Wines From Europe And Abroad
Connoisseur Bradley Mitton shares his tips for wining and dining while visiting Berlin. By Jenna Rose Robbins.
The reputation of German wine is on the rise.
When most wine connoisseurs reach for a bottle, a German wine often isn’t their first choice. And they’d be missing out. Although France, Italy, and California are more world-renowned for their varietals, the reputation of Germany’s wines is on the rise. “Germany’s sommeliers and restaurant owners are very proud of their offerings,” says Bradley Mitton, owner of Mitton Wines, based in Hackescher Markt. “Germany’s wine industry has developed a lot in the past five or 10 years. There are quite a lot of interesting styles of German wines – particularly whites.” Because of the country’s climate, Mitton explains, reds are more difficult to grow, which also makes them more expensive. But that suits health-conscious diners just fine. “It’s a global trend that people are drinking fresher, lower-alcohol wines. And people are also eating lighter meat and fish these days.”
And those more healthful options are precisely what pair better with Germany’s stellar array of whites, the most popular of which is Riesling, although there are plenty of others to choose from. “Look for
trocken [dry] whites, which are dry and fresh,” advises Mitton. “Some of them have such great character and can be paired with light meat.”
“The German wine system of labeling is quite complicated,” says Mitton, “so a German wine list can look a little intimidating. Most people who visit Germany would never have a clue that Spätburgunder is pinot noir. And that’s where these labels—like those in France— fail.” But with a little knowledge of German wine names, even those unfamiliar with the labeling system can order with ease. (See sidebar, right.) Mitton recently published a book of recipes and wine pairings, Around the World With Bradley Mitton, and runs the popular Club Vivanova, throwing culinary events in several cities across Europe. More than 20,000 newsletter subscribers look forward to announcements of the club’s next gathering, and while some events are members-only, most are open to anyone. Past Berlin events have been held at the James Bond-themed Vesper bar and the exclusive International Club Berlin, which opened its doors for a rare non-members gathering. Mitton is enthusiastic about Berlin’s food scene. “People are serving all sorts of things here. Nothing could shock anyone in Berlin. Anything goes. They’re much more open-