Yesterday, as Bill and I were making our way to the Wolf and Bear Park, I wondered aloud about the annual wine tasting and market near Weil der Stadt. Last year, my German friend Susanne told me about this annual event in which six vintners from near Riquewihr journey to Weil der Stadt to sell their wines to Germans. Bill and I went on Saturday, April 1, 2017 and enjoyed a couple of hours tasting wines. It culminated in us bringing home lots of French wines and having our pictures taken by a photographer who worked for the local paper.
Last night, as I was enjoying yet another viewing of The Breakfast Club (set on March 24, 1984, don’tcha know?), I got a private message from another German friend… Gerhard! He sent me a link to a Facebook post about the event and although Bill and I were tentatively planning to visit an Easter market, we decided we’d rather stock up on wine. So we went to the wine tasting today, which is going on from 11:00am until 5:00pm. Like last year, it’s held in the Festhalle in Merklingen, which is very close to Weil der Stadt. And… I noticed that just about everyone who was selling wine last year was there this year, too…
Bill and I tried wines from all six vintners and came home with bottles from all of them, although a couple of vintners got more of our business than the others did. We did have a surreal moment as we were tasting wines. I happened to look down and saw an article about last year… and sure enough, there was a picture of Bill and me. And I was wearing the very same shirt today as I was wearing last year. I almost wore a sweater this year, but it was so warm that I changed at the last minute. Next year, if we’re still here, I will have to make a point of wearing red.
Last year, we were smart enough to eat before we shopped. I should mention that they do serve food at this particular “fest”, but we were too focused on tasting and buying wines to eat. However, I did notice that this year, a lot of people were eating the food provided by a local restaurant. It seemed like a lot of seniors had come to try some wine, maybe not so much to buy a bottle. Although I know some Americans know about this festival, I didn’t notice this year or last that a lot showed up. I think maybe that was why last year, we made the paper! No one talked to us this year… which is just as well, since I cringe at the sight of myself so happy in a German paper.
Here are a few pictures from today’s festivities. I’m so happy to see the weather improving. We’re now entering the time of year when weekend activities will become the norm!
This is an annual event, so if you missed it this year, you can catch it next year…
Pay 2 euros Pfand at the door, get your wine glass, and start tasting wines to your heart’s content. If you find one you really like and want a full glass, you can purchase one. Or you can buy a bottle or a case… This year, we left with 23 bottles… same as last year. Turn in your wine glass as you leave and you’ll get your Pfand back.
Bill checks out the wines. I remember this stand in particular was the last one we hit last year. This year, it was our second stop. And the lady who helped us spoke English, so we purchased six bottles of wine. It was good wine anyway, though.
Lots of people enjoying lunch.
Bill very carefully tasting wine.
I said something naughty to get him to make this face.
It was at this table that I noticed…
That there was a picture of Bill and me on this guy’s table. It was a bit surreal. And I was wearing the same top, one that I don’t wear much this year but decided to wear at the last minute. I definitely won’t wear blue next year.
The guy on the right noticed I was taking pictures.
I tried to be non chalant.
At this writing, this particular festival is going to be over in less than two hours. Apologies for not attending yesterday. On Saturdays, they have live music and run until midnight. On Sunday, they close at 5:00pm.
If you like Alsatian wine, I highly recommend marking your calendar. They’ll be back next year at about the same time. Or… you could just visit lovely Alsace and do a wine run, which is probably more fun, albeit more expensive!