Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Mainz, Germany

Picture: Weinhaus Bluhm, with Roland Ladendorf

Mainz in the wine region Rheinhessen in Germany is, along with Bilbao in Spain, Bordeaux in France, Cape Town in South Africa, Christchurch in New Zealand, Firenza in Italy, Mendoza in Argentina, Porto in Portugal and San Francisco in the US, one of the 9 wine capitals in the world.

Picture: Mainz Cathedral - More than 1000 Years old

But there is not a single wine bar in Mainz, as I know them from London, New York City, Berlin or Washington DC. However, there are a large number of wine taverns in Mainz. Typically, wine taverns do not have an elaborated list of wines, nor do they serve fancy and sophisticated food. They serve local wines, at very reasonable prices, typically from a handful of local winemakers that you do not find in the wine guides such as the Gault Millau.

This is a revised version of an earlier posting:

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and Other Places where you can have Wine in Mainz, Germany

My favorite Wine Tavern: Weinhaus Bluhm

Starting with the setting and atmosphere, Weinhaus Bluhm is a dark, a bit smoky, very basic tavern. It looks today the same as it looked when I first set foot into the Weinhaus Bluhm as a student of macro-economics at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. The furniture is functional, used, a bit worn down. Weinhaus Bluhm offers a feeling of well-being and it has a lot of charm. In the summer, you can sit on the cobble stone road outside the tavern on communal benches. It cannot get better. The food at Weinhaus Bluhm is simple and good. It does not reach out for some sophistication, as some of the other wine taverns do. It stays at the more basic range, but at the highest quality level.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Roland Ladendorf, Weinhaus Bluhm

Pictures: My Favorite - "Spundekaes mit Bretzeln"

When it comes to the wines, however, Weinhaus Bluhm really stands out. It is a class of itself. Nowhere else in a wine tavern in Mainz, you can get wines of German wine stars like Weingut Klaus Peter Keller or Weingut Kruger Rumpf or Weingut Teschke. Owner and Manager Roland Ladendorf is a wine aficionado and extremely knowledgeable about the wine scene. And what is most important, you can get a fair number of his world class wines by the glass.

See also:

Weinhaus Bluhm in Mainz: A Cosy and Basic Wine Tavern Serving World Class Wines from Germany

Other Wine Taverns I Like

Beichtstuhl: The food is rather sophisticated by wine tavern standards. The wine list contains 30 wines by the bottle or the glass, of which 6 are red wines. These are typically very decent entry level wines, ideal for a couple of glasses in a wine tavern with some good hearty food. Almost all wines are dry and from Rheinhessen.

See also:

Wine Tavern Beichtstuhl in Mainz, Rheinhessen, Germany

Spiegel: Has mainly wines from Weingut Ernst in Eltville, Rheingau on its menu. The food is rather uncomplicated and good.

Loesch: Known for its excellent steak. Good, basic wines. My former assistant goes there every Tuesday evening for her “Stammtisch”. Just opposite: Weinhaus Michel. Weinstube Bacchus next door has turned into a French Bistro.

Augustinerkeller: In the basement, with a bit of a wine cellar atmosphere. Historical vaulted cellar, 100 seats available. Used to be a favorite of the younger crowd, but I am not sure it still is.

Hottum: I used to love their egg and ham sandwich with mayonnaise (Eibrot), but it is no longer on the menu. Open also on Monday, when many wine taverns are closed. One of the best of the Altstadt wine taverns, Hottum has a cosy, traditional atmosphere, delectable wines and a menu - half of which appears on a tiny slate tablet - with regional dishes such as Saumagen (pig's stomach stuffed with meat, potatoes and spices, then boiled, sliced and briefly fried) and Winzersteak (vintner-style pork steak).

Specht: Thanks to its ancient wood beams, smoked walls and Fastnacht (carnival) medals, 'Woodpecker' has a 19th-century feel, though the building itself dates from 1557. This family run wine tavern serves regional cuisine and good wines.

Picture: Handkaes mit Musik - Hand Cheese with Music

Weinhaus Wilhelmi: Mainz's oldest and classy wine tavern in a very small house, close to the Hilton. Good wines and good regional food. Not everybody goes there, because some people find it a bit pricy. But if you have the extra Euro, you will probably meet interesting people there when you sit elbow to elbow.

Weinhaus Schreiner: A rather large and well known wine tavern with a broad selection of wines, on the main road close to the Rhein River.

Rote Kopf: A historical wine tavern, tucked behind the Gutenberg Museum. It has a good range of wines including those of Weingut Bott in Kostheim.  Michael Bott’s main job is winemaker at Weingut Domdechant Werner in Hochheim, a member of the VDP, Germany’s association of elite winemakers. Tables inside and outside (candles and umbrellas).  The food ranges from "Handkäse mit Musik" to fried Rumpsteak.

Vinotheka Moguntia is a bit the opposite of Weinhaus Wilhelmi. A popular hang out at Fischtorplatz, always packed with regulars, who show up there every day in the afternoon  and who do not want to pay Euros 4 for a good wine if they can get it for Euros 3 at Vinotheka Moguntia.

Haus des Deutschen Weines : This not a wine tavern, but a rather large wine restaurant with a broad selection of German wines. To sit on the large terasse next to the Theater is enjoyable. You will not get the wine tavern atmosphere but a broad selelction of wine covering mos German wine regions.

Wine Restaurants

There are two 1 star Michelin (2013) restaurants in Mainz.

Buchholz: In the suburb of Gonsenheim, owned by Chef Frank Buchholz.  He thrives for a regional cuisine at a high level and also his wine list is dominated by wines from Rheinhessen.  Neverthelsse, the last time I ate there, I felt it was not at 1 star Michelin level.

