Unsatisfied with the number of reasons people have to hate rodents already, scientists at Japan's Hiroshima University have taught mice to be wine snobs. After being trained to pick red wine over other kinds the mice were taught to distinguish between brands. From the article: "We examined performance of mice in discrimination of liquor odors by Y-maze behavioral assays. Thirsty mice were initially trained to choose the odor of a red wine in the Y-maze. After successful training (>70% concordance for each trained mouse), the individual mice were able to discriminate the learned red wine from other liquors, including white wine, rosé wine, sake, and plum liqueur."

Germany's Pinot Trio March 2, 2011

Germany = Riesling right?  Well German’s Pinot Trio: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris & Pinot Blanc begs to differ.
It is far from easy to produce good Pinot Noir anywhere, but it is even more difficult in Germany due to its climate. Hence I was not the only taster surprised by the quality of many of the wines there. Still in the competitive global market the price/performance aka value was not compelling. Oregon offers far more and even New Zealand and California is better value. Perhaps these growers are taking the long view and believe this will change over the next 50 years as global warming trends continue.
So why am I writing about this now and not waiting?  Primarily because of one interesting discovery: Classically, students of German wine first learn about the different sugar levels (at harvesting) such as Kabinet, Spatese etc. but perhaps no more. Here several of the new younger generation of wine makers preferred international labels such as “Reserve”, “*”, and “***” ratings. I wonder how much of my previous German wine studies will become as obsolete as knowing how to conduct commerce in East Germany - no longer relevant in the 21st century?
It appears that it does. My two favorite wines were also coincidentally the most expensive poured.
The Best wine, voted 3-1, was Schmitt Sohne 2007 Markus Molitor Pinot Noir Graacher Himmelreich *** Mosel $150.
Rudi Wiest Selections (2008 Meyer-Noir Dry “S” Estate Ahr ($80) was my runner up. They also offer a drinkable popular wine Pinot Noir Dry “Hooked!” Baden for just $12.90.
The best Pinot for aging may be Weingut Bernard Huber’s 2007 Pinor Noir “Reserve” Widenstein $80. I tasted their 1990 Pinot Noir “Reserve” no longer for sale; it aged nicely offering reasonable complexity. It is not surprising that a 700 year old winery knows a thing or two about aging!
One clear favorite among the white wine lovers was the unique white Pinot Noir of Alde Gott Winzer, an inexpensive 2009 Pinot Noir Blanc de NOIR Dry.


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Henry Weingarten


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