You are currently viewing the International Edition. You can also switch to the Hong Kong Edition.
Monday 6 July 2015

The Proust Q&A: Ernie Loosen

4th February, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

An archaeology graduate, ever-enthusiastic Ernie Loosen is the manager and winemaker at Dr. Loosen in the Mosel Valley in Germany. Loosen is largely responsible for putting German Riesling on the map. He lives in the Mosel with his wife and their beloved greyhound Diana (pictured).

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A world of true wine fanatics, where people spend their time loving life instead of killing each other.

What is your greatest fear? 

That global warming will eventually make Riesling unviable in the Mosel. It would be a real tragedy to lose such a unique and distinctive style of wine.

Who do you most admire?

John Cleese.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Pampering my dog. Diana is a rescue dog, so I feel that she deserves extra-special love and attention. She is treated like a queen. But to be frank, I tend to go overboard with all of my animals.

What is your current state of mind? 

Skeptically optimistic.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

The “m” word. Minerality is so overused as a term and I’m guilty of it myself. It’s a word that once had meaning, describing the acidity in a wine, but now everyone uses the “m” word whether a wine has acidity or not. It’s been watered down so much that it’s lost its meaning.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My wife and my dog Diana.

When and where were you happiest?

During my college years. It was my first time living away from home on my own. I had no responsibilities, and total freedom to do what I liked. I lived in a commune, and we would sleep late every day, hang out in the kitchen having breakfast until 3pm, then slowly plan the evening. Those were the days…

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d like to play a musical instrument. Noone in my family did that. I’d like to sing and play the piano.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I was more organised.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Having started in the wine business at a time when the entire German wine industry was dead, and believing in a grape variety that was even more dead, it’s enormously gratifying now, after 25 years, to see Riesling gain back the reputation it deserves, and to know that I played some part in that.

Where would you most like to live?

I am where I want to be.

What is your most treasured possession?

My private wine collection. I adore my Burgundies even more than my cars.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Despite my cynical nature, I genuinely love life.

Who are your favorite writers?

In college, my favorite books were the Douglas Adams series, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I was also a huge fan of Friedrich Hölderlin, the late 18th century German romantic who lived alone in a tower, writing poems.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Monsieur Creosote.

What is it that you most dislike?

Lousy wines made carelessly, with no vision, thought or authenticity, and people with no sense of humour.

What is your greatest regret?

I don’t dwell on regrets. Every day is a new experience, and there is something positive in every experience. Saying that, if you never regretted anything, how would you learn to do things better and improve yourself?

What is your motto?

Keep on truckin’. The closest thing in German is, “Immer heiter, immer weiter,” which means happily keep on going. But I just say, keep on truckin’.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what wines would you serve them?

Frederick the Great, John Cleese and Neil Young. For these great men, I would pour three great Rieslings: a light and fruity Kabinett from Bernkasteler Lay, the vineyard that surrounds our house; a very old Auslese from Wehlenner Sonnenuhr; and a wine from our most noble vineyard, Erdener Prälat. To pair with them, I’d serve a wild boar hunted in the same vineyard the Auslese came from, prepared according to my great grandmother’s recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

If that's interesting, how about these?

Venezuela faces beer drought

Venezuela could soon entirely run out of beer as workers at the country's more...

Hong Kong: Red obsession

While whites are starting to be taken seriously in Hong Kong restaurants, the more...

Tour de l'Oc raises £30k for charity

Last month’s Tour de l’Oc bicycle challenge across France has raised over more...

Global Wine Buyer

London, United Kingdom


Diageo 'shelves' £240m Chinese scheme

Swellfun, the Chinese subsidiary of drinks giant Diageo, has reportedly more...

Champagne needs to 'create a new occasion'

Champagne needs to "create a new occasion" and better communicate its brand if more...

Fine dining resto to serve wine on tap

Proving that the trend in the UK has spread beyond casual dining venues, fine more...

International Business Development Assistant

London, United Kingdom

To be determined, based on the profile and experience of the candidate

The week in pictures

Pub-friendly pooches, Kevin Spacey and a one-off tasting of Achaval Ferrer more...

Is Parker wrong about the 05 Médocs?

With no Médoc wines gaining 100-points in Robert Parker’s retrospective of more...

Coors Light heads home

Sometimes, the route to excellence is a process of devolution rather than more...

Supplier Relationship Manager

London, United Kingdom

Pub landlord kills customer with ironing board

A pub landlord has been found guilty of killing a wealthy American customer by more...

Trend for UK casual dining on the rise

The UK restaurant market is entering an era of "premiumised informality" with more...

UK vineyards included in tax relief scheme

Winemakers in the UK will be able to benefit from income tax changes for the more...

Sales Executive - Wines & Spirits Competitions

London, United Kingdom


How to drink like a billionaire

With access to tropical islands, private yachts and the best food and drink more...

English fizz attracts new deal

English sparkling wine producer Jenkyn Place has stepped up its ambitions by more...

Californian wine struggling with supply

There is a "growing mismatch" between supply and demand that is badly hampering more...

London Sales Manager / Key Account Manager

London, United Kingdom

Competitive - depending on skills and experience

US wine brand hopes to ape craft beer success

A wine brand from California is hoping to ape craft beer’s success in the UK more...

Copa América: Malbec vs Carmenère

Saturday sees Chile and Argentina go head-to-head in football’s Copa América more...

The Proust Q&A: Darren Rathbone

The CEO and group chief winemaker of the Rathbone Group talks to db about more...

Digital and Communications Executive

£22,000-£26,000 dependent on experience

Molson Coors UK acquires Rekorderlig

Molson Coors UK has acquired the rights to Swedish cider Rekorderlig in the UK more...

Is fine wine turning a corner?

The Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 index is finally showing a year-on-year gain as it more...