db eats: RÃ¼desheimer Schloss22nd December, 2009 by Gabriel Savage
German food receives almost as much flak as the nation’s wine. However, just as liebfraumilch is an unfair representative of Germany’s wine output, there are plenty of restaurants which prove there’s more to the food than sauerkraut.
The Mosel may remain a bit of a gastronomic desert, but head over to the Rheingau and it’s a different story. Heinrich Breuer, owner of the rightly renowned Weingut Georg Breuer also runs a hotel and restaurant in nearby Rüdesheim, the Rüdesheimer Schloss.
As well as providing an ideal showcase for Breuer’s wines, the restaurant serves up an unfussy but delicious menu, packed with the best of local produce. The salad of fresh chanterelles, tomatoes, ruccola and parmesan offered a sharp rebuke to the host of uninspiring lettuce compilations you tend to associate with this corner of the menu. Surprisingly substantial, the flavours were strong and the chef clearly knew how to get the most out of his mushrooms.
Next up came a whole fresh trout, fried to perfection and dressed with melted butter and almonds. Delicious in its own right, the fish was even further enhanced by Breuer’s food-friendly, mineral Terra Montosa Riesling.
It’s difficult to imagine a better place than here to discover Rheingau wines. The main list offers over 100 wines, mostly from this one region – but then they bring out the second list devoted to the really special stuff.
Here you can pore over 350 wines, 98% from the Rheingau, from just about every vintage going back to 1893. We restricted ourselves to a 1979 Riesling Spätlese from the now-defunct Schloss Groensteyn, which epitomised everything that gets people excited about old Riesling.
A couple of weeks later we tried a half bottle of 1984 Assmanshauser Frankenthal Spätburgunder from Weingut Krone which had very generously slipped itself into a suitcase home. The vintage may be widely acknowledged as a write-off, but no one had bothered to tell this wine, which was full of slightly peppery Pinot goodness.
As with any part of the world, there was a local tradition to tackle, this time in the form of a Rüdesheim coffee, presented with a pleasing amount of theatre.
The fiery concoction of local Asbach brandy, coffee and whipped cream may well have had something to do with the merry group of Germans dancing to the band in the outside courtyard.
For the record, we resisted the temptation, but might not be able to demonstrate the same willpower on the return visit this place demands.
Breuer’s Rüdesheimer Schloss
D-65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein
Gabriel Savage, 22.12.2009