Good news for those of us lucky enough to live in the Mosel region or are coming for a holiday – there is always something wine related going on nearby, not to mention concerts, antique and flea markets, even motorboat racing.
Such events are a great
way to sample the regional food and wine whilst rubbing shoulders and supporting the local economy so please do try to visit at least one.
A full list of the upcoming festivals and other events can be found here. The website is in German but most of it is easy enough to follow, or there is always good old Google Translate.
Germany is famous for its Christmas markets, and virtually every town has one. The problem is, they can be a bit ‘samey’ if you know what I mean. But there are plenty with an unusual twist, and I think one of the most notable and romantic has to be the Traben-Trarbach”Mosel-Wein-Nachts-Markt” which literally means “Wine Nights Market”, a clever play on “Weihnachtsmarkt”, the German word for Christmas Market.
In keeping with the wine heritage of the town, this event offers markets in some enormous old vaulted cellars which are decked out with stalls offering a big variety of traditional crafts, edible treats and of course local plonk. Also on offer is an ice skating rink (outdoor, not in a cellar!) plus an extensive entertainment programme.
The markets and other activities are open from Friday through Sunday to 18th December, and then daily from 22nd December to 3rd January, although 24th and 25th December are closed for obvious reasons. In general, opening times are 11am to 9pm, but please check the website (links below) for the exact programme.
Traben-Trabach is very accessible, being located right on the Mosel between Koblenz and Trier. A shuttle bus service is available from some of the other towns in the locality, and cheap flights are available from various European cities to Frankfurt Hahn regional airport which is only about 40 minutes away, so why not spend a weekend here and experience the real German Christmas spirit?
You can find out more by clicking here for the website but you may have to run it through Google Translate as it is only in German. Clicking here will give you the brochure which has all of the important information in English, French and Dutch and includes a map of the various attractions, programme for the entertainment and more. Alternatively, the Tourist Information office in the town will be able to help.
Here is another intriguing recipe using Riesling (or any other) wine, and despite it being called “festive” there is no reason why it cannot be enjoyed at any time.
Being a useless cook myself, I have to admit that I have not attempted to make this one yet, but if anyone does I would love to hear if it was a success!
You will need:
- 750 ml Riesling or other white wine
- 5 eggs, separated
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 sachet vanilla sugar
- 50 grams ground almonds
- Cinnamon and sugar to finish
Briskly beat the wine with the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar and starch over a gentle heat until thickened – do not overheat as it will scramble! Beat the egg white until stiff and fold in the almonds.
Pour the egg yolk mixture into a greased baking dish and top with the egg white mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes at 200 ° C. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
(Adapted from the recipe the German imosel website which can be found here).
Christmas – or “Weihnachts” in German – is fast approaching and that means the famous German Christmas Markets are now well underway. For those of us living in or visiting the Mosel, the unique combination of the magical market atmosphere coupled with picturesque surroundings really is unbeatable.
So put on your woolly scarves and gloves and indulge in a glass or two of the ubiquitous “Glühwein” (warm mulled wine) or “Eierlikor” (eggnog) as you browse a multitude of stalls selling crafts, trinkets, sweets and a whole host of other traditional (an not so traditional) Christmas goods.
Most towns big and small have at least one market, some lasting just for a few days and others for much longer, and you can find a selection of those that take place in and around the valley here, or for a little further afield but still close enough for a day trip click here.
Christmas is rapidly approaching now and those of us living in Germany will no doubt have already had the pleasure of sampling the famous “Glühwein” at one of the multitude of Christmas Markets that start in late November and go on right up until Christmas Eve or even into the New Year.
Traditionally, Glühwein is made from red wine, but of course, Mosel wine is predominantly white. It would be a bit of an insult to the local wine producers not to attempt to make some using the local plonk, so I reproduce here a recipe I found on the German cooking website http://www.kochbar.de/. It is the best translation from German to English I could manage, but I think it is reasonably accurate.
Weißer Glühwein (Mulled White Wine)
- 600 ml dry white wine
- 150 ml Vodka
- One orange
- Five cloves
- Two cinnamon sticks
- Half teaspoon cardamom seeds
- Three tablespoons of honey
- Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- Lemon slices, to serve.
Slice the orange and throw into a saucepan along with all the other ingredients. Cover and heat gently but do not boil for at least ten minutes (if you boil it you will evaporate off the alcohol and we don’t want that now do we?). Taste and add more honey if necessary. Serve hot in heat-resistant glasses garnished with a light sprinkling of cinnamon, one clove and a slice of lemon.
Please note this is just one variation on a theme – the aforementioned website has numerous other recipes for mulled white wine, so feel free to experiment to come up different spice and citrus combinations to make your own personalised Christmas drink!
Its not easy to take notes when on holidays, and with limited access to the internet. A few thoughts follow. Photos may be added later. There are dozens of wineries in Bernkastel, and hundreds in the surrounding areas. Most are small, so the wines are not exported. Insider knowledge is needed to determine makers of […]
Cvia Mosel musings — sweetworldwines
Ice cream as we all know comes in a dazzling array of flavours ranging from the traditional through the exotic to the downright weird. However, on a trip to Cochem I tried ice cream – made from local wine.
Initially I expected it to be just wine flavoured ice cream, but the first lick proved it indeed was made from the real thing and four scoops later I honestly could feel the effects! Maybe that was just a placebo effect, as surely ice cream cannot be alcoholic?
Anyway, all I can say is if you have a sweet tooth and love refreshing ice cream as opposed to the rich creamy varieties, get yourself over to Cochem and give it a try. Unfortunately I did not get the name of the particular parlour where I had it, but it was right in the historic centre and I saw other places selling it. You can probably get it in other towns along the river too, although I have struggled to find it in Zell.
Here is an interesting recipe I found on the German website “Römische Weinstraße“. I have not tried it yet but if anyone does give it a go I would be interested in knowing how it tastes.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
- 20 grams butter
- 250 grams fresh mushrooms
- 500 ml chicken broth
- 250 ml cream
- 250 ml Mosel Riesling
- 2-3 teaspoons starch (such as corn flour)
- Salt, pepper, nutmeg, chopped fresh herbs
Slice the mushrooms and fry in butter. Meanwhile, combine the chicken broth and cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes to reduce. Whisk the starch into the wine and add to the broth/cream mixture, stirring continuously. Simmer, stirring regularly, until thickened. Add the sautéed mushrooms and season the soup with the chopped herbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
For those of you who might be struggling, here is a very useful little video produced by the Deutsches Weininstitut (German Wine Institute) on how to pronounce the various German wine terms and their meanings:
To see their website which has a host of information on German wines in general (in English) click here.