Friday, July 13, 2018

BELGIUM BEER BARGAIN ......... in Germany

BEER 25: KARLSKRONE PREMIUM PILSENER
Doesn't sound Belgian, doesn't particularly taste Belgian it's just a straightforward quaffing lager at a dangerous price.

CATEGORY 1
SIZE: 500ml can
ALCOHOL: 4.9% a/v
PRICE: 29 euro cents
FROM: Aldi, Germany
RATING: 5/5

STEINACKER 2016 RIESLING


Nicely presented dry white on the sweeter side of the spectrum. Half trocken or demi sec would describe it. Well made and could handle being served with ice.


GRAPE VARIETY: Riesling
REGION: Wurtemburg, Germany
A/V: 11.5% 
PRICE: 3.79 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Germany
RATING: 4/5 from me 

WHO ON EARTH THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?


BEER 24: STEAM BREW IMPERIAL STOUT
For starters it's packed as a mixed case with their IPA and Red beer [both listed earlier]. Guess what? They don't sell at an equal rate. Which means the retail shelves have no IPA, a bit of the Red and an overwhelming excess of this abheration.  
It really is a shocker with a  nasty sweet burnt treacle flavour. It just amazes me that such a clever successful retailer makes such a mistake.

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml can
ALCOHOL: 7.5% a/v
PRICE: 69 euro cents
FROM: Lidl, Germany
RATING: 1/5

THIS IS WHEN IT'S WORTH PAYING MORE


This is a delicious quality riesling in the dry style. It has appealing floral fruit balanced by crisp minerality. On Lidl shelves this is quite expensive. For what's in the bottle it's very cheap.

WACHAU RESERVE RIESLING
GRAPE VARIETY: Riesling
REGION: Austria
A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 6.99 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING: 5/5 from me 

Thursday, July 12, 2018

DOES THIS LABEL LOOK FAMILIAR?

Different words and one year older but pretty much the same wine as the last Gruner Veltliner posted. Seems that wherever you go in this part of the world you can score an outstanding value crisp dry white. 







WEIN GENUSS 1000ml GRUNER VELTLINER 2016
GRAPE VARIETY: Gruner Veltliner
A/V: 12% 
PRICE: 2.99 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Germany
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

MAY BE THE BEST WHEAT BEER I'VE EVER TASTED

BEER 23 KETTERER WEISSE BIER
The kiosk at the reconstructed old German farm tourist attraction only had one beer and whoever chose it must be congratulated. Absolutely dazzling at any price. Served icy cold and that still didn't dull the flavour.

I'll be looking out for this wherever I travel.

CATEGORY: 2
ALCOHOL: 5.2%
PRICE: not known
FROM: Restaurant/bar
RATING:5/5

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

BEERS 21 & 22

The last of the Fristo purchases. Both very drinkable with a 4/5 rating. Both 4.9% a/v,both 80 euro cents and in 500ml bottles. Time to move on methinks. 

BEER 20: SCHINNER EDEL-WEISSE


Outstanding swing top packaging for this bargain wheat beer. Impossible to resist at this price.

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 4.9% a/v
PRICE: 60 euro cents
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING: 4.5/5

BEER 19: GRAFLICHES HOFBRAUHAUS HUBER WEISSES FREISING ORIGINAL HELL


A very pleasant, quite creamy wheat beer. Not sure what the polar bear has to do with anything.

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 5.4% a/v
PRICE: 90 euro cents
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING: 4/5

CHILE TRIUMPHS IN AUSTRIA : sounds like a football game

Here's another example of a budget red being brought into a country that struggles to produce them. Terrific little wine that over delivers at this price and certainly won't offend anyone. Once again, it's way too young and with a screw cap could safely be stored for a few years.
If I lived in Austria or Germany I'd be buying at least 10 dozen of these each year. Storing for at least three years and enjoying them over the next five.

VIAJERO 2017 CHILE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
GRAPE VARIETY: Cabernet Sauvignon


REGION: Central Valley, Chile
A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 2.49 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING: 5/5 from me 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

JUNGE WINZER 2017 WEISSER BURGUNDER


Their Pinot Blanc is exciting but for us, their Pinot Gris just isn't. 

