More Moselle


I am intrigued by the wines you can buy in a country itself, and the wines from that country that UK supermarkets choose to stock. Most striking perhaps is German wine, and wines from the Moselle in particular. In the UK supermarkets, these wines are generally acid-dry or sugar-sweet, with little in between. The few good ones cost upwards of £8.

This called for a trip to the Moselle Valley. After an overnight stop in the Roman city of Trier, I travelled north 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 system either Kabinett or Spätlese (late harvest) rather than the generic table wine. Whilst they didn’t have the depth or fruitiness of a good New Zealand sauvignon blanc or Australian Chardonnay, they were refreshingly dry, light and crisp. At a very modest 11% alcohol or so, they were ideal for a pleasant summer afternoon.

If the wine buyers for UK supermarkets were to undertake a similar trip, it might encourage them to improve the quality of German wines they stock. In addition to the Moselle, there are plenty of good value wines from Baden and the Rhine Valley they could import, rather than the deplorable Blue Nun and the like that they import instead.