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Dusseldorf, daz two

zesterday we went to a seasonal market in the Duisburg town center. Duisburg is at the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr*, and has a verz large port. In fact, the largest inland port in the world.

The market was full of the exact same kitschz stuff zou'd find at an American flea-market, with the addition of local foodstuffs. I tried a local wine call federweissen (which means 'featherwhite'). It's essentiallz unfinished wine broken out of the cask earlz. It's effervescent and sweet, and quite good. Apparentlz because its still fermenting it's impossible to take anzwhere, so I can't bring anz home.

Other than the market, everything is closed on Sundaz, absolutelz everzthing. It's a bit of ghost town, and other than Turkish teens on the tube, few people are out and about. Even at the market, people are far more somber than an American crowd would be - until a cartoon mouse from a kid's show begins performing, there's no music, and everzone speaks quietlz, as if at a librarz. We even bumped into Catriona's parents, and thez nodded hello, and then left!

Mz camera broke, which is verz irritating as it was quite expensive. I doubt I can replace it in kind, what with the weak dollar... so I might have verz little pictures to show. Also, I'm trzing to get a hold of Vivesse3 to ask her to drop something at UPS for me. Can someone ask her to check her email?

Now I'm off to rent a SmartCar, and then find mzself some castles! (Also meat and cookies)

*I've been corrected about this - the Ruhr not the Rhone. Touchy Germans!


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 15th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
If you find any Muller-Catoir Eisweins or Trockenbeerenausleses (or even just a very sweet Beerenauslese) while you're there, I'd drive down to L.A. to pick them up, and pay for whatever they cost you.

*drool* German dessert wines are the best in the world.
Oct. 15th, 2007 06:27 pm (UTC)
We're neither one of us quite sure what those things are, but will certainly keep our eyes open.
Oct. 15th, 2007 06:49 pm (UTC)
Muller-Catoir is a 250-year-old Weingut in Neustadt. They make the sweetest-tasting, explosive dessert wines in *the world.* They're also notable for having been run primarily by women, over the centuries. The vineyards are *the* finest in the Rhineland, and the winery itself is an ancient, gorgeous castle.

Eisweinen are "ice wines," called so because they don't pick the grapes until the first frost. Freezing them on the vine dehydrates the grape, and losing water leads to greater concentration of the flavour. Eiswein tends to be more viscous than a tafelwein (table wine), sweeter, more intense, and vastly more flavourful. Other dessert wines, like Sauternes, rely on a certain type of decay in order to get the grapes sweeter, and a lot of palates find that method too cloyingly sweet (not me, of course, 'cuz I gots me a sweet tooth). The noble rot wines tend to be sweeter without being more... well, more like wine. Eisweins, however, are sweeter by virtue of being concentrated wine-- it's more wine in less volume. Which is not to say there aren't bad eisweins out there, but Muller-Catoir is the king of Eisweinen. It's like sex in a bottle.

Trockenbeerenauslesen is... uhhh... I think that means "dry berries late harvest." These are wines made from grapes that aren't picked until they've basically turned into raisins. This is a noble rot wine, so they have the botritis. This is a fungal infection that also dehydrates the grape, but to a much, much greater extent than freezing does (they're RAISINS, ffs). They're the German homolog to France's Sauternes. So, these wines are really really sweet, though, it's a bit of an artificial kind of sweet. I love it still, of course, cuz I gots me a sweet tooth. But the difference between an Eiswein and a Trockenbeerenauslese is.... a table wine is a really thin, watered down Hi-C brand lemonade; the Auslese and Spatlese are the fresh-squeezed lemonades of the bunch; Eiswein is like a lemonade made out of fresh squeezed lemons and cane sugar; the Trockenbeerenauslese is like the lemonade made out of fresh squeezed lemons and cane sugar, to which someone dumped in an inordinate amount of more cane sugar just for good measure.

Damn, my analogies suck.
Oct. 16th, 2007 02:28 pm (UTC)
I found you a bottle of rotwein - I know that's not what you asked for exactly, but its what I've found so far!
Oct. 17th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
Rotwein? That means it's red. :)
Oct. 17th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
Well it's some kind of dessert wine, anyway!
Oct. 16th, 2007 08:20 pm (UTC)
I lived outside Duesseldorf for a year. I still feel affected by the experience :p
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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