GRAPE VARIETY: Pinot Gris
REGION: Baden, Germany
A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: 5.99 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Germany
RATING: 3/5 from me 

LIDL GET IT MORE THAN RIGHT WITH THIS ONE



Six euro is nudging into premium pricing on Lidl shelves. And while I've been critical of many of Lidl's "premium" wines this is just the reverse.

We've tasted some outstanding whites during our time in Germany and this is up there. It's medium bodied with a complex fruit structure enhanced with subtle wood. I would expect to see a wine of this quality well above the 10 euro mark. Very highly recommended.


JUNGE WINZER 2017 WEISSER BURGUNDER

GRAPE VARIETY: Pinot Blanc
REGION: Baden, Germany
A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: 5.99 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Germany
RATING: 5/5 from me 

BEERS ALWAYS TASTE BETTER WHEN THEY'RE POURED WITH ENTHUSIASM



BEER 18: DIEKIRCH DRAUGHT

Nothing like Luxembourg's favourite brew to accompany a 2018 World Cup Football match. It's a perfect pleasant easy drinking lager that tasted better in the situation.

CATEGORY 1
SIZE: Draught
ALCOHOL: 4.9% a/v
PRICE: it doesn't matter
FROM: A campsite in Luxembourg
RATING:4/5

GREUTHER BASTEL 2017 SYLVANER

A very disappointing wine that suggests to me that Fristo should stick to beer retailing.

It's sound and pleasant enough but we've come to expect so much better at this price in Germany.


GRAPE VARIETY: Sylvaner
REGION: Germany
A/V: 12.5% 
PRICE: 7.49 euro 
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING: 2.5/5 from me 

WHEN YOU NEED A DRINKABLE BUDGET RED WINE IN GERMANY ....

Germany is awash with outstanding white wine at all price points. On the red side it produces some fine Pinot Noirs at understandable premiums. But supermarkets have to look overseas to stock their shelves with reds at more daily affordable prices.

This is a very well made red from Argentina's most popular variety. It's medium weight with a pleasant balance of flavour, acid and tannin. It's way too young and would benefit from a few more years in the bottle. So let it breathe. 



VILLA BONAGA 2017 MALBEC
GRAPE VARIETY: Malbec
REGION: Mendoza, Argentina
A/V: 13%  a/v
PRICE: 3.49 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Germany
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

HERE'S ONE TO RIVAL THE KIWIS

It seems that most supermarket chains in Germany have a NZ sauvignon blanc priced at 3.99 euro.
We've only visited one Pennys store and we couldn't resist this strikingly labelled offering. Turns out it's a lot closer to home being the first Roumanian wine we've featured. And we'd go back for more.

It's not the NZ style, which is sometimes a blessing, but it is a crisp dry unmistakeable sauvignon blanc. Very highly recommended at the price.

RICHTIG LECKER 2017 SAUVIGNON BLANC
GRAPE VARIETIES: Sauvignon Blanc
REGION: Roumania
A/V: 12% 


PRICE: 2.99 euro 
FROM: Pennys Germany
RATING: 5/5 from me 

THE NAME IS TOTAL OVERKILL BUT .....

BEER 17: ALLGAUER BRAUHAUS ZWICKER NATURTRUBES KELLERBIER




.... this is a dazzling, unfiltered drink now beer. It's one of the brightest cloudy beers I've ever seen. Delicious without being over the top.

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 5% a/v
PRICE: 90 euro cents
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING:5/5

Monday, July 2, 2018

THIS IS A HELLISHLY BRIGHT BEER

BEER 16: BRAUEREI CLEMENS HARLE LAGER HELL

Sorry, couldn't help myself. Hell = Bright in German  and this is the best I've tasted. A delicious full flavoured lager with malt and hop characters in perfect balance.

CATEGORY 4
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 4.7% a/v
PRICE: 95 euro cents
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING: 5/5

BEER 15: AYINGER LAGER HELL


Worth a try but I think there are more exciting beers about. Perfectly pleasant lager with a bit of palate weight.

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 4.9% a/v
PRICE: 85 euro cents
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING:4/5

BEER 14: USTERBACHER URHELL


Great value for an everyday easy drinking beer. Judging by the empty cartons it certainly has its fans

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 4.9% a/v
PRICE: 65 euro cents
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING:4/5

BEER 13: OETTINGER DUNKLES HEFEWIZEN NATURTRUB


Extraordinary value for this dark, rich full on beer that is nudging into stout territory. A style that really polarises tastes - you'll either love or hate it.

