MOZART: (to Joseph) It's highly moral, Majesty. It's full of proper German virtues. I swear it. Absolutely!
JOSEPH Well, I'm glad to hear that.
SALIERI Excuse me, Sire, but what do you think these could be? Being a foreigner, I would love to learn.
JOSEPH Cattivo again, Court Composer. Well, tell him, Mozart. Name us a German virtue.
MOZART Love, Sire!
SALIERI Ah, love! Well of course in Italy we know nothing about that.
- "Amadeus", Peter Shaffer (1979)
France is to wine what the Beatles are to pop music - its influence is so varied and all-pervasive that it is the de facto reference point for many wines; Sauvignon, Cabernet, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah / Shiraz, Chardonnay (and plenty of others) all call France their spiritual home.
A summer holiday in Germany led to us bringing back a range of local wines that owe no debt to France in their style - on this occasion, a light, refreshing Mosel Riesling and an oaky, pumped-up Pinot.
Von der Leyen Bernkasteler Kurfürstlay Riesling Kabinett 2016 Light, just 8.5%, with zippy, lemony sherbet, fresh green apple, gooseberries and pear. Lively, fresh and mineral.
Drink as an aperitif or with the lightest of starters.
Affentaler Spaetburgunder Rotwein Auslese Trocken 2014 they say life's too short for a German wine lable, but some of the details here are telling; it's a later-harvested (auslese) Pinot Noir (spaetburgunder) fermented to dryness (trocken).
Fuller than a Burgundy, this is a Pinot that has been down the gym and pumped its way up to 14% - with sweet, ripe dark cherries, wild berries and some classic Pinot "vegetal" aromas; supple texture and oaky spice cut through with an elegant freshness.
Drink with classic Pinot fare - darker game such as venison or duck.