Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hapsburg - Renaissance Trip - Day Six - The Wineless Wine Road

The district of Austria in which Graz is located is known as Steiermark or Styria in English. It is one of the premier wine growing areas in Austria noted for making a variety of very dry, drinkable white wines. There are a number of weinstrasse or wine roads for tourism. On Tuesday we decided that we would give one of these a try and hopefully do some tasting and wine acquisition for the rest of our stay here.

Well the countryside was gorgeous, we were favored by spectacular weather.  However our attempts to taste and acquire wine were a blow out. It seems that wine tourism as we see in the major wine growing areas of the US such as California, Oregon and Washington where wineries have extensive tasting rooms and sell substantial portions of their wine to visitors and through their own wine clubs does not exist. So in spite of stopping at numerous places and dealing with innumerable people looking at us like aliens (because of our inability to speak German) no wine was tasted.

In fact we were getting to a point that is dangerously recognized among all the branches of the de-I clan known as the hunger crabs (ominous music).  Wife, who was in much better shape than I was (because she wasn't doing any of the driving!) said that the next town we stopped at would be where we ate. It turned out to be a another very small, pretty village. There was basically one restaurant in the middle of town. It appeared to be a couple that owned it. The woman was very nice. We ended up having a lovely meal. It's common for restaurants in Europe to have 'menu' for lunch which is a fixed price meal consisting of some first course, a main course and sometimes a dessert or beverage. It's usually a pretty good deal.  I'm sure that's what we ended up with and it was darn good (I'll go over it in detail in the pictures).

Of course no meal would be complete without some miscommunication along the way. Actually considering the fact we hardly speak a word of the language, it's amazing we don't have way more miscommunications. Thus far when we've been eating out, I will ask for some wine and water and we we will get a small carafe of wine and a bottle of water. Today we ended up with a full bottle of wine and carafe of water. As I was driving, I couldn't drink that much of the wine. Fortunately First Officer Wife understands her duty and was able to consume the majority of it. This did have the consequence of her roaming around the streets of the town singing German drinking songs until she sobered up a bit but no one seemed to mind (no that didn't happen at all BUT it would have been funny if it had!)

Das Photos

 We went through all kinds of scenic areas and towns.
This was the town of Ligist complete with it's own castle ruins and pretty modern fountain

As is often the case when I am in photo Sherpa mode and we are driving in countries were the roads to put it politely are 'narrow' finding places to stop and take pictures is not easy. Most of the time, I need to stay with the car as we will be parked in a private way or precarious place. That means I don't get many scenery shots myself

Our meal
Keep in mind that in addition to the food below we had a whole bottle of wine, dessert and coffee and the total was $46!

This was a cream of pumpkin soup
But it was pumpkin soup of a whole different order
The cream component was this foam on the top like a cappuccino, it was a very savory flavored soup, not sweet like US style pumpkin soups. And it was flavored with kuerbiskernoel, this is toasted pumpkin seed oil and is renowned in the area. Wife and I are getting really hooked on this stuff. If you get a dinner invitation sometime after we get back you can be sure to have this as part of your meal :)

Underneath the lettuce was a potato salad, green beans, kidney beans, and shredded cabbage all in a vinaigrette made with the  kuerbiskernoel

Our lovely hostess when we ordered this called it 'roast chicken' but we were very happy with fried chicken. I (by accident checking out a web site on our wine glasses) went to the local area's web site and found out that fried chicken is a local specialty. If you think about wiener schnitzel and all its variants, frying food is a big part of culinary life here.

We shared a piece of Black Forest Cake. It had a gingerbready taste and the big cherries on the bottom were tart.

 Gasthaus Nabernik
Our savior.
We were sitting by the red umbrella on the right.

The town in which we found Gasthaus Nabernik.
I think it means everyone has leg problems or it has something to do with baths (like spas)

Lots of color and flowers as we took our post-lunch (sober up) walk

The spa industry in this part of the world is very competitive!
This area specializes in providing vacations and treatments for English smoked fish.


alexis said...

that meal looked like it was fabulous! Maybe cuz you're traveling out of season you had such bad luck on the wine route? Or who knows, as you suggest could be they just don't do that there, but then why would they promote it?

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

A good sober-up walk of an important part of any vacation, I think. It's means you've enjoyed your (liquid) meal.