Monday, October 18, 2010

Chinese Food and German Wine at the Hot Spot in Berlin: 5 VDP Winemakers Pour their Wines

Pictures: Chinese Restaurant Hot Spot in Berlin

The Hot Spot is a Chinese Restaurant in Berlin Charlottenburg, Eisenzahnstrasse 66, just next to the famous Kurfuerstendam, well known for its amazing list of German wines. Mr. Wu, the owner, loves wine and in particular German wine. No wonder that one of the side-events of the 100th Anniversary of the VDP took place at his restaurant. It was a buffet-style dinner with 5 VDP winemakers pouring their wines.

Germany’s Prädikat Wine Estates – the members of the VDP (Verband Deutscher Praedikatsweingueter) - celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the VDP in 2010 in Germany’s Capital Berlin during September 4 to 6, 2010. I was happy and proud to participate. There were a number of events with the official ceremony in the Berlin Cathedral at the center.

I have given a run-down of the whole series of events here and have reported in more detail on the event: 70 Galleries - 200 Winemakers - 1000 Wines here, on the official ceremony in the Berlin Cathedral here, on Jancis Robinson and Hugh Johnson, who participated in the events, here. and on the Hausbesetzung in the Rutz Wein Bar here.


The VDP is the world’s oldest association of wine estates in the world. In fact, as Jancis Robinson said in her speech in the Berlin Cathedral, it is the only one of its kind worldwide. No other country has a national organization of the top wine makers of the entire country.

In 1910, four regional wine-growers’ associations joined forces to form the Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer (i.e. estates that sold their “natural” [unchaptalized] wines at auction). These organizations – from the Rheingau and Rheinhessen, founded in 1897 and 1900, respectively, and their counterparts in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and Pfalz regions, both founded in 1908 – were the forerunners of today’s VDP. At this time, fine German wines enjoyed a heyday. They were among the most expensive wines, on the tables of imperial houses as well as leading hotels and restaurants.

Throughout the past century, the quality-driven goals and strict standards of the VDP have played no small part in shaping the viticultural and winemaking practices in Germany. With their stringent statutes and their establishment of a German vineyard classification, the 200 members of the VDP have served as role models and justifiably can be viewed as the vanguard of the nation’s producers of top-quality wines.

Germany’s prime white wine variety, Riesling, has long been the grape of choice for VDP members. Other, traditional varietals are also cultivated, e.g. the ancient white varietal Silvaner (particularly in Franken and Rheinhessen), and members of the Pinot family, including Germany’s all-important red wine grape, Spätburgunder , and the white wine grapes, Weiss- and Grauburgunder (Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris, respectively).

Chinese Restaurant Hot Spot in Berlin

At first sight, Hot Spot appears to be a regular Chinese restaurant. But once you have eaten there, you know that its Szechuan- and Shanghai-inspired menu really stands out. And once you have seen the wine list, you can understand why Hot Spot has become something of a sensation in Berlin: Hot Spot offers an extensive list of fine German wine. Hot Spot has become the place to go if you want to fine German wine with fine Chinese food.

Hot Spot is owned and run by Mr. Wu, 50, who came to Germany in 1984 from Zhejiang. He earned a degree here in engineering but left school and opened a Chinese restaurant. In 1995, he became interested in wine and started to serve French wine at his place. In 2007, Mr. Wu opened Hot Spot with an extensive list of German wine.

The 5 VDP Winemakers

Jan Eymael (Weingut Pfeffingen)

Jan Eymael from Weingut Pfeffingen in the Pflalz (13 hectares) poured a selection of 3 Scheurebe wines.

Peter Jakob Kuehn

Peter Jakob Kuehn from the Rheingau (16 Hectares) poured only Rieslings, including his amazing Riesling Amphore trocken , which sells for Euro 43. All Kuehn wines are biodynamically grown in the vineyard and naturally fermented in the cellar.

Martin Messmer

Martin Messmer from Weingut Messmer in Burrweiler in the Pfalz (25 hectares) poured a selection of red and white wines, including an interesting Sankt Laurent “Selektion”.

Theo Minges

Theo Minges from Flemlingen in the Pfalz (24 hectares) poured a selection of red and white wines including a phantastic Muskateller Sekt brut for Euro 13.

Sven Leiner

The young Sven Leiner from the Pfalz surprised with out of the box grapes, including a Chardonnay trocken for Euro 16 and a Tempranillo for Euro 26.

Friedrich Wilhelm Becker (Weingut Friedrich Becker)

Friedrich Wilhelm Becker, the son of Friedrich Becker from Weingut Friedrich Becker (17 hectares) from the Pfalz poured white and red Pinots, including a complex 2007 Spaetburgunder Kalkgestein for Euro 30.


The event was organized by VINICULTURE, one of the best winestores in Berlin.

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  1. Peter und Angela KuehnNovember 8, 2010 at 3:54 AM

    Wir haben uns die schönen und teilweise auch ziemlich lustigen Bilder und Schnappschüsse angesehen.

    Schön, dass wir uns dort getroffen haben!

    Herzliche Gruesse aus dem herbstlichen Rheingau nach Washington....oder Frankfurt

    Peter und Angela Kuehn

  2. Very interesting and insightful report. Many thanks for pointing me to it. Have never tried the restaurant but will surely seek it out next time I'm in Berlin. Love the many Vietnamese restaurants in the capital.


  3. Let me know when you are in Washington DC the next time. We might try wines from Virginia and lunch at the International Monetary Fund.

    Cheers. Christian