In early October, a friend of mine invited me to a wine tasting seminar with a bunch of her girlfriends. It was held at Passion Vin, a wine store and importer in Kreuzberg on the banks of the Spree (in the same lot as the Exil furniture store, if that rings a bell). The business is run by a French couple. Alexandra hosts the wine seminars for women and on the evening of our tasting, their adolescent daughter was there to assist, a most charming and able assistant.
To call Alexandra (see above) passionate about wine is an understatement. She clearly lives and breathes the stuff, which makes her a fabulous teacher. She's ebullient and enthusiastic, bossy and funny. She does a wonderful job demystifying wine and making it accessible to people who enjoy drinking it, but feel a little intimidated by wine "culture". (Ahem. Me.)
The evening that we were there, the wines we tasted were selected as potential accompaniments to a Thanksgiving menu. A long table was set at the back of the store, laid nicely with plates and silverware and boards filled with pâté, cheese and wonderful butter. Between sips of wine and much laughter (did I mention that Alexandra is hilarious?), we ate bread and cheese and charcuterie, and talked wine, wine pairings, personal tastes and so much more. It was a lovely evening. Before leaving, my friends and I booked a champagne tasting for December and now I'm counting the days until then. I can't wait to go back.
Oh, and, best of all: I discovered two bottles that were quite fantastic. The first, a really delicious, unpretentious red, the 2012 Côtes du Rhône Séléction from Saint Cosme. And second of all, the star of the night, Eric Bordelet's Poiré Authentique. Bordelet used to be the wine director at L'Arpège in Paris, but left to become a winemaker, or, more specifically, a cider maker. This pear cider is shatteringly good: crisp, sparkly, dry, sophisticated. I can't wait to serve it at our Christmas dinner with dessert this year and, after some internet stalking, I'm now itching to try his Poiré Granit, which is apparently as good as champagne. Stay tuned!
The wine seminars at Passion Vin are quite popular and book up quickly. Here's what's coming up next.
Köpenicker Strasse 18-20
Tel: (030) 617 896 05