guess is a return to white wines with subtle fruit notes.
What you always wanted to say about German wines:
After writing numerous books on the subject, there is nothing left with which to surprise the world now. I still love the good and great German wines, and they continue to develop in a very exciting way.
Your next topic is ...
In addition to a booklet on the "10th anniversary of Gut Hermannsberg as owned by the Reidel family", I am writing a series of articles on the subject of "Global warming and German wine". 2018 was the hottest year in Germany on record, but many 2018 German wines have retained their “cool climate” style. That is a puzzling phenomenon that I am trying to fathom.
Can you tell us your favorite food and wine pairing?
Actually, I don't think much of wine and food pairing, but a lot of good food and good wine! If someone likes to drink a dry Pinot Blanc with vanilla ice cream, that's a great thing, but personally I prefer Riesling Kabinett semi-dry or a matured Riesling Kabinett with residual sweetness with smoked salmon.
Your last post about Germany as a wine country?
The incredibly fresh 2009 Chardonnay "SJ" by Karl H. Johner from the Kaiserstuhl in Baden completely amazed me. I have to share surprises like this because hardly anyone thinks something like this is possible.
German wine producers are / will be / were ...
German winemakers are as diverse as their wines, and that means that they cannot be lumped together. Much of their fascination comes from this, and I love this human and oenological diversity. In addition, there is the genetic diversity of the grape varieties and their clones as well as the enormous range of sites in the 13 wine-growing regions of Germany. Wonderful!
What's going on in retail?
German wines are generally doing very well in the trade, but there is one category that is a little sluggish: ‘Ortsweine’, wines from a specific village. There are so many impressive vineyards, but the names are not yet well known. That acts as a price brake, because there are a lot of bargains to be found!
What's going on in gastronomy?
Dry wines are still very much in demand, but semi-dry wines and Riesling Kabinett are attracting increasing attention. This is very gratifying because they are important wines for the northern wine-growing regions.
Why wine instead of beer?
Beer is sometimes a necessary change from wine, but for me it rarely has the tension and delicacy of a good wine. But my personal preferences and habits certainly play an important role. I'm just a wine person!