I love it when people cook for me, it’s a great way to try new things. I also like it when people invite me to restaurants, it’s a good way to eat for free! Unfortunately it sometimes means that you get to try new wines, ordinarily a good thing, but not always. Having been invited to a German restaurant I was faced with the simple question, red or white. I’d ordered what I’d hoped was zander fish from the menu and thought a nice spot of Riesling would go nicely so said ‘white’.
The product that arrived was Piesporter Michelsberg Sonnengarten 1995. Oh dear. Michelsberg is not a word that inspires wine drinker confidence. The wine was pale, almost water white, with little viscosity. It smelled lightly floral with just a hint of peachy fruit. It tasted – but only just. It was medium dry with rather weedy acidity and a Victoria Beckham light body. The florality carries through, it’s pleasant enough for the few moments it lasts, but lacks depth and character.
At 9% alcohol we could have polished off quite a lot before feeling the effects but really, it’s the lack of flavour that will keep you sober rather than the low alcohol.
At around £4 retail this would make an acceptable wine to serve elderly relatives that you don’t much like, but at the restaurant price of around £16, it’s an outrage. At home I’d have frozen the half bottle left over to add cube by cube to liven up fruit salads, but as it was we left it on the table.