Luxembourg Wines To Hit Town

Luxembourg, the tiny dot tucked away between Germany and France on the European map is known in the wine world for its highest per capita wine consumption. The low population and very high sales, perhaps due to the trading activity because of its favourable tax structure make it possible. Not many people know that it has been making wine in small quantities for about 2000 years, primarily for own consumption and exporting to Germany for making Sekt and also to Belgium.

Delhi got its first taste during the last couple of days, courtesy Luxembourg Fine Wines, a small company dealing mainly with fine French Chateaux wines. “We were planning to enter India in the near future but the current visit to India of a Luxembourg business delegation accelerated the process and we decided to move in earlier than planned”, said Mr. Geoffrey Thompson, Managing Director of the company. He is a member of the delegation visiting Delhi and Mumbai.

Five whites were presented by Geoff, from Wellenstein District and the popular districts of Remich and Grevenmacher. Wines were all young and clean without fault. Aided by delicious snacks served by the hosts, one enjoyed all wines. They can add to the daily drinking pleasure, especially in the Delhi summers. These wines will be available during the next three months. ‘We shall initially concentrate on the zero duty hotel segment as a niche market, adding a choice of Luxembourg's fine wines in addition to the other European wines', said Mr. Ronesh Mehra, an ex Marketing Director of the Taj Group and now their corporate advisor helping them get government permissions etc. Incidentally, LFW has recently added Grover wines to its list of wines from the emerging markets.

The prices seem to be slightly on the higher side as the cost of production is higher in the expensive labour intensive wine industry in Luxembourg. That should not be a deterrent to the hotels that want to take a lead in offering wines from hitherto unknown countries here and offer expanded wine lists, providing wider choice to the customer.

Following wines were tasted:

1. Caves Bentz Pinot Blanc 2003 Mosel-Luxembourg Appellation : Light body, lean and simple quaffable wine that leaves no impression on the palate yet easy drinking, clean, fresh fruity and dry.
2. Domaine Viticole A. Golden & Fils Auxerrois 2002 Grand Premier Cru MLA: Light body, dry, slightly flabby with no after-taste. Should do well as an aperitif and drinking without meal. It was served at about 14 deg C. I feel it would have stronger flavour at 8 -10 deg.
3. Caves Bentz Riesling 2003 MLA : Light bodied, typical Riesling perfume that exploded in the nose on swirling, pleasantly off-dry made in German style but with less sugar level, crisp, vibrant and well balanced. I enjoyed this most of all wines.
4. Pinot Blanc 2002 Schengen Fels Grand Premier Cru: Though it had a lower level of alcohol at 12% compared to the 12.5% in the first Pinot Blanc, it seemed to be better structured, fuller bodied with lovely mouth feel. Nice and fresh flowery aromas, dry and crisp that went well with kebabs, fish and even the salami.
5. Cave Bentz Pinot Gris 2003 MLA: Medium body, golden yellow, balanced acidity, with a good mouth feel, slightly off-dry, more Alsatian than the North Italian dry style. May not be complex but one could go through a bottle sipping with canapés including samosas, cutlets or fish fingers.

All wines are bottled in the green, elongated, and German/ Alsatian ‘flute' type of bottles.
Luxemburg produces mostly white wines because of its cold weather. Pinot Noir is also being planted with ordinary results so far. But due to the wine growing areas being close to the river Mosel Rieslings are superb and so are Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer. Wines showcased at the tasting were indicative of exciting times ahead for the customer in terms of variety that will soon be available.

For details about wines visit or contact Geoff Thompson at . For any import queries get in touch with Ronesh Mehra at .

Subhash Arora





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