I am intrigued by the wines you can buy in a country itself, andÂ the wines from that country that UK supermarkets choose to stock. Most striking perhaps is German wine, and wines from the MoselleÂ in particular. In the UK supermarkets, these wines areÂ generallyÂ acid-dry or sugar-sweet,Â with little in between. The few good onesÂ cost upwards of Â£8.
This called for a trip to the Moselle Valley. After an overnight stop in the Roman city of Trier, IÂ travelledÂ northÂ via Cochem to Koblenz. As I was travelling by train, I was able to stop off in various places to try the local wines.
I always chose dry (trocken) as opposed to semi-sweet (halbtrocken), and on the grading systemÂ eitherÂ Kabinett orÂ SpÃ¤tlese (late harvest) rather than the generic table wine. Whilst they didn’t have the depth or fruitinessÂ of a good New Zealand sauvignon blanc or Australian Chardonnay, they were refreshingly dry, lightÂ and crisp.Â At a very modest 11% alcohol or so, theyÂ were ideal for a pleasant summer afternoon.
If theÂ wine buyers for UK supermarketsÂ were to undertakeÂ a similar trip, it might encourage themÂ to improve the quality of German wines theyÂ stock.Â In addition to the Moselle, there areÂ plenty of good value wines from BadenÂ and the Rhine Valley they could import, rather than the deplorable Blue Nun and the like that theyÂ import instead.Â Â