Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My First Real Wines

I lived in Worms in the late 70's in an apartment located in the PJ Valkenburg vineyards in an area that had fallen from production. We lived on the 7th floor and often had theater and opera parties with lots of people attending. The by product of this was lots of champagne corks popped off the balcony in to the vineyards.
Early one Saturday morning I heard a knock at the door and opened it to find the vineyard master, a man in his late 80's, panting at the door. He had climbed the 7 flights of stairs to avoid riding in the elevator, which it turned out he had been stuck in once years earlier. In his hands was a leather bag filled with corks, the origin of which I soon guessed.
"Herr Gnagie, we can not do this!"
I agreed, apologized, and offered him a chair on the balcony overlooking his vineyards.
With him he carried an interesting bag with four compartments for bottles, slanted down so you could carry the bottles punt first. He sat down and pulled out one of the bottles and ask
if I had glasses.
It was a 1968 Trockenbeerenauslese.
After we tasted it he explained that he often picked a random bottle to taste and see how the wines were holding up.
He would come and visit once a month for the next year and a half and bring a remarkable wine, and always had a back up bottle if it was off.
This was my introduction to wines and I will be forever grateful.

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