Wine and German — What you like and would like

Screen Shot 2011 03 20 At 10 26 53

Wine and German — What you like and would like

Every spring and autumn there is a wine exhibition in Zurich. Its a great place to go and try new wines, see what is available and even buy wines. A good sales person won’t try to sell you on the most expensive wine right away, nor suggest the cheapest wine in the selection without asking you, the guest and potential customer, what you like. By being able to discuss what you like and would like, you will be able to function better in sales situations and get what you really want.

While using a complex grammatical structure, this is actually quite simple and many of you have been using it from the first day you started learning German. To do this we need the verbs haben and mögen and their variations.

Haben is the German verb for “to have” and we use it also in combination with the word gern to express the idea of “liking”, that is to like something. What is really being expressed is the idea that the subject enjoys having something.

Ex.

Ich habe Weisswein gern.

  • I like white wine.

Thomas hat Bordeaux Weine gern.

  • Thomas likes Bordeaux wines.

**Note you can use the word gern with other verbs to suggest that you like that activity.

Ex.

Ich trinke gern Weisswein.

  • I like to drink white wine.

Thomas sammelt gern Bordeaux Weine.

  • Thomas likes to collect Bordeaux wines.

The idea of “liking” can also be easily expressed with German modal verb mögen, which literally means “to like”. When we use it to talk about things we like, we can use it on its own.

Ex.

Ich mag Weisswein.

  • I like white wine.

Thomas mag Bordeaux Weine.

  • Thomas likes Bordeaux wines.

To express that we like doing an action, we use it with that verb.

Ex.

Ich mag Weisswein trinken.

  • I like to drink white wine.

Thomas mag Bordeaux Weine sammeln.

  • Thomas likes to collect Bordeaux.

Here are the conjugations of the above verbs.

We use the above forms that is the simple present form to express facts. You want to use these to express to the sales person or agent what you regularity drink for instance so give him or her an idea of what they should recommend to you. However, you’ve often done some research and know what you would like to taste, in which case you want to express the polite notion of “would like”.

When talking about “would like” German speakers are a little torn between the two forms. Both are correct, but one is used more in the northern German speaking area and one more in the southern German speaking area.

Hätten gern = southern German speaking area

Möchten = northern German speaking area

Ex.

Ich hätte gern ein Glas vom Felton Road Pinot Noir.

  • I would like a glass of the Felton Road Pinot Noir.

Ich möchte ein Glas vom Felton Road Pinot Noir.

  • I would like a glass of the Felton Road Pinot Noir.

Wir hätten gern vier Gläser vom Schaumwein.

  • We would like four glasses of the sparkling wine.

Wir möchten vier Gläser vom Schaumwein.

  • We would like four glasses of the sparkling wine.

Here are the conjugations of the above used verbs.

Now it’s time for a little role play using the new language:

Characters:

der Verkäufer / die Verkäuferin = the sales person

der Kunde / die Kundin = the customer

—-

Verkäufer: Willkommen bei Weinhändler Schmidt.

"Ich hätte gern einen Schluck von dem Zweigelt."

Kunde: Guten Tag.

Verkäufer: Wir spezialisieren uns auf Weine aus Österreich. Was für Weine trinken Sie gern?

Kunde: Ich trinke gern schwere Rotweine aus Südfrankreich.

Verkäufer: Oh, dann habe ich etwas für Sie, probieren Sie diesen Blaufrankisch aus dem Burgenland.

Kunde: Vielen Dank. (probiert)

Verkäufer: Und… Wie schmeckt er?

Kunde: Naja, der gefällt mir schon, aber ich hätte gern etwas kräftigeres, haben Sie so etwas?

Verkäufer: Ja, selbstverständlich. Probieren Sie mal diesen Zweigelt. Er wurde 18 Monate im neuen amerikanischen Barrique ausgebaut.

Kunde: Das ist ja interessant. (probiert)

Verkäufer: Schmeckt er ihnen besser als der letzte?

Kunde: Doch, aber er haut immer noch nicht hin. Zum Schluss hätte ich gern einen Schluck von der Cuvée.

Verkäufer: Die Cuvée ist mein Lieblingswein.

Kunde: Ich bin gespannt. (probiert)

Verkäufer: Und… Gefällt er Ihnen?

Kunde: Genau so was hätte ich gern im Keller. Ich möchte zwölf Flaschen davon bitte bestellen.

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