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Wine/Bernkasteler Kurfurstlay


QUESTION: My dad has a bottle of '83 Peter Mertes Bernkasteler Kurfurstlay spatlese that has been kept pretty much at 60 degrees on it's side for the past 30 odd years.  He wants to give it to a charity auction and we were curious about it's valuation/drinkability.  The wine was bought in Cleveland,imported by Francis A. Bonanno inc of Miamisburg, Oh.

ANSWER: Chris,
That's acgood not great German wine from an excellent vintage. Ideally it would have been drunk 10 or more years ago. It may still be drinkable, hard to say since a spatlese does not have the high sugar content that an auslese or beerenauslese have to help preserve it. Value might be $20-$40 in pristine condition.

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QUESTION: Thanks!  Would you mind recommending a good pairing for this style of wine would it be good drinking?

Generally a Mosel Spatlese like that is great paired with rich, tangy or slightly sweet foods. German wursts in saurkraut is the classic, but also smoked trout or salmon as well as many Asian dishes like pad thai. Fried foods can aslo work if they're not too heavy, back to Gernany with wienerschnitzel.  


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Joshua Farrell


I can answer most any question about wine- types, styles, grape varieties, regions, vintages, proper storage, production, wine and food pairing, wine service, decanting, proper glassware, serving temperatures etc. Regarding questions about specific bottles of wine, since I live in the U.S. my focus is on wines imported here. I can't answer questions about spirits and liquor valuations.


I have over 20 years of experience. I was a wine buyer and sommelier in NYC for many years including 4 years at Windows on the World which was NY's number one wine restaurant. I created and taught a Wine Appreciation Course at Borough of Manhattan Community College. I have worked for the past 15 years for the Wine Enthusiast Cos. as Editor, Columnist, Wine Storage Consultant and am currently Wine Director and Buyer for their online wine website, I recently judged in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. Follow me on Twitter @WEX_Josh

Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Diversions Magazine

Windows on the World Wine School- completed all courses from beginning to advanced. Former member of the Sommelier Society of NY. Competed in the Food and Wines of France Sommelier Competition. Traveled to wine regions in Europe including, Bordeaux, Rhone Valley, Alsace, Tuscany, Piedmont, Veneto, Rioja, and Jerez. Visited wine regions in NY's Finger Lakes, California's Sonoma, Napa and Central Coast and Oregon's Willamette Valley.

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