I don’t drink a lot of German wine because much of it is terrible, and the ones that aren’t are really expensive. The closest I normally get is wines from Alsace and Austria, which are close enough to be invaded every now and then. So presented with a German themed wine list for a casual bottle in London with instructions to choose a reasonably priced red, but not something light like a Pinot Noir I did panic a little. All the German reds I’ve had and liked have been at the lighter end of things.
After a minute of thought I opted to step outside Germany and choose a Slovenian wine, not least because England played Slovenia in World Cup qualifying at the weekend and I’ve never knowingly had a Slovenian wine.
The Quercus Cabernet/Merlot ’14 itself was nothing to write home about, but perfectly pleasant. It was pale red, and whilst it had some of the blackcurrant and mint flavours you might expect from Cabernet Sauvignon, and a bit of plum from the Merlot, as well as a lighter red fruit flavour, there was a good bit of blackcurrant leaf and green pepper that comes with slightly under ripe fruit. The wine was improved massively by the setting.
We drank it sitting outside the German Gymnasium in King’s Cross, London. King’s Cross has changed massively over the last few years and continues to change apace. From the grim abandoned industrial landscape north of the station, new housing and office space is being developed. Even the Regent’s canal is now a fun place to sit beside and enjoy a drink or a picnic, without worrying that a body would float down the cut in front of you or a three eyed fish would crawl fro the water to steal your sandwich.
Fashion students throng around Granary Square adding a youthful exuberance to the area, whilst British Library readers add a bookish tone. Travelers heading in from, or out to the north add diversity. It may be much harder to find a prostitute or get mugged in the area these days, but it’s a lot easier to get a good meal and drink to go with it.