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 4.9%
PRICE: 50 euro cents
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING:5/5

BEER 12: JEVER PILSENER


Absolute classic unmistakeable pilsener. Steely crisp. 

CATEGORY 3
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 4.9%
PRICE: 85 euro cents
FROM: Fristo, Germany
RATING:5/5

Saturday, June 30, 2018

WHEN MAPS CAN BE MISLEADING

We were staying in a campsite on the Rhine River, directly opposite the quite lovely city of Mainz. Doing the usual research I spotted "Wine Capitals of the World - Tourist Information" on my Maps.me app.


This could be good. We were in Mainz for a wine tour so this looked like an opportunity for homework. Plus it was close to the Gutenberg Museum and the Cathedral. Sadly this was all we got.

It seems that Mainz fancies itself as the Wine Capital of Germany. This was tourist information we really didn't need. 

But it was kind of funny walking in circles looking for a building hosting a mine of information and suddenly seeing this sign.

DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE PRICE OR THE SIZE


We were really pleasantly surprised by this. Crisp and dry and very approachable. Would sell for three times the price in other markets.

WEINE OSTEREICH 1000ml GRUNER VELTLINER 2017
 
GRAPE VARIETY: Gruner Veltliner
REGION: Austria
A/V: 12% 
PRICE: 2.99 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING: 4.5/5 from me 

BEER 11: PATRONUS WEISSBIER

This is the cloudy Naturtrub style. There are better out there but this is still very drinkable and outstanding value. Perfect if you insist on glass.

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml bottle
ALCOHOL: 5.5%
PRICE: 69 euro cents
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING:4/5

BEER 10: GLETSCHER MARZENBIER


Yet another very quaffable lager at a crazy cheap price.

CATEGORY 1
SIZE: 500ml can
ALCOHOL: 5%
PRICE: 55 euro cents
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING:4.5/5

Friday, June 29, 2018

BEER 9: PERLENBACHER HEFEWEISSBIER


I may be wrong but I reckon this beauty is cheaper in Austria than its home country Germany. This is an outstanding bargain priced wheat beer. Very highly recommended if you're a fan of the style.

CATEGORY 2
SIZE: 500ml can
ALCOHOL: 5%
PRICE: 59 euro cents
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING:5/5

BEER 8: KAISER FASSTYP



A clean crisp lager. Probably worth spending an extra 10c and grabbing a Stiegel

CATEGORY 1
SIZE: 500ml can
ALCOHOL: 5%
PRICE: 95 euro cents
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING:4/5

BEER 7: PUNTIGAMER



Fails in packaging design but works as a beer. No great surprise, just a very pleasant lager.

CATEGORY 1
SIZE: 500ml can
ALCOHOL: 5.1%
PRICE: 95 euro cents
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING:4/5

BEER 6: STIEGEL SALZBURGER


It's a little expensive compared to its competitors. It's also superior with a lovely steely minerality. Easy to see why this is such a big seller.

CATEGORY 1
SIZE: 500ml can
ALCOHOL: 5%
PRICE: 1.05 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING:4.5/5

PRUM 2017 RIESLING


Attractive, slightly off-dry white without being dazzling.

GRAPE VARIETY: Riesling
REGION: Mosel, Germany
A/V: 11.5% 
PRICE: 3.99 euro 
FROM: Aldi, Germany
RATING: 4/5 from me 

THIS WINE IS AN EMBARRASSMENT

I would hate this to be the benchmark for Austrians to judge Australian shiraz. Although anything else would be an improvement.
This is aggressively wood chip flavoured wine that has no redeeming feature other than it's drinkable, just. It was slightly better on the third day ..... just.



ROSE CREEK 2017 AUSTRALIAN SHIRAZ
GRAPE VARIETY: Shiraz
REGION: SEA, Australia
A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 2.49 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING: 1.5/5 from me

SADLY NOT A PATCH ON THEIR WHITE

An enticing label masked a remarkably disappointing innocuous red wine. No tannin, little acid and uninspiring fruit.



PANNONIA 2017 CUVEE PRESTIGE
GRAPE VARIETIES: Red Blend????
REGION: Burgenland, Austria
A/V: 13% 
PRICE: 3.49 euro 
FROM: Lidl, Austria
RATING: 2/5 from me