Does the look of a wine label impact on your decision to taste or buy a wine?
I mean, what matters is what is inside a bottle, right?
To tell the truth, I often get hooked by a quirky label.
The first bottle I will take out of the shelf in a wine shop will be the one that most stands out thanks to an unusual looking label, a design that differs from the traditional, classic looks that still feature on most wine bottles around the world.
A funky label does not guarantee at all that inside the bottle is a quality wine. But I have made some really great discoveries by simply going with a funky label.
The last thing you would likely expect on a wine label is a cow shown in the way you sometimes see at a restaurant or your butchery where you will find a diagram of the various cuts from a cow – or alternatively a lamb, pig or chicken. Plus, the name Butcher prominently featuring on the label as well.
That label is not at all a simple marketing hook, however. Weingut Metzger bears the name of the founding family, and Metzger in German means butcher.
When Uli Metzger took over the winery from his parents in 2010, he was pushing for a new style of his wines and with that for a new look of the bottles.
He also played around with the butchery scheme beyond the label, applying it to the quality segmentation of his wines as well. The idea here was that, as you create distinct types of meat from different parts of a cow, so you make distinct types of wine from different varietals or from vineyards with different characteristics.
The label will tell you quickly what type of wine to expect. Good table wines (the winery’s basic segment) are equal to the flank, good quality wines are from the cow’s chuck or round and the top-quality wines are represented by the filet or sirloin.
Quite a fun way to easily show you what type of wine you are drinking.
The Pfalz: A dream destination for wine and food lovers
Weingut Metzger is located along the famous German Weinstrasse in the small town of Asselheim in the northern part of Germany’s second largest wine region, the Pfalz.
The region is well known for making excellent wines, and it is home to one of Germany’s most renowned wine routes, the German Weinstrasse. This 85-kilometre stretch starts at the so-called German Wine Door (Weintor) in Bockenheim and runs to Schweigen-Rechtenbach right at the French border with Alsace.
More than one hundred small picturesque historic wine-growing towns are scattered along the wine route where you do not only find many excellent wineries but also a large and still growing number of fantastic places to eat (including a couple of Michelin-starred restaurants). Opportunities to stay overnight also abound including small bed and breakfasts, country hotels, accommodation within several of the local wineries along with several five-star boutique hotels.
It is an area that should be on every wine and culinary lovers bucket list. To get some ideas what to expect here, check out my posts Why you need to visit Deidesheim on the German Weinstrasse and A perfect wine weekend getaway: Ketschauer Hof in Deidesheim.
It may not be the best time to talk at length about wine festivals these days, but once we are returning to a more normal reality, it’s the small wine towns across the Pfalz where you will find some of the country’s most renown wine festivals. In fact, there is always something going on here, with the festival season running from mid-March to November.
Exciting wines from Weingut Metzger to try
One of the winery’s flagship wines is simply called ‘Schwarzer’. It is a red French-style cuvee from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot with aromas of dark berries, cherry, chocolate tobacco and leather. It pairs perfectly with red and grilled meat but also works well with pasta.
Another flagship wine is the ‘Urbulle’ which rather loosely translated means ‘old bull’ and refers to a bold red wine with aromas from coffee and dark berries, made from old Portuguese vines that date back to around 1910. It likewise pairs well with red and grilled meat.
The full bodied Dry Aged (you get that butchery theme, do you?) is a bold red wine barrel aged for two years in new barrels. It is made from 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. The main aromas are red pepper, blackberry and vanilla and it is another of the excellent red wines from Metzger that is a perfect match for red meat.
I particularly loved the Tempranillo which features aromas from cherries, blackberry, and other red berries as well as slight notes of coconut and eucalyptus. It is one of the lighter red wines which pairs well also with pasta and poultry.
Weingut Metzger also produces a wide range of excellent white wines. The classic Chardonnay expresses aromas of pear, banana and stone fruit. It works well with a wide range of dishes including pasta, poultry, fish and vegetarian.
Another excellent white variety is the Schloßberg Weißburgunder which translates into ‘castle hill’ Pinot Blanc. Aromas of ripe apples and pears go along well with a citrusy and slightly nutty note. Pairs well with fish, pasta, risotto and poultry but it is also a very good match with asparagus.
The Blanc de Blanc brut is a classic sparkling wine made from Chardonnay grapes and comes along with aromas of ripe apples and pears along with notes of brioche. It’s perfect to celebrate any occasion to be enjoyed either on its own or in combination with antipasti, seafood or crustaceans.
A couple of wines from Metzger winery still on my list to try are the non-alcohol ‘Drink n’Ride’ Secco (Secco in Germany stands for sparkling juice) or some of the pink varieties such as the Flying Pig rosé, the Pink or the Wild Hog.
I am definitely looking forward to an on-site visit to Weingut Metzger but in the meantime, I am likely to order a couple of other wines from their wine range to enjoy at home.