China-Restaurant Hot Spot - Wilhelmsdorf
Not only Berlin´s hot spot for excellent Chinese food but also for one of the best Riesling wine lists in the city. Those who still think that Chinese knowledge of alcoholic drinks stops at plum wine should try quenching proprietor Jianhua Wu´s hellishly hot ox tongue and tripe Fuqi Feipian with a dry, mineral Riesling. Especially the light elegance of the Riesling is a perfect match for spicy food, Mr Wu explains. Fabulous, too, is the combination of duck smoked in tea leaves with a Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) from his wine list. This year the Hot Spot was honoured by the German Wine Institute with the “Excellent Wine Gastronomy” award – and rightly so, because here one learns how well German wines harmonise with Asian cooking. Winegrowers and chefs from the whole Republic come, no, flock to the Hot Spot.
Interview with Mr. Wu, Proprietor of the Hot Spot and Riesling fan
Your first Riesling experience – do you still remember it?
Jianhua Wu: Unfortunately, yes! I studied mechanical engineering in Berlin and as a poor student could only afford – I think it was for two deutschmarks – a tetrapak Riesling from the supermarket. It was hot and summer, and I liked the effect.
But it was hardly love at first sight – or was it?
Jianhua Wu: Let´s put it like this: I was not enthused. But I will never forget my first real contact with wine. It was in 2003, when I visited the Christoffel estate in Ürzig on the river Mosel. What I tasted on my very first visit to a winery hit me like a bolt of lightning. I used to have about 30 of his wines on the list, now about 15, the oldest from 1949, a fine Auslese, a Riesling, of course.
Do you also sell it?
Jianhua Wu: I only have the one bottle but it is on the wine list, for 590 euros. A guest recently ordered it, but somehow I could not find it that evening. But that may also have been because I didn´t really want to sell this rare bottle.
Why does Chinese cuisine and Riesling work so well?
Jianhua Wu: I´m not an analyst. But this interplay between acidity and sweetness with Riesling also defines Chinese cuisine. A mature red wine also works. Just fresh tannin is complicated and clashes with the food.