Wüerzburg is a city which is not only blessed with wonderful beer gardens, but also highly regarded vineyards. Wherever you are in the city you can see them covering the steep hills all around.
Perhaps not surprisingly, then, when you’re in a beer garden, you’re almost as likely to see someone drinking the acclaimed local wine as you are to see them with a beer.
Although we’re not especially interested in wine, we certainly don’t dislike it, or subscribe to the view that you need to choose sides in an imaginary battle between beer and wine. So we decided to give it a go.
We tried white wines made with a couple of different varieties of grape (Riesling and Silvaner) and (bearing in mind we’re no experts) found them sweeter and more acid than we’re used to. We also began to notice that they really were floral and fruity. Elderflower, strawberry — all those flavours you hear wine critics banging on about really were there.
And, guess what? Those fruity flavours are also in the local beers. Do the very pale pilsners from Würzburger Hofbräu, Distelhäuser and Oechnser taste similar to the local wines because of the water? Because of the soil in which the grapes, barley and hops are grown? Maybe they just reflect a preference among the core market for these products — the local drinkers.