Rheingauer Weinwoche

August 24, 2010

One of our favorite wineries at the fest

Wein, wein und mehr wein! It has been a lovely, indulgent week with the Weinfest going on just in town. How easy it has been to walk into the Stadtmitte, enjoy a night out with friends with several bottles of wine and then walk back home. The wine festivals back in the states have got nothing on this week-long celebration!

The imposing Rathaus and Marktkirsche overlooking the fest

A big plus of the Weinfest? The incredibly affordable wine! When looking at the cost of glasses (usually between €2-3) compared to the price of bottles (between €9-20), it was hard to pass up just buying whole bottles, especially when going with a group. Bottles of wine at wine festivals in California are much more expensive, though not any more spectacular than what we enjoyed. Not a bad perk to living in German wine country, I must say.

Willkommen to the Weinfest - pull up a bench and stay awhile

The abundant tables and benches allowed for people to settle in for hours of wine enjoyment and catching up with friends, whereas in the states there's never seating at such festivals and so people are encouraged to keep moving, rather sit and relax. Another check for the German way of life.

Poffertjes: best fest food ever!

Secondary to the wine (though not by much!), was the fest food. We enjoyed the usual Wurst - curry and regular wurst with bread - but also indulged in Weinfestbrezel (bigger than my head), banana and Nutella crepes, and my new favorite thing, Poffertjes - these kind of mini Dutch doughy, pancakey things served warm off the griddle with powdered sugar and many sauce options. My favorite was probably the vanilla sauce, but the hangover-inducing Grand Marnier-soaked ones were pretty amazing as well.

Bailey can't wait for next year - & more Weinfestbrezel!

It was hard not to compare the Weinwoche here with similar (but oh-so-different!) festivals back in California. Aside from having better, cheaper wine, yummier food and just being a much bigger celebration in general, there were the obvious cultural differences. First, the diversity of the attendants was much more impressive, which I'm certain had to do not only with the sense of community here, but also with the much lower drinking age. This was no middle-aged, wine snob event. Considering the varying age of people there, I was also surprised at everyone's restrained drinking behavior. Usually, if a group of teens, 20-somethings (and heck, even 30- and 40-somethings) had all day and night to sit and drink continuously anywhere else, there would be some questionable behavior. Aside from the one girl we saw the first night getting sick (who looked about 13 years old), no one was loud, embarrassing or otherwise acting like publicly drunken fools. Well, there was that American... 

While there has been a lot of wonderful things to do and fests to attend in the summertime, I must say this was the most enjoyable. If you're thinking of visiting Germany, I highly recommend this time of year. 

In even more exciting summer plans, our countdown to Spain has officially begun. Mallorca, Barcelona....we're coming. I can't wait!

*Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische