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  • May 17, 2016
  • Mosel Wine: Light, Zappy, and Dry

  • by Lars Carlberg

aoe_96_cover-450pxMy article "Mosel Wine: Light, Zappy, and Dry" appears in issue No. 96 of The Art of Eating. ​I've tried to make the definitive exploration of the classic style. I take a deep look at the heyday of Mosel wine in the 1890s and what first made the wine famous. I carry through to the postwar fashion for sweet Mosel and today's multiple styles of Mosel Riesling. I also recommend some wine by producer and category.

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In addition, I've included some notes on my piece for subscribers to Lars Carlberg: Mosel Wine.

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Cover: Johannes Weber of Hofgut Falkenstein. Photo by Nelson Fitch.

  • Al Drinkle says:

    Lars, “Mosel Wine: Light, Zappy and Dry” is one of your most complete pieces of writing. I’m ecstatic that your lucid, well-researched and carefully considered views are reaching such a wide audience through The Art of Eating – I also wrote Edward Behr to thank him for seeing enough value in the subject matter to commit to it to the degree that he did. In true AofE style, the article is deep enough that it can’t really be engaged with casually so I waited for an evening off and accompanied my reading with the better part of an excellent bottle.

    The piece itself is completely intense and fanatical (a term that I never use pejoratively in regards to wine) and very enjoyable. Also, you must have been thrilled when you saw the Letter from the Editor…

    To anybody reading this who is not yet a subscriber to the Art of Eating, the fact that you’re on this site would indicate that now, with Issue 96 available, is the time to start.

    • Thanks, Al. It was a lot of work.

      I’m glad you liked my piece for The Art of Eating. And, yes, I was happy to read Ed’s letter from the editor.

      I enjoyed reading your book review in the same issue.

  • By the way, my 17-page article is now available in PDF form. (Click on “print” below the title.)

    I still hope Ed will correct a few typos in my piece, such as “high=quality” and “Kabinettt” (after Enkircher Ellergrub at the bottom of the list).

  • marius fries says:


    I have to agree with Al’s comments above.

    It took me a while to subscribe to AoE ( which I never would have considered otherwise ) and to read through your article thoroughly , I think it’s the best I ever read about Riesling in general and the Mosel in particular. Lots of historical background ( in an entertaining manner though ) and in-depth information about different winemaking styles back then and nowadays, a real treasure trove.

    I particularly enjoyed your focus on the tensed-up yet light and almost completely dry wines. Too often they were overlooked in the last few decades. In an effort to immediately please ( upfront fruit ) or at least impress ( GG ), a lot of wines these days don’t manage to maintain their drinkability and are rather difficult to pair with food. I hope the ” old ” style you’re promoting in your article is becoming the ” standard ” soon ( instead of being avantgardistic today ).


  • Matthew Kuhr says:


    This article-essay is fantastic. Truly. I felt that it was succinct and well organized. It was easy to see where each section was going and how it connected to the whole piece. It’s rare to read writing concerning wine that has a premise and delivers useful insight that supports the conclusion.

    Opening with a historical argument then describing the current state of Mosel Wine was a stroke of brilliance. With this structure I felt that I had a good historical frame to view the post-war conditions that lead to the trends US importers later latched onto. Describing what recently has been seen as Classic Mosel Wine then saying, “but it wasn’t always that way,” puts the reader on the outside. The author alone hold’s the key to unlock the mysteries of Wine from the Mosel. You’re chronological approach puts the reader on the inside with the author moving outwards.

    That’s just my opinion. Let me know if I’m off the mark.



    • Matthew Kuhr says:

      That may not have been completely clear. I meant that the author is taking the reader from the perceptions of Mosel wine around 1900 through the steps that lead some people to believe table wines with higher RS are classic. It felt clearer than stating perceptions some people hold and making a case for a different view. If that makes any sense.

  • A must-read for anyone interested in Mosel wine. I not only offer an updated list of 31 recommended wines but also a revised text in March 2019.

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