Monday, July 28, 2008

Rot Wein

It seems to be difficult to find good red wine in Bavaria - I drank a lot of very good "dunkel weiss bier" (dark wheat beer) but had bad luck with the "rot wein" (red wine) - it was pretty rotten!! The best I could find in the area we were in (Garmisch) was the Dominio del Ugarte, Rioja, 2001 - this was a run of the mill "good" rioja that stood head and shoulders above anything else we tried, especially the "local" German/Austrian reds. It was so much better than the other options that our group cleaned the restaurant out of it's stock. Some restaurants had only ONE choice of red wine, and this was often undrinkable. Really undrinkable...
Oh well, when in Rome...
Further north in Scotland the best beverage sampled also turned out to be beer - this was the Black Sheep Ale, brewed in Masham, Yorkshire. Interesting though was the policy of rotating wines on sale at the big grocery shops such as Tesco, Asda or Morrisons - often you can get "bulk" but drinkable wines such as those pictured below at half price, as little as 3 pounds (that's 6 bucks for us with the current exchange rate). That's something we NEVER would get in our wine monopoly states of Quebec and Ontario. Best of these wines I tasted while in the UK? The rather pedestrian named Lindemans, Winemakers Release, Shiraz-Cabernet, 2007 - it tasted like it was just bottled from a barrel, although the nice toasty oak more likely came from wood chips as this one was priced (on sale) at a measly 4 pounds. A crowd pleasing style, but that's great value.
Anyways, it 's now back to some serious wine tasting (I hope) in Canada!


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