Vorsprung durch Weinseminar – Debbie Elliott writes:

On Wednesday 12th June, 20 of us pootled over to the centre of Leeds for an evening of wine tasting and German food at Behind the Town Hall. It was a homely little venue (you can even take your own CDs or an instrument to play), and we were immediately made to feel welcome by Martin, our host for the evening.

The wine tasting began with three white wines from Rhineland-Palatine: a dry Deidesheimer Hofstueck Riesling, a sauvignon blanc and a Wachenheimer Schenkenboehl Riesling (halbtrocken). We then tasted a slightly sparkling Vinho Verde (rosé) from Portugal, made from Padeiro grapes, before two powerful reds: a 2009 Spaetburgunder (Pinot Noir), with an alcohol content of 15%, and finally, an oak barrel aged 2007 Spaetburgunder from the Mosel. Martin gave us an introduction to each wine and we were encouraged to smell, taste and talk about the flavours that popped into our heads: from citrus, vanilla and pineapple to chocolate, honey, and strawberries and cream!

After the wine tasting, we each enjoyed a glass of our favourite wine with a generous helping of traditional German Bratwuerst (sausages with herbs and spices), Spaetzle (noodles), and either Rotkohl (red cabbage) or Sauerkraut. Some of us even managed a portion of Apfelstrudel with a dessert wine.

This was a really enjoyable evening, lubricated well by some interesting beverages and conversation, both of which flowed with no problem from the outset. It would be great to repeat this event next year, and as Martin’s wife is Portuguese, he said they’d be more than happy to organise an evening of Portuguese food and wine for us. Must remember to leave the car at home next time though!