Tuesday, November 9, 2010

German Wine Dinner at World’s Best Restaurant NOMA

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Daniel Wagner, Weingut Wagner-Stempel, whose dry Scheurebe is one of the 10 wines of the NOMA German Wine Dinner in November 2010; his US importer is Therry Theise.

NOMA in Copenhagen is arguably the world’s best restaurant currently, ahead of El Bulli in Spain and The Fat Duck in London. During the month of November, Noma offers a German Wine dinner.

When the annual World's 50 Best Restaurants list was released on April 25, 2010 in London, England, by the Italian water producer S. Pellegrino, NOMA came out on top. It was the 9th edition of the much buzzed-about ranking of the international culinary landscape. For the past 4 years, Ferran Adria’s restaurant El Bulli in Spain had taken the No. 1 spot, but it was downgraded to second best this year. I have written about it here.

NOMA stands for Nordisk Mad (Nordic Food). The restaurant is the brain child of gastronomic innovator Claus Meyer and René Redzepi, one of the worlds most talented young chefs, who is half Danish and half Macedonian. Many commentators said that this promotion marks a shift away from laboratory cuisine toward cooking rooted in regional produce. NOMA boasts that it does not use olive oil, tomatoes or nonseasonal garlic, as all of its produce is from Denmark and the neighboring Nordic countries. In addition, Ferran Adria had announced last December that the Mecca of molecular gastronomy was taking a break and will reopen as a nonprofit foundation -- a think tank of gastronomic creativity for 20 to 25 young chefs - in 2014

This November, there is – for the lovers of German wine - an additional reason to eat there: a German wine menu. The German wine menu features exclusively 12 German wines from Riesling and Spätburgunder as welcome, over Scheurebe to dry and sweet Riesling, Spätburgunder and Auxerrois, ending with a 1976 Riesling Beerenauslese.

The Sommelier and Partner in NOMA, Pontus Elofsson, evidently loves Riesling and German wines. In a recent interview he said that in his view “the acidity and minearality of German Riesling really complement NOMAS food very well. The Nordic food is characterized by fresh, crisp, elegant and intensive aromas. The vegetables, fruits and herbs that grow in Scandinavia have a long cool season to ripen in. German wines have some of the same character as Scandinavian food, with fresh acidity fantastic intencity and elegant body”.

Some of the producers and vineyards Pontus Elofsson has chosen are not so well known. For example, Hendrik Moebitz, is a “Feierabend Winzer” (after work winemaker), with only a couple of hectares of land and a full-time job in the drug industry. He does not appear in any of the German wine guides, but I know his wines - they are outstanding. The other winemaker representing the German red wine revolution is star winemaker Weingut Meyer-Naekel from the Ahr region, who also makes wine in South Africa. The two noble-sweet wines are both aged, with the Beerenauslese from 1976.

The November 2010 Wine Menu at NOMA

Wine for welcome (instead of Champagne): 2009 Riesling Kabinett Trocken, Kronenberg Terrassen, Weingut Peter Mentges, Mosel or 2006 Pinot Noir, Steinberg, Henrik Möbitz, Baden

1. Course: 2008 Weissburgunder, Pillnitzer Königlicher Weinberg, Weingut Kalus Zimmerling, Sachsen

2. Course: 2008 Scheurebe, Wagner-Stempel, Rheinhessen

3. Course: 2008 Riesling, Spätlese, Wolfer Goldgrübe, Weingut Vollenvieder, Mosel; from middle of November this wine will be replaced by: 2007 Riesling, Spätlese Trocken, ”Schieferstein”, Weingut Rita & Rudolf Trossen, Mosel

4. Course: 2000 Riesling, Sekt, Trocken, St. Aldegunder Klosterkammer, Weingut Stein, Mosel (degorgiert 2009)

5. Course: 2008 Spätburgunder ”S”, Meyer Näkel, Ahr

6. Course: 1993 Riesling Auslese, Urziger Würzgarden, Weingut Karl Erbes, Mosel

7. Course: 1976 Riesling, Beerenauslese, Geisenheimer Rothenberg, Weingut Bastian-Gimpel, Rheingau

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