Have you ever asked yourself what happens if you stage a spontaneous wine pairing with one of Germany’s most celebrated sommeliers at one of Berlin’s most dangerous spots? At 3 o’clock in the morning? Behold the story of the legendary Kotti-kebab-wine pairing.
Berlin is Kebab capital and if you ask a local, there are really only two beverages you can pair with your kebab experience: Beer or Ayran – where Ayran is commonly acknowledged to be the perfect drink to go with your (hopefully) sensational Döner or Adana experience.
“…what happens if you stage a spontaneous wine pairing with one of Germany’s most celebrated sommeliers at one of Berlin’s most dangerous spots?”
One year ago I helped Kavita Meelu organize the first Kebabistan street food festival, a hommage to Berlin kebab culture, where we assembled the city’s finest kebab vendors during one day of extraordinary meat grilling. In the weeks leading up to it, we interviewed several public characters as a part of our #kebablove campaign. One of them was Billy Wagner, the infamous owner of fine dining restaurant Nobelhart & Schmutzig and one of the most celebrated sommeliers in the whole country.
What was supposed to be a simple affair of asking Billy a couple of questions about his relation to kebab, turned into something different altogether when we met Billy at his regular after-service destination Doyum in Kreuzberg. In the trunk of his car he had a whole box of wines and glasses and he spontaneously decided that a kebab wine pairing would be exactly what we needed to do instead.
“Ladies and gents, behold the answer to the eternal question “What wine goes with your kebab?” but also what happens when you do a wine tasting at Kotti at 3 o’clock in the morning.”
Our suggestion to do the whole thing at Doyum received no love from the staff, we had to improvise and ended up doing the whole tasting right on Kottbusser Tor, in front of one of the closed subway entrance, with the whole 3am action of Kotti madness happening around us. The result is a legendary Berlin film, originally only released in a very short version, but now finally available in full length. Ladies and gents, behold the answer to the eternal question “What wine goes with your kebab?” but also what happens when you do a wine tasting at Kotti at 3 o’clock in the morning. All credit to Billy for making this happen.