Schweizer’s Restaurant in Detroit and a Red Wine

At one time Schweizer’s Restaurant was the old restaurant in Detroit, it started in 1862.  I took a date there when I was still in high school, as I attended high school in downtown Detroit and the restaurant was downtown as well.  From the outside it was not an inviting structure, after all it was an old painted brick building.  On the inside it was a warm inviting room, but even in my youth I knew that the restaurant had seen better days.  There were still a few German restaurants even in the downtown area at that time.


The truth is told neither my date nor I were that up on German cuisine but we both ordered some of the specialties of the house and ended up with a table full of plates.  We had Sauerbraten, Potato Pancakes and Wiener schnitzel.  All I remember is that the food was all very heavy and filling, which when you are a teenager made perfect sense.


When it came to the wine list, I knew enough not to pick a Zeller Schwarze Kat or a Blue Nun wine.  I had chosen a wine from the Rheingau district of Germany; actually, I was tossing darts at the wine list as my wine knowledge was limited.  I was aware that the Rheingau was considered one of the finest areas in Germany for wines and the wines were noted for their body and character, as opposed to being a delicate light tasting wine.  At that time I figured that I should go with the gusto of a big wine.  The wine chosen was a Schloss Reinhartshausener 1971er Erbacher Siegelsberg Spatlese.  The real reason that I chose this wine was that it was a red wine and I thought that was unique, because I thought of German wines as basically all white wines.   The label listed the grape varietal as Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) as is considered the elite varietal of red wine as Riesling is to white wines.   As I look back, this was not one of the important vineyards of Erbach, but it did suit my wishes at the moment and I could say even then that I tried something different.

About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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4 Responses to Schweizer’s Restaurant in Detroit and a Red Wine

  1. Interesting indeed. At the time, there were not many pinot noirs around in the Rheingau…now, German pinot noirs are winning award after award at international tastings.

    And, I envy you for the sauerbraten…one of my favorite dishes, with potato dumplings and red cabbage. Need to put that on my list for dishes I need to cook soon.

    • Oliver,
      Sometimes looking back I am amazed at some of the wines I have enjoyed.
      I am sorry to say that all of the German restaurants that I have wrote about, are no longer around. There is one in Dearborn, but alas they do not have a liquor or wine license.
      From reading some of your posts, your cooking abilities might put a lot of cooks to shame.
      – John

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