Favorite: International cuisine in the hotel restaurant of the family run Favorite Parkhotel.

Buchholz and Favorite have 16 toques in the Gault Millau (2013).

Other restaurants with toques are:

Der Halbe Mond (also 16 toques), in Mainz-Kastel

Dirk Maus (15 toques)

La Galerie (15 toques)

Am Bassenheimer Hof (14 toques)

Bootshaus (13 toques): The second restaurant of Chef Frank Buchholz, a much more basic place, wonderfully located right at the Rhine river, with good regional wines.

I like also:

Geberts Weinstube: A family-run, fine dining restaurant. Appreciated for its excellent, typical regional cuisine and its extensive wine list.

Restaurant des Weinguts der Stadt Mainz in Harxheim: Excellent food and wines in an old mansion dating from 1725. Local products with game and poultry are just as much the focus of attention as the wines from Weingut Fleischer and Weingut der Stadt Mainz; the Fleischer family has long-term leased the Weingut der Stadt Mainz.

Strausswirtschaften

There are about 2 dozens of winemakers in Mainz. Many of them have a Strausswirtschaft, where they offer the wines of the winery and home cooking 4 months a year (or longer). They are located in the suburbs or rural areas directly adjacent to Mainz City, often right where the vines grow.

The top winemaker of Mainz is without doubt Weingut Fleischer/Weingut der Stadt Mainz. In particular the red wines of Michael Fleischer are remarkable.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Michael Fleischer

See also:

Meeting Michael Fleischer - Fleischer und Weingut der Stadt Mainz, Germany

Following are two young women, who are good friends. Eva Vollmer of Weingut Vollmer, Gault Millau Discovery of the Year 2010, and Mirjam Schneider, who runs Weingut Lothar Schneider und Tochter.

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Mainz Winemakers (from left to right) Eva Vollmer, Tina Huff and Mirjam Schneider

See also:

International Women's Day 2012: Meeting the Wine Amazones Tina Huff, Mirjam Schneider and Eva Vollmer of Mainz, Germany

Marktfruehstueck on Saturday Morning

A good place to get to know the winemakers of Mainz is the Mainz Farmer's Market Breakfast on Saturday morning. There, during the warmer months of the year, the winemakers of Mainz have a booth where one of them presents his or her wine. Even with unpleasant weather conditions, there is always a large crowd hanging out for a couple of hours after having done the food shopping on the farmer’s market.

Picture: Marktfruehstueck - Christian G.E. Schiller, Elke Pfennig and Stefan Lutz

See also:

Wine in Mainz on Saturday Morning: Marktfruehstueck – Farmer's Market Breakfast, Germany

Wine Festivals

There are a number of wine festivals taking place through out the year: (1) Mainz celebrates the wine season with a Weinmarkt ("wine market"), which takes place in the city’s picturesque parks and rose gardens. (2) The Kirchenstueckfest is a very romantic wine festival taking place right in the middle of the vineyard Kirchenstueck. (3) The Johannesfest is a popular street festival with a relatively large wine component.

Picture: The Kirchenstueckfest

See also:

Weinfest im Kirchenstueck: Meeting the Winemakers of Mainz-Hechtsheim and Tasting Their Wines, Germany

Two Producers of Sparkling Wines

Germans enjoy sparkling wine, both as whites and rosés. Mainz hosts two of Germany’s producers, Goldhand in Walpodenstrasse 3; and, the highly ornate, fin-du-siècle Kupferberg Cellars on the Kupferbergterrasse.

schiller-wine - Related Postings

Meeting the Wine Amazones Tina Huff, Mirjam Schneider and Eva Vollmer of Mainz, Germany

Meeting Michael Fleischer - Fleischer und Weingut der Stadt Mainz, Germany

Weinfest im Kirchenstueck: Meeting the Winemakers of Mainz-Hechtsheim and Tasting Their Wines, Germany

Wine in Mainz on Saturday Morning: Marktfruehstueck – Farmer's Market Breakfast, Germany

Weinhaus Bluhm in Mainz: A Cosy and Basic Wine Tavern Serving World Class Wines from Germany

Wine Tavern Beichtstuhl in Mainz, Rheinhessen, Germany

Meeting the Winemakers of Mainz-Hechtsheim and Tasting Their Wines, Germany

Drinking RS Rheinhessen Silvaner - and other Wines of Weingut Alwin Schmitz - with Alwin Schmitz - and other Members of the Mainzer Weingilde - at Weingut Alwin Schmitz in Mainz, Germany

German Spaetlese Wines Can Come in Different Versions. I Have Counted Five.

Celebrating Riesling and my Birthday at Weingut Schaetzel in Nierstein, Rheinhessen, Germany

Winemaker Eva Vollmer is Germany’s Discovery of the Year 2010

In the Glass: Mirjam Schneider's 2007 Merlot No.2 from Rheinhessen, Germany

Surprising the World with their Pinot Noir: Johannes and Christoph Thoerle, Winzerhof Thoerle, Rheinhessen, Germany

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and Other Places where you can have Wine in Mainz, Germany 

3 comments:

  1. There is nothing more to say.
    exept perhaps, leave your car at home when starting the test and taste the wines.
    DM

    ReplyDelete
  2. Vinothek. WangenrotMay 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    Maybe you should have a stop at the Winebar Wangenrot. I guess not as big as winebars in NYC, but still unique in Mainz.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Will do. Is already on my list. Cheers. Christian

    ReplyDelete