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Vienna is for Wine Lovers

By Anne, the Voluptuary

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Vienna (called Wien {pronounced vine} in German) has the most vineyards within a city limit than any other capital city in the world. Though I am a wine enthusiast, I had never thought about traveling to a destination solely based on its notable characteristics, but once I learned about Vienna’s wine culture it was the deciding factor which led to my brief visit to the Austrian capital a few years ago.

Culinary travel is not something I have mastered or even tout as one of my specialties – but I love to eat so naturally food and new culinary experiences are prominent in all of my trips. In Vienna, one of the best ways to experience different types of wine in the city and get a healthy dose of local life is to visit a Heuriger.

Vienna Post Heuriger Wieninger

A Heuriger is a tavern/wine bar where growers serve the current year’s wine harvest. Vendors are required to have a special license to operation a Heuriger, and luckily for foodie’s all Heuriger’s serve Austrian-style tapas! With a cozy, “hometown” feel, and a din of locals catching up with each other – the Heuriger experience is starkly contrasted to the vibe of a bar (even if that is what most of us will want to call it), and the prices are very reasonable.

It was during my attempt to plan a visit to a Heuriger that I was introduced to Wandering Earl and found instructions, photos, and even more information to visit Heuriger Weininger, a Heuriger that locals love and privy visitors know about on Stammersdorfer Strass. A word for the wise, there are many bars and restaurants in Vienna posing as “Heurigers” (or as we would say in Brooklyn “perpetrating the front”) to lure in those who have not taken the care to do a bit of research. There are more Heurigers than the one mentioned here, but hopefully this will get you searching for your own Heuriger haunts in Vienna and getting the authenticity we all crave as travelers.

My friend and I decided to visit Heuriger Weininger after a day of sightseeing. We had been to Mozart’s house, the House of Music, and were very much in the touristy-traveler flow and the trip to the Heuriger was a chance to rest our feet after walking throughout the city. We wound up taking a train, an then a tram and walking from where we were just as Wandering Earl had said. The hour or so trip outside the city center was well worth it considering we were viewing Austria’s modern, yet antiquated architecture, the various winter markets, and an always welcome experiencing life like the locals. It did get dark early, but because we were together, there was no fear walking the few dimly lit streets in between the tram stop and the Heuriger.

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We walked into a pretty courtyard, but because it was a cold November evening, everyone was inside. There were about two tables of locals, laughing, drinking and quietly talking to each other. We were not greeted right away, but one of the women from one of the tables stood up, greeted us with a smile and brought us menus after we sat down and took our multiple layers of clothing off. I was definitely excited to have made it, as I am anytime I experience something I have only read about, and went to scope out the tapas selection.

The food spread was sublime and included everything from carved meats, pate spreads, pasta salads and other delectable goodies that had me questioning my preconceived notions about Austrian (and German) foods. As a wine aficionado, I found the wine selection as glorious as the spread, so it took some time to decide. Ultimately I went with the strongest Gruner Veltliner they had, the Herrenholz (when it doubt go with the highest percentage); I tried a sip of my friend’s Riesling, and I threw in a glass of red to get warm before heading back out again. Regardless of which Heuriger you visit and which wine and tapas you decide to try – one   sure thing is that this is one of the best ways to experience wine in Wien! PROST!

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Anne, the Voluptuary

Anne is in love with the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and feel of new places. A world traveler and change maker, Anne's passion includes helping other urban professionals see the world through her travel company The Voluptuary. Anne is also in the business of cultivating leaders of tomorrow, today through her nonprofit The World is Your Oyster (TWIYO). TWIYO exposes inner-city youth to cultural and travel opportunities to help them see the world, their place within the world, and themselves differently. A writer and sharer of experiences, failures and successes Anne is not merely a writer, but an entrepreneur and public speaker encouraging others to see more, do more, and be more.

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