Die Weinküche is not your average Supperclub – in addition to being friendlier than most, the majority of their popular events are often focused around a particular region’s wine with most paired food choices being based around the wine, rather than vice-versa.
Run by passionate husband and wife duo Holger & Kerstin in their flat in Mitte, we caught up with them to find out a bit more about their supperclubs and wine-tasting evenings…
You have created a wonderful supperclub with a difference, making wine the hero and using food to complement the wine’s region, rather than vice versa. How did this idea come about and how has it grown?
The idea for out themed supperclub nights has come about from our travels we have done together. Since we’ve known each other, we’ve always loved to travel to different wine regions and always made sure to visit different vineyards and get to know the regional cuisine and specialities.
After our travels we often invited friends over and presented them with the great wines we’ve found. As we also love to cook, we always dished up a 5-course-menu as well. We soon realised, after our friends’ evenings had grown to up to 10 guests at a time, that we really enjoy it and that we would love to have guests over regularly and do our “wine travels” with them. As we can’t afford to have a lot of guests all the time though, we decided to turn our hobby into a supperclub.
How do you go about sourcing your wines for the supperclub nights?
First we decide on the “must-haves“ – the typical wines from a region which most definitely have to feature in our evenings, e.g. Chenin Blanc & oaked Chardonnay for South Africa. The other wines we decide on depending on what food we will serve with those, as well as wines we personally really love and wines that are a bit more surprising than the usual choices.
We trial the different dishes we want to share with the different wines, to ensure they all work smoothly together. That often leads to us changing our initial ideas as we realise some don’t work as well as expected, so there is always a lot of preparation involved in creating the perfect evening.
How many people can attend Die Weinküche and what do guests tend to enjoy the most about it?
There is space for up to 14 guests at our table. Naturally, the guests enjoy the 5-course menu and the matching wines, but a lot of people also find it really intriguing to find out more about the background of the wines and to try them “under instructions” before discussing them in further detail.
At our supperclub evenings the food often can be a bit more in the foreground of the guests’ attention, but at our wine tasting evening the focus is very clearly just on the wines, as we only serve one or two courses with some nibbles.
However, in our opinion, what our guests appreciate the most is how personal we make our evenings. It’s really important to us that we can eat together with our guests, chat with them and create a homely atmosphere. It’s not uncommon for us to hear from guests at the end of the night that they felt like they’ve spent an evening at a friend’s house and we also tend to hug goodbye even with people we didn’t know before.
That’s probably what distinguishes us the most from “normal” supperclubs: We are hosts out of passion!
How many courses of food do you serve and is it challenging to match the regional food you may be unfamiliar with cooking to its wine?
At our supperclub nights we serve 5 courses, 1-2 at our wine tasting evening. We often buy cooking books on our travels and then try a lot of the recipes at home.
We often cook up to 12 dishes in preparation until we find the right ones, but we absolutely love it to try new things and so far we always found some fantastic dishes. We have also slowly started moving away from cooking 100% regional only and creatively integrate country-specific ingredients as well.
What is your favourite wine shop or bar in Berlin and why?
We have two favourites!
The first one is Cordobar in Mitte – it’s right around the corner from us and has a great barlike / going-out atmosphere. The wine list is great and the food is also spectacular – not cheap, but a fantastic range available.
The second one is Hammers Weinkostbar in Kreuzberg – it feels very homely, you can chat to the lovely owner, and they have great wines and fantastic cheese and meat platters. We have spent a lot of cosy evenings there!
If you could only pick red & white wine from one region to drink for the rest of your lives, which region would you choose and why?
South Africa (the Cape region) – the wine from there is so varied and they have great white wine as well as red wine. They grow a lot of different grapes, which in turn are also grown in many different ways. And not to forget, the matching Cape-cuisine is incredibly tasty!
Finish the following line: “For me, Berlin is…”
…the best place for Die Weinküche, as there are so many foodies and wine lovers confined in a relatively small space … and everyone can travel home by public transport after the events!
Surely now you’re keen to attend a Weinküche event ? See what they have got coming up and book yourself a seat – prices are VERY reasonable and we’re sure you’ll have a night you won’t forget!