Monday, May 4, 2015

WeinKulturBar in Dresden, Saxony: One of the Best Wine Bars in Germany

Picture: Host Silvio Nitzsche WeinKulturBar in Dresden

“Dresden Is the New Unlikely Place for Fine Barolo Wine” is the title of a Newsweek article that appeared on April 17, 2015 about a Saxon Barolo made by Martin Schwarz: Until recently, Nebbiolo grapes grew only in regions like Piedmont in northern Italy. Saxony, bordering Poland and the Czech Republic, is Germany’s smallest wine region, and for eight centuries vintners here have mostly planted Müller-Thurgau and Riesling, earning a well-deserved reputation for excellent dry whites. But with climate change pushing temperatures up, Schwarz decided to try out the red Italian Nebbiolo grape here in Radebeul outside Dresden.

Few people have Dresden on their map, when they talk about Nebbiolo. And few people have Dresden on their map, when they talk about wine bars. But: On its web site, the German sparkling water producer Gerolsteiner provides a list of the 18 best wine places in Germany; one of the 18 is the WeinKulturBar in Dresden, owned and run by the former Sommelier Silvio Nitzsche. Not only that, but you also find the WeinKulturBar on Stuart Pigott’s list of his 2013 favorites published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; the WeinKulturBar is the #1 in the category wine bars.

Picture: Annette Schiller, ombiasy WineTours, in front of the Semper Opera House

Although I was born in Dresden, it is not a city where I have spent much time in my life. A few weeks ago, I was there to assist my wife Annette Schiller to prepare her Germany-East Art and Wine Tour by ombiasy WineTours. We visited the 3 Saxon wineries that will be part of the tour – Weingut Zimmerling, Weingut Karl Aust, and Weingut Schloss Poschwitz. In the process, we had an impromptu late afternoon bite at WeinKulturBar and a chance to meet the owner Silvio Nitzsche.

Coming-up: Wine & Art Tour to Saale-Unstrut - Saxony - Franken - Württemberg: Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (June 11 - June 20, 2015)
Preview: Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)


WeinKulturBar has about 20 seats. This is not much, but enough for host Sivio Nitzsche. He spends a lot of time with his guest, talking about the food and the wine he serves, guiding them through the evening.

My American friends would say, service is unpleasantly slow. My German friends would very much appreciate the relaxed atmosphere at WeinKulturBar and the complete absence of any pressure often found in American bars and restaurants to push up the turn-over.

Pictures: WeinKulturBar

We arrived early, at 4:00 pm and left at 5:30 pm, as we had an appointment with Winemaker Karl Friedrich Aust, Weingut Aust in Radebeul. One other table was taken. Silvio Nitzsche says he is pretty much booked out in the evening for the rest of the year and far into 2016.

Pictures: After our Visit of the WeinKulturBar at Weingut Karl Friedrich Aust

The wine list is not the usual kind of list with say 10 or 20 sheets and 50 to 100 wines you often find in other wine bars. It is a book with 250 pages and about 1000 wines. With wines from Germany but also from around the world up to the 4 digit (in Euro) price category. Clients are invited to comment on the wines in the wine list/book. The wine list/book is a piece of art.

Pictures: Silvio Nitzsche and Annette Schiller

Silvio Nitzsche also gives you a green sheet on which you find:

First, one one site, you find 25 wines by the glass, with detailed descriptions. When we were there, 5 wines were from Germany, including 1 wine from Saxony. I chose a Weingut Leitz Riesling. Annette chose a Müller-Thurgau from Weingut Martin Schwartz (see Newsweek article above).

Second, one the other site, there is a column with 8 different flights of 3 wines. One was a flight of 3 Grosses Gewächs wines, Germany’s ultra-premium dry grand cru wines. Another flight were 3 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignons from 1995, 1992 and 1998. You could also choose a flight from one grape variety, but different wine styles. Finally, in the “Wundertüten” flight you get 3 wine served in black glasses; Silvio will then conduct a blind tasting with you and steer you to the 3 wines you have in the glasses.

Pictures: Silvio Nitzsche and Christian Schiller

Third, there is another column divided into 2 parts: In the upper half a look back at important events in world history of the day of your visit (remember that the green sheet changes daily) and in the lower half a short list of small dishes, including a few soups and cakes.

Finally, for those who do not want to drink wine, Silvio Nitzsche also carries an interesting selection teas and fruit juices.

Vast Cheese Selection

In addition to an amazing choice of wines, there is a vast selection of cheeses. You can choose among up to 100 different cheeses from around the world: Small plate with 4 to 6 g pieces for Euro 7,50; normal plate with 8 to 10 pieces for Euro 13 and large plate with 20 pieces for Euro 25. Responsible for the cheese is Jana Weiske.

We ordered a normal plate and let Silvio make the selection. When he served the cheese, he gave a long talk about which cheeses he had selected and why, and in which order we should eat the cheeses and why. Before the cheese, other little plates arrived. Silvio invited us to try the different cheeses with different accompagnements.

Pictures: Cheese

Silvio Nitzsche

Silvio Nitzsche was born in Altdöbern near Berlin. After earning the degree of an Hotelfachmann in 1994, he moved around in Germany and the world. In 1998, he took a job as Sommelier at the Elderberry House in Oakhurst/CA. After the stint in the USA, he was for 5 years the Head-Sommelier of Dieter Müller’s 3 star Michelin restaurant at the Schlosshotel Lerbach. Eventually, he returned to his roots and opened in 2007 WeinKulturBar in Dresden, his dream! Very soon, his WeinKulturBar became one of the hotspots of the region and the whole of Germany, when it comes to wine.

Roswitha Nitzsche and Genussmensch

Silvio Nitzsche is married to Roswitha Nitzsche, also a Sommelier and also from the region (she was borne in Halle). They have a little son together. She also owns and runs a wine bar in Dresden. Just recently, she moved to a new location (Bischofsweg 17). I have not yet been there but I believe the idea behind her “Genussmensch” is not too different from the idea behind her husband’s WeinKulturBar. She offers 400 wines from around the world. The Genussmensch is open from Thursday to Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm and serves lunch. Roswitha Nitzsche also runs a wine school at Genussmensch.

Annette Schiller: Best Wine Bar in the World

Above I mentioned that WeinKulturBar is one of the best wine bars in Germany. Annette Schiller goes one step further: This is the best wine bar in the world. I have visited quite a number of wine bars around the globe but I have never encountered such a perfect harmony between cheese and wine in any other place. The cheese selection is broad and deep as is the wine portfolio. Coupled with Silvio’s profound knowledge of them and his charm, he guides you skillfully and relaxed through the exciting world of wine and cheese.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Coming-up: Wine & Art Tour to Saale-Unstrut - Saxony - Franken - Württemberg: Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (June 11 - June 20, 2015)

Preview: Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany

Schiller's Favorite (Wine-) Restaurants in Deidesheim in the Pfalz, Germany

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Berlin, Germany

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in Frankfurt am Main, 2013, Germany

Schiller's Favorite Apple Wine Taverns in Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Mainz, Germany

No comments:

Post a Comment