Two of my closest wine friends are ManSoo Hwang from Korea and Yutaka Kitajima from Japan. ManSoo and Yutaka have a long friendship going that they forged during their studies as graduate students in Trier, Germany. Trier is in the heart of the Mosel valley, and Mosel as well as Saar and Ruwer (two smaller rivers) are easy to reach. Both of them fell in
love with Mosel rieslings and over the years became tremendous experts. Yutaka has been blogging on Mosel wines for several years and has been a contributor to the Japanese wine magazine Vinotheque since 2005. ManSoo is a certified wine advisor, graduated from the German Wine and Sommelier College in Koblenz and is also a wine journalist.
Both of them have played a huge role in my developing a better feel for and understanding of riesling. Usually at ManSoo’s home we would have long wine tastings, often with Korean food (a so good pairing that it goes beyond imagination…but that will be the subject of another entry). We would each bring some bottles, and then we would do blind tastings. We would discuss the wines, we would try to place them geographically as well as age-wise and varietal. All that mattered was why we made a particular argument. It was tremendous fun. While they both share immense knowledge and experience, they were always willing to indulge me and later Nina, too. I owe a lot to these two.
Besides being great friends and wine lovers, they also are both exceptionally good at taking artful photographs and that is where I am heading with this post. Several of their photographs and pictures by others have made it into a (seemingly) gorgeous photo exhibition in Seoul, Korea, organized by Chan Jun Park. The exhibition is called “Mosel! Nature, Terroir, People” and its opening reception was last night (naturally with tons of wine and great food). When I saw photos on a friend’s facebook page today, I wished even more I could have been there. I asked permission to share some with you, because they bring home why I care so much about German wine, riesling, and the Mosel. And my friends…I am not sure which pictures are by whom, and some of them are not even by ManSoo or Yutaka, but it will give you a feel. Also, I am not sharing the high-resolution photos, just shots that my friend Shinju Lim, who was at the exhibition, took. Seeing riesling and the Mosel celebrated in Korea warms my heart.
While I will see ManSoo in June in Germany, Yutaka is now living in Yokohama, so it might be a little while until we get together again. But we sure will.
You can see more of Yutaka’s stunning photos here.
Here is to you, ManSoo and Yutaka! Great work.
The exhibition is on display until 8 June 2012 (so hurry up, if you are in Seoul!) in the Hilstate Gallery in Seoul. Opening hours from 10am-6pm, free admission.
More photos can be found at this post.