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-


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