Why Has Alsace Been Invaded So Often? the Answer Could Just Be Its Wines
Scruton, Roger, New Statesman (1996)
Goethe's description of the cathedral of Strasburg can be read as one of the founding documents of the modern era. Setting out to rehabilitate the Gothic style in architecture, he stumbled across the Gothic style in everything else, and resurrected the Goth himself, as a cultural icon and a national idea. If the idea had stayed in the Enlightened brain of Goethe, we should never have had to worry. But it didn't, and following three attempts to put alles in Ordnung in this obstinate region, Strasburg is now home to a Potemkin Parliament and a Potemkin Court, both devoted to pulling the wool over the eyes of Europe.
Alsace itself is neither Latin nor Goth, as can be discovered from its wines. Sold in German flutes, made from German and French varietals, these wines combine Gothic bouquet with Latin character. The examples on offer are intensely perfumed and perfectly balanced; and they explain why so many armies have invaded Alsace. The Riesling grows rich and reckless in the dry Alsatian climate. The resulting wine is a far cry from the delicate products of the Rhine and the Mosel, being half as strong again as the German version, with a dry but honeyed flavour and a firm mineral base. I don't as a rule approve of driving the Riesling to 12 per cent, but this wine refutes me. It was an excellent accompaniment to a dish of sauerkraut, or …
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Publication information: Article title: Why Has Alsace Been Invaded So Often? the Answer Could Just Be Its Wines. Contributors: Scruton, Roger - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 133. Issue: 4706 Publication date: September 20, 2004. Page number: 56. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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