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The Grape Nut - big in Germany?

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When I decided to keep a running account of my time here in Germany, I did so partly for my own benefit - so I could blast out some thoughts before while they were still fresh. It turns out at least one German occasionally reads them.We set out this morning from Deidesheim (in the Pfalz region) to visit Lingenfelder (it should be noted that many of his well-priced animal label wines are available at private wine stores). 13th generation winemaker Rainer Lingenfelder bounced out to our van and jumped in with more enthusiasm than I've yet witnessed on the trip.I had heard that Mr. Lingenfelder was a lot of fun, and as he immediately set in to describing his estate and the surrounding area, I could see that the reputation was justified. Suddenly, he said something along the lines of "Well, I KNOW you all know that this area is on the 50th parallel - as does, of course, WINNIPEG!" Yes, he sort of shouted this, and since it had become a running joke amongst me and my fellow travelers, we burst into applause.It turns out Mr. Lingenfelder just happened to read about the continuous references to Winnipeg on this blog (in yesterday's installment). Now that, my friends, is preparation. This was also one of the few stops where we actually got to try a red wine (two even!), which was a welcome pause from the barrage of Riesling. Don't get me wrong... I love the stuff. But if you had something you loved (say, for example, a KitKat) thirty times a day, you'd want to have something else after a few days. But I digress.Anyhow, we had a great visit at Lingenfelder, trying a good cross-section of wines before leaving the Pfalz region for Trier, in the Mosel region. We attended a large tasting of 30ish producers in this fabulous rec centre that had once been a cathedral. And yes, almost all the wines sampled were Riesling.We drove out of Trier in the early evening, checked into our hotel in Muhlheim, and out the door we went to dinner, which was quintessential German food: large pieces of meat, potato sides, asparagus (seriously, asparagus is in some way incorporated into every meal), and the occasional garnish all washed down with a wheat beer. It's heavy stuff.Tomorrow we ride bikes to Bernkastel-Kues for a winery visit before an afternoon hike through some vineyards. Vines cover the rolling hills (small mountains?) at a ridiculous slant, so this hike could really be something...

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About Ben MacPhee-Sigurdson

When he wasn't bashing on a drum kit in local punk rock bands, Ben spent the mid '90s hucking cases of wine around to pay for two English degrees. Now he's the Winnipeg Free Press wine columnist and blogger.

The extent of Ben's wine experience in the mid-90s was memories of accidentally leaving a bottle of White Zinfandel in the freezer overnight, and the ensuing mess he was left with. Between 1996 and 2005 Ben absorbed all he could about wine while working at wine shops to pay for school. Meanwhile, he was churning out papers for his BA and MA in English (from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, respectively).

Ben became the Winnipeg Free Press' weekly wine columnist in 2005, and two years later joined Wine Access magazine as a contributor, a member of their national tasting panel and a judge at the Canadian Wine Awards and International Value Wine Awards until the magazine closed up shop in 2013.

In 2013 Ben joined the Winnipeg Free Press as a copy/web editor.

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