Sunday 26th September

My final day at the Grosser Ring VdP auction and we head off down to Bad Kreuznach for the Nahe and Ahr wines. I spend the morning tasting my way round the growers, again some of startling quality (e.g. Schäfer-Fröhlich) and others not so. We do not stay for the entire duration of the auction and journey back to Kloster Erbach for a comprehensive tasting of the 2009 Grosse Gewäches. To be honest, there are too many people to do much in the way of meaningful tasting and so I retire to the press room to join a small group in a Q&A session with Dr. Decker, a historian who has just published a book on the VdP. Trust me, the tales he has unearthed during World War II are astonishing, complex and sobering. It is no wonder a group of us surround him afterwards, imploring him to publish his work in English. It is then time to return to England. My flight is not for a couple of hours and so I join my friends Ken and Mimi in the waiting lounge for a good old chinwag. The BA attendant unnecessarily rude to Mimi as we enter the plane: the wrong person to be impolite to. Quite rightly, by the time we land at Heathrow she has been offered two bottles of champagne in compensation. Given that she is an MW student, I sincerely hope it’s nothing crap.

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