Out of character…

September 22, 2007


As some of you know, I’m not exactly what you would call a wine connaisseur. I can’t even spell “connaisseur” without help. The official Sommerer Family Wine is Mogen David Grape Concord (Which is produced by the company that makes Franzia and Corbett Canyon and that was formerly part of Coca-Cola). Usually it is consumed in a sprite/wine mixture. So you can see that my wine background has been a little lacking.

But the occational situation arises where I have a glass of wine, so I’ve had enough wine that I know when I like something, but I wouldn’t necessarily know ahead of time from reading that, “This exquisite, well balanced Riesling with its fruity, flowery bouquet is the perfect accompaniment to light meals, dessert, or deliciously on its own.” Much less by knowing that it was a desert wine, a red/white wine, a dry/wet wine, usw.

But the wine I’ve liked the best is the bottle that Joe Hurl dropped off on our doorstep about a month ago. And, of course, I haven’t seen it anywhere. I also haven’t seen Joe since then. So if you’ve seen this wine, or if you’ve seen Joe, could you let me know? I tried looking on some wine websites (for the wine, not for Joe) but I can’t really make sense of all that wine stuff.

For more than 500 years, the archbishops of the Germain town or Trier would escape to the country to enjoy the fine Rieslings grown at their summer estate, Sommerau Castle. In Germany, Sommerau means 'summer meadow', an area of wild flowers and vines.

The bottle has words like: “Sommerau Castle Reisling 2005 Qualitatswein germany Mosel ~ Saar ~ Ruwer” on the front and “imported by prestige wine group, princeton, mn” on the back if that help any of you wine buffs out there. I assure you, it was scant help to me.

About Lloyd

Lloyd Sommerer is a middle/high school teacher who likes to build websites, read books, grow beards, make fun of Lauren’s prototypes and eat the sauce of the picante.

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14 Responses to “Out of character…”

  1. Peggy Said on:

    Woo-hoo!! Someone or someones else who drink wine with sprite. I can hold my head up high once again, and finally let go of all the shame!

    (I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the wine pictured)


  2. Deanne Said on:

    Lauren, I am also no conneseur (see, I can’t spell it either, and I’m too lazy to scroll all the way up to the top of the page to get the right spelling), but I have enjoyed many different reislings. I recommend that you try other reislings. I watched the lady who wrote the wine bible on public television, and she said that reisling is a great wine before dinner--light and crisp and just right to get your tummy ready.

    Our French friends Olivier & Dominique would say that you should drink wine regularly and with friends, no matter the price tag and then that every once in a while, you should take out the expensive stuff.

    So drink on! No matter the brand!


  3. Lauren Said on:

    Actaully, Lloyd wrote this fine article! It’s easy to miss that, since he writes only when I am feeling bad, and usually I have the stamina and immune system of a preschool teacher, but something is currently wrong with me. (Still ‘blah’.) Anyway, I’m with you, Deanne. The label/taste doesn’t matter so much to me. I’ll drink anything. I’ll go a step further, though and say -- Target Box Wine. THAT’S my wine.


  4. christina Said on:

    This may or may not be the same brand of whine, but Sam’s Club caries a Reisling in a blue bottle. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name or anything about it except that we always buy the Reisling at Sam’s in the blue bottle because it is the one that tastes good and costs about $7 a bottle. It’s cheap and sweet, which is all I require in wine.


  5. Brad Said on:

    We have a booze super-mega-store right by school. It’s the size of a small WalMart. I’ll look for it next time I’m there.


  6. Jill Said on:

    I’m a huge Reisling fan, too and I’ve found Chateau Ste. Michelle Vineyard to be my favorite and available most places. The BEST wine, though, if you like the sweet stuff like a Reisling, is called Gewurztraminer. Scary to pronounce, yes, but SO GOOD. Chateau Ste. Michelle makes my favorite of these too. http://www.ste-michelle.org Good stuff, I tell ya.


  7. Beth Said on:

    I like the sweet stuff…but really, give me a good dark red wine. Merlot or cabernet…
    Embrace the Mom-ness!! (That’s for Brad, it may or may not confuse the rest of you.)


  8. Lauren's dad Said on:

    Not to mention the not-so-well known Riesling and Gewurstraminer from Stoney Mesa Winery, Cedaredge, Colorado. Surely the crisp taste is due to the clean air and pure water found at the 6200′ elevation.


  9. Kristina Said on:

    Lloyd and Lauren, The product Sommerau Castle is available at the following stores:

    HY-VEE #10 OMAHA

    Also, our friend that was talking about the big blue bottle at Sam’s club…it is called Johann Falkenburg Riesling. It is a 1.5ltr that is priced for approx: $9.00. It is now available at all Sam’s Clubs through the end of the year. It is seasonal.

    I am glad to hear you like the product. Please try our Gewurztraminer. The riesling was just awarded 88 pts, silver medal and best buy from the Beverage Testing Institute and the Gewurztraminer was awarded 90 pts, gold medal and best buy.

    I hope this helps. If you have further questions, please contact us at info@prestigewinegroup.com. We put our website on all our bottles in hopes that anyone and everyone who has a question, concern, etc, would contact us.

    Thank you,

    P.S. My boyfriend drink sprite in his wine as well. He will be happy he’s not alone and that I will have to stop giving him dirty looks for doing so. 🙂


    • Lloyd Said on:

      Yeah, we’re actually pretty good at this interweb thing, and wouldn’t have had any trouble if there had been a URL on the bottle. We did finally find some (at Hy-Vee), and that screwtop bottle does have the URL on it. The corked bottle that we were given does not.

      Our second bottle of Sommerau Castle Riesling was also very good, and we will certainly be trying your other wines as well. We’d also like to see many other people find out about your wines so that you continue to produce them for us to enjoy.

      But herein lies a problem. You probably found our website by searching for “Sommerau Castle Riesling” at google, yahoo or msn (we’re the in the top 3 links on all those sites). Ideally, the website for your wine would be the first link that people see. Unfortunately, your website isn’t setup for that. In order for these search engines to find your website you need to have words on the site for them to “index”. If you just have a picture it doesn’t mean anything to the search engines.

      There are other things wrong with it as well. The page content is contained in an iframe, and that looks odd to search engines. The page doesn’t contain and description, author or keyword meta tags, and that makes it harder for some search engines to index your site. The actual URL of your site is long and cumbersome:


      And your webserver is misconfigured so that sommeraucastle.com returns an error message instead of automatically forwarding visitors to http://www.sommeraucastle.com.

      Please feel free to pass these comments on to whoever is in charge of your websites. If they just give you a blank look, you might want to splurge on a little more training for them.


      • Lloyd Said on:

        Hey, I know everyone’s interested, so I checked back and the real website for Sommerau Castle Riesling is a little improved. Instead of just an image, it’s an image and some text. Still no title or meta tags, and the whole thing is inside a iframe, so it still isn’t on any search engines, but they are getting better.


  10. English Teacher Said on:

    Fun posts. Thanks for the smiles. Just in case your spelling was not deliberately humorous, the word is spelled “connoisseur.”


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