The German Wine Questionnaire: Lars Daniels answers
1. Which was the first German wine you ever tasted and when?
I actually don’t know anymore. I fear it was a simple off-dry Riesling or even a Weißherbst, also off-dry, somewhere during the end of the eighties. To be honest, I didn’t think much of German wines back then, my parents drank Alsace wines at home. And I had a French girlfriend who lived in Le Mans, I think I drank Loire wines there, also some Bordeaux.
2. What was your most memorable moment with German wine?
Impossible question, next! No, but there have been and hopefully will be some many moments, that it is very hard to chose one. I have fond memories of enjoying older Rieslings at long ‘legendary’ liquid lunches with friends in restaurants, like 1971 Erbacher Marcobrunn Auslese from Schloss Reinhartshausen at lunch in Parkheuvel, Rotterdam or 2004 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Spätlese from Reinhold Haart and 2010 Kastanienbusch GG from Rebholz at De Bokkedoorns in Overveen. But also tasting wines with their producers in the vineyards where they come from, I truly love as an experience. Drinking Gärkammer Spätburgunder GG with Marc Adeneuer in Gärkammer, Trittenheimer Apotheke Alte Reben with Bernhard Eifel in Apotheke, drinking Schloss Johannisberger Gelblack 1975 as a sundowner in the vineyards of Schloss Johannisberg. One last one: drinking Heerkretz GG at the top of Heerkretz with Daniel Wagner, my family and parents. Essential experiences for me.
3. What is your favourite place in Germany's wine regions and why?
Another impossible question. Germany has more than its fair share of beautiful vineyards, worldwide. Goldtröpfchen, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Röttgen, Pettenthal, Kallmuth to name but a few. To me, they are world heritage sites and some of the most beautiful and spectacular cultural landscapes in the entire world. Emotionally I feel most at home in Walporzheimer Kräuterberg, because of very frequent stays at Hotel-Restaurant Hohenzollern. Making an early walk through Kräuterberg and Alte Lay to Bunte Kuh and back to the hotel, how I would love to do that now.
4. What would be your desert island bottle of German wine and why?
OMG. A blend of Halenberg Riesling GG from Emrich-Schönleber, Morstein Riesling GG from Keller and Wildenstein Spätburgunder GG from Huber, with a dash of Rausch Kabinett from Geltz-Zilliken;-) If I would have to pick one, it would be dry Lagenriesling (Grosses Gewächs or equivalent) from Nahe (Emrich-Schönleber or Dönnhoff) or from the Wonnegau (Keller, Wittmann or Dreissigacker). Those I think are the absolute best wines made in Germany and I love to drink them.
5. Do you have a favourite German dish, and the ideal wine to pair with it?
The greatest experience: drinking Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Spätlese trocken 2008 from Koehler-Ruprecht with Saumagen in Zur Kanne in Deidesheim. Heavenly.
6. Who would you like to share a glass of German wine with and why?
Helene Fischer! No, I would love to talk to Angela Merkel –or Barack Obama, if the person can be non-German–, about the world we live in. Or get one more chance to share a great bottle with my dear friend and mentor René van Heusden. He was my beloved colleague at Perswijn magazine, a great lover and connaisseur of German wines and we travelled to Germany together many times. He sadly passed away unexpectedly in 2017.
7. Which German wine would you love to taste because you have not had the chance yet?
Definitely a very high end noble sweet Riesling from my year of birth, 1971, a mythical vintage in Germany (and an infamous year for legislation). Let’s say, Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese 1971 from JJ Prüm or Scharzhofberger Riesling Beerenauslese 1971 from Egon Müller.
The German Wine Questionnaire
This is where the international wine scene gives away private details: The German Wine Institute asks leading lights of the international wine scene seven key questions on German wine.
Already published: Interview Jancis Robinson MW