Cool Cities sits down with the journalist and wine bistro owner Peter Brock:
How is it that a journalist ended up opening a wine bistro?
There’s this joke: Two journalists walk by a bar… (End)
Actually, it had little to do with my affinity to alcoholic beverages, as expected from those in my profession. It has a lot more to do with my personal biography. My cousins own a winery in the Palatinate, which means I pretty much grew up drinking wine. When I moved to Berlin in 1994, you were asked in restaurants if you preferred red or white. There was no good selection of German wine. As a connoisseur with the sort of background I have, a nice glass of wine with a meal is very important to me. It only seemed natural that I would someday join the industry myself.
Since when has Mauerwinzer been around?
After a lot of brainstorming, my partner Roland Wolff and I opened the shop in August 2015.
How do guests respond to your unique offering?
The crowd is quite eclectic. Many of our guests are from the neighborhood, using our bistro as an extension to their own living room, swinging by after work for a glass of wine or a beer (we serve craft beer from a Friedrichshain-based brewery). The rest is tourists that pass by after paying a visit to the former border strip looking for a spot to kick back or to buy a bottle of German wine as a souvenir.
Tell us a bit about your kitchen.
As many others like us do, we offer the sacred pair of wine and cheese, but with a regional focus. Our organic cheese comes from German cheesemongers, and our cold cuts are from select butchers from wine regions. We also offer fresh tarte flambée from our stone oven.
Any plans for the future?
(Laughs) The idea behind Mauerwinzer might work alongside the Great Wall of China. But I think we’ll hold off on any further plans until the BER airport finally opens.
Peter's tips for Berlin: