Any wine lover within striking distance of Basel or Alsace should think seriously about a trip to the Restaurant de la Gare in the tiny village of Guewenheim just west of Mulhouse and about 40 minutes' drive south west of Colmar.
I have just been tasting wines from Alsace's acclaimed 2007 vintage and will report on these at the end of next week. But I can tell you that a high point was lunch at this little haven of sound cooking and fantastic wine prices.
This relatively simple place was established by Antoine Schaegelen in 1874 and is still run by his great grand-daughter Annick and her chef husband (convenient, that) Michel Siedel who just happens to be absolutely passionate about his wine cellar and about keeping prices fair. On their sunny terrace I had Siedel's foie gras de canard au naturel (€18) and zander with choucroute (€19) while Nick has a rich, local snail speciality and friture of carp in beer with frites and salad (€17). We enjoyed a half of Roumier 2002 Chambolle Musigny (€35) and Kientzler, Gaisberg Riesling 2001 Alsace (€26).
Here are a few sample prices:
Pierre Morey 1990 Montrachet €290
Coche Dury 2001 Meursault €69
Ch de Fonsalette 1999 Côtes du Rhône €30
Ch Sociando Mallet 1990 Haut-Médoc €125
Ch Montrose 1990 St Estèphe €290
Ch Margaux 1983 Margaux €300
Cepparello 2004 Toscana €80
Egly Ouriet NV Champagne €50
Pol Roger, Cuvée Winston Churchill 1990 Champagne €136
The welcome could not have been warmer – despite the fact that, thanks to a truck of liquid cement's having shed its load over the autoroute, we did not arrive until after 2pm.
Restaurant de la Gare, 68116 Guewenheim, France tel +33 3 89 82 51 29