With the cold season approaching, you might think it’s too late for a post on white wine. Well, it’s not. Believe me, if you make it to Constance in autumn, some warm and sunny afternoons will wait for you. So, there is still time for a chilled Riesling: Germany’s most famous wine. And the ones Café No elf is selling, are a treat, as is the place. The Café is located in a tiny historical building. Just a few steps from the Munster in a little old town alley, it is the best place to take a coffee break.
Best Beans and Grapes in the Old Town
Café No elf is decidedly the best place for great coffee and Italian style breakfast. But beneath its coffee culture surface you’ll find a selection of the best wines from the Mosel region. Some of them have been ranked in the top league of Rieslings, but cost much less than the usual suspects. The place is run by Sebastian Graeber, who made his dream come true: Not only does he sell wines, he owns quite a share of barrels at the principal vineyards sold in his Café. The wines from those barrels share a peculiar label: They are called “er zappelt”, which means they are fidgeting about on your tongue. The idea of jumpy liquids is borrowed from the German 19th century connoisseur of wine, Karl Friedrich Koch. He wrote a praise on wines from the Mosel region and coined the phrase “er zappelt”.
These jumpy little creatures are special wines. Sebastian constantly watches out for new vineyards to be featured as guests. Apart from that he has two staples: One is Hofgut Falkenstein and the other is Weisser Künstler. Both vineries lay strong emphasis on traditional methods. That means they produce small batches of wines that contain no commercial enzymes, protein stabilizers or clarifying agents. Neither do they chaptalize, concentrate, or de-acidify their wines. They don’t have the German Bio-label (organic), but the quality is even better. The label for organic food in Germany has strict rules, and is heavily capitalized. Small producers often make better products without being able to carry the label. Anyhow, these wines are different from your usual Riesling. Most of them are very dry and have an amazing balance between fruit and acidity. It is the taste of the old times, when wine wasn’t a huge industry yet.
Proof of Quality
The taste isn’t like anything you might know. That’s why it takes a little time to understand these wines. With my limited knowledge, I would say they are very straight. Even the ones with higher sugar residue are balanced by acidity in a way that they never come on too sweet. Imagine the tanginess of young apples and lemons paired with golden sunlight in a glass. There you go! I have brought my Italian friend, sommelier and food blogger Francesca from TheBlackFig to taste them. And believe me, Italian experts are not easily convinced of German stuff. She loved it! And even better: Those wines come with a “no-hangover” guarantee.
How to Get the German Gold?
The bad news is: You won’t find these wines in your local grocery store any time soon. The quality comes with a catch. You can’t produce large quantities in industrial style. Also, these winemakers rely heavily on soil and weather conditions since they wouldn’t add anything to balance out these factors. There is also good news. Soon Café No elf will have an online shop up and running. So, if I made you curious, order your sunny treat of jumpy wines!