Wine Fest!

Spring Wine Fest.
When you stay in any place for an extended period of time, and six weeks is quite a long stay, two things happen. One, you know a lot about the place and walk on autopilot. You know that in this church they hold a lovely organ music little concert at certain times; there is a good sale in that store; a museum is open when everything else is closed. You know when to stay away from some places. The local team playing a game and lots of rowdy fans descend on the town; very soon it seems that they have beer streaming out of their ears. No thanks. You know that as anywhere, Thursday is the day when all the food supermarkets stock their shelves with newly delivered produce, so if you didn’t find, say, your favorite yogurt on Wednesday you’ll definitely find it next day or Friday. You know when to stop by at that nice hot foods counter to get a grilled chicken, frikadellen, fish, pig knuckle and of course all sorts of sausage for your lunch or dinner. Though there is always something it is better to visit that particular place around noon. Fresh breads and sandwiches are to be bought practically around the clock everywhere, but on Sunday only the ones at the train station are open. And so on.
The other important fact you learn is this: every day you may discover something new. We went out yesterday, a Saturday, expecting it to be quiet, with the large weekly market drawing all the population to the large square in front of the cathedral. And we saw lots of little kiosks, tents, stalls all over the place! The big signs and placards declared it was “Mainz Wein Fruehling”; one does not need to know German to understand that it is a town spring wine feast. If anybody is in doubt the handmade menus, the price lists, the abundance of wine, the glasses one can either return to get back a euro or take with them, the swirling crowds enjoying the whole tasting process, make the ru clear. Traditionally what you see is many varieties of Trocken, dry but quite strong wine. It seems that the Germans do not like sweet wines. We observed, moved around, looked at listened, but did not degustate anything, not being aficionados. Such an event clearly fosters a community spirit. We saw lots of people walking with wine glasses; no drunks. This shows you that there is a cultural tradition in this wine producing land. Wine tasting is not about getting drunk, it’s about tasting and buying what you like.
True, one can buy good wine in any store, and choose from a great variety of wines at the market. But having a separate event is so much fun.

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