This is a wine shop (Ahrweiler is in the Eiffel region - a big wine producing area) - they also sell speciality mustard from the Historische Senfmuehle Monschau here - all kinds of gorgeous mustard! I bought several jars as gifts to take home (but haven't been able to part with any just yet!). My host Win also bought wine - he knows and loves his wine and is a bit of a connoisseur!
What to buy: I bought mustard with Feige, Hoenig, Ur Rezept, and Knoblauch, (fig, honey, traditional and garlic). I've just started on the fig and it's delicious (although my son tells me it's a little too fruity for mustard).
This is of course a wine shop - I would suggest you ask the helpful and knowledgeable shopkeeper's advice and buy a good one! (or two :))
What to pay: The mustard comes in gorgeous little glazed terracotta pots and cost just under E5 each. The wine was of course quite a bit more!
Need a gift for a V.I.D. - a Very Important Dog?
Here you'll find the fanciest of the fanciest collars, leashes, raincoats, blankets for your Four-Legged Friend that match any fur colour and pattern.
Me and my step-mum had big fun browsing through the shop window and earnestly discussing all our friends' dogs and which item would suit each of them best...
What to buy: Dog accessoires
What to pay: Quite a lot, I guess.
This is an excellent shop because it has a very broad selection of wine from the most important winegrowers in the valley. Usually, the prices are the same that you would get if you bought the wine from the winery itself (which in most cases is possible as well and quite recommended as many estates also have tasting, an eatery (and sometimes even accommodation)
What to buy: Wine and a whole range of local and international delicacies. Ready wrapped gifts and deli baskets available.
The Shop also has a pretty decent web site through which you can mail order most of the products.
What to pay: Let me say this again, Ahr wine is not cheap. Simple qualities for everyday consumption (Portugieser or Dornfelder grapes) start at about 5 EUR. The classic Pinot Noir price range begins at about 9 EUR. An internationally valued champion wine from one of the top producers (e.g. Meyer Naekel) can easily cost 40 - 50 EUR.
First of all, some general remarks: Apart from maybe a couple of New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays, Germany is home of the world's greatest white wine -- the Riesling. Typical Riesling growing areas are the Rhine Valley near Wiesbaden (Rheingau region -- try wines from Robert Weil) or the Mosel valley all the way from Trier to Koblenz (many great buys here -- I suggest Dr Loosen)
The Ahr is known best for red wines, mostly Pinot Noir, known to Germans as "Spätburgunder". It's probably the world's most northerly growing area for Pinot Noir. Generally, German Pinot Noirs are very pleasant wines, not as deep and complex as their French counterparts, but all the more enjoyable when you just feel like opening up a bottle and having a couple of glasses. The warm climate of recent years, however, has brought a considerable approximation of styles towards the French ones. All good estates now have powerful and complex wines in their product range. In 2006 an Ahr Pinot (from Meyer-Naekel) reached the 4th place in an international competition involving 360 Pinot Noirs from all over the world.
The valley is a very tiny growing area, which means that prices are generally above average.
This goes for all German wine: If you are in front of a shelf and just don't know which one is good and which one isn't (LIEBFRAUMILCH IS NOT A TYPICAL GERMAN WINE!!!!), watch out for a logo containing an eagle AND the three letters VDP. The VDP trademark guarantees that the wine comes from one of Germany's top vineyards and has been produced according to strict quality standards.
2003 was an excellent year!!!
What to buy: The Ahr region boasts no less than 6 VDP wine estates, the best of them probably being Meyer-Naekel. Meyer-Naekel also makes a superb Riesling which easily competes with its brothers from the Mosel valley and dumps a lot of much more expensive Rheingau Rieslings.
Other important wineries include Deutzerhof and Nelles.
What to pay: A good Spätburgunder from the Ahr region costs at least 8 EUR -- prices above 20 EUR/bottle are not extraordinary.
all shop owners put their goods on racks, manly clothing, out on the street, to entice customers to buy as well as to stretch the shops capacity a little, this is very common custom in Germany's Cities
There are many craft shops, making a stroll through Ahrweiler's pedestrian zone a great experience. Better quality and prices than in some of the big city shopping districts where high rents have to be paid and are passed on to the customers.
What to buy: local crafts, candles, kitchenware, food, household items
I just tried a bottle of the new 2003 standard Pinot Noir from Adeneuer vineyards and am quite impressed -- it's truly incredible, how balanced and elegant this young wine already tastes.
Adeneuer is one of the shootings stars of the Ahr valley. A member of the VDP association, the vinery is headed by two brothers. It has received numerous national and international awards for its Pinot Noirs
What to buy: 2003 Ahrweiler Spätburgunder -- trocken (dry)
- A great wine to go along with antipasti, tapas, crackers, all kinds of light snacks.
What to pay: Around EUR 9 per bottle, very good value for money