Wine tips for the cooler season – an interview with Eva Lanzerath

The 22-year-old from Walporzheim has been named the 72nd German Wine Queen, representing the German wine industry at home and abroad for the period from 2020 to 2021. As the end of the year slowly beckons, with the prospect of many days off ahead over the winter months, a few wine tips from Eva will just hit the spot.

Question: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Why did you apply to be the Wine Queen? What is your background in making and enjoying wine?

Answer: I myself grew up among the vines. When I was a child, my grandparents always took me to the vineyards, so I developed a passion at an early age. The wine festival in my home village was one of the most important days of the year and it was always clear to me that I wanted to follow in my mother’s and sister’s footsteps and become Wine Queen one day. I was the village wine queen for a year, then I was crowned Ahr Wine Queen and was allowed to represent the Ahr region for a year.

And then came the best bit. As a little girl, I had always dreamed of taking part in the German Wine Queen competition. And this year, my dream came true. I never thought that I would have the privilege of wearing the German Wine Queen crown and I feel so happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to represent German wine and our wine-producers for a year. I studied to be a primary school teacher, but always retained my love of the vineyards and hope to be able to own a vineyard of my own one day.

72nd German Wine Queen Eva Lanzerath (2020/21) from Walporzheim, Ahr valley

72nd German Wine Queen Eva Lanzerath (2020/21) from Walporzheim, Ahr valley

Question: The days are getting shorter and the fireplace and a comfy sofa are beckoning. What wine would you recommend for a relaxed evening at home?

Answer: I really recommend a lovely full-bodied Pinot Noir for the winter months. If you prefer something even chunkier, a Lemberger is also a good option for a cosy evening by the fire. For those who prefer a white, I would recommend an oak-aged Chardonnay or Pinot Blanc.

Question: As the Wine Queen of the Ahr, you will no doubt know all about red wines, but what about white wines? Everyone says that red meat and stews need red wine. Is that really the case, or can you also pair a white wine with a hearty meat dish? What do you recommend?

Answer: Of course, a full-bodied Pinot Noir always goes well with a stew. The fruity aromas and the fine tannins complement the meat very well. But the choice of wine really depends on the sauce. A rich white wine like a Pinot Gris can go well with lighter sauces. A mature Riesling, perhaps with a little more residual sugar to make it a little sweeter, is a wonderful match for a fruity game sauce with cranberries.

Question: Of course, there are some great meat-free dishes that work well in autumn. There are lots of great ways to soup up the menu, including pumpkin, chestnuts and mushrooms. What is your favourite autumnal vegetarian dish? And what wine would you drink with it?

Answer: I love a mushroom risotto and enjoy it with a Silvaner, perhaps from Franconia or Rhenish Hesse, preferably nice and fresh and full-bodied, with subtle acidity. I also love a vegetarian potato flan with plums. I would serve that with one of the Pinot grapes, either Blanc or Noir, depending on what I had in, but the wine needs to be on the full-bodied side.

Question: Do you have any tips on what to look out for when selecting wines for the festive period?

Answer: For special occasions, you should select the right wine for every course. That really enhances the enjoyment and leads to interesting discussions around the table. At the end of the day, everyone has their own tastes, and they are all valid.

The wine should also complement the dish and not overpower it. Essentially, the richer the food or the sauce, the more full-bodied the wine can be. For spicy dishes, you can also say: the spicier the food, the sweeter the wine should be.

Wine tasting in a modern wine bar in Ingelheim, Rhine-Hesse

Wine tasting in a modern wine bar in Ingelheim, Rhine-Hesse

Question: Christmas would not be the same without a drop of fizz. Does it have to be champagne for your Christmas toast?

Answer: Here in Germany, we have lots of great sparkling wines and Sekts that I think are often underestimated. Some of them are made on individual wine estates and really reflect the character of the estate. The contents are really special, a positive surprise, just what you want over the Christmas period. An estate Sekt is also perfect with lots of different foods.

Eva, these are all really great tips. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us. Perfectly prepared as we are, we can now start looking forward to the festive season.

All the best to you and stay healthy!

Culinary speciality of the Palatinate: Stuffed pig’s stomach with chestnuts in Hauenstein, Palatinate

Culinary speciality of the Palatinate: Stuffed pig’s stomach with chestnuts in Hauenstein, Palatinate

Extensive range of wines at a wine estate

Extensive range of wines at a wine estate

About Eva:

Born in Walporzheim, she sees herself as open-minded, fun-loving and ambitious, with lots of positive energy. Her motto is ‘Don’t dream your life, live your dreams’. Eva Lanzerath is 22 years old and currently completing a bachelor’s degree in primary school teaching in Koblenz. She is very outdoorsy, and if you do not find her enjoying a spot of rock-climbing, she will be jogging through the vineyards, out hiking, on the tennis court, carnival dancing or travelling. She organises events for the elderly and festivals, and has many voluntary commitments within her local community, but especially loves working with children.

Between 2020 and 2021, she was the 72nd German Wine Queen, travelling for a year representing the German Wine Institute (DWI). As well as what would normally be more than 200 meetings in Germany and abroad, she and the two German Wine Princesses, Anna-Maria Löffler and Eva Müller, worked the social media channels as ambassadors for German wines.

Altenahrer Eck with wintry views over Are Castle, Ahr valley

Altenahrer Eck with wintry views over Are Castle, Ahr valley

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