Do you have a favorite month? I do. It’s June, my birthday month. This year’s June so far has been better than ever. It started in Vienna, most beautiful and, at least for me, the most romantic and special city in Europe. The first time I visited Vienna was almost 14 years ago with my boyfriend at the time. It was winter, so not the best time of a year to be in Vienna, but we were in love, so cold didn’t matter. I wasn’t into food and wine back then, so we simply wandered the streets of Vienna, and I fell in love with the city. The next time I came back was for food and wine, and it was my first trip to the wine world outside of the US. That trip changed my life. I was hooked for good on wine and food. My sister came to visit me, and Vienna became our first trip together. This June, Vienna brought back all the wonderful memories and confirmed all the things about Vienna that I love.
This trip was a mixture of gourmet lunches and dinners, late night sausages, the best schnitzels and potato salads, white asparagus, old vintages and the freshest wines. I don’t even know where to start. Domäne Wachau’s Cuvee Falstaff Riesling from Achleiten vineyard, 1982 was superb. It was my first 1982 Austrian Riesling, and one of the best I have had. The wine was fresh, young, and it almost jumped out of the glass. Eat some juicy grilled sausage with it and life can’t get any better. I wish I was born in 1982 –apparently it was a great year for wines all over the world.
Franz Hirtzberger Riesling Smaragd 2005, out of the magnum bottle, from my favorite vineyard Singerriedel (you tell me if you can sing the “Single Ladies” song, but with “singerriedel” instead – I could!) with perfectly prepared Vienna schnitzel and potato salad that were truly better than sex. I love Franz Hirtzberger wines, period, but even more when I met the man in person – very handsome. I am telling you, beautiful people make beautiful wines, and I am on mission to prove this theory. So far, it’s never let me down.
I had a chance to taste a lot of 2011 wines. It was quite a warm vintage, so a difficult year if you like fresh and lean Austrian wines. Many unfortunately, to my taste, were too fat and round, almost bitter-ish. Prager wines really stood out the most. The wines were crisp, fresh, focused and elegant. The wine maker is not the most handsome, but very charming and that counts.
I am so grateful for my life and the older I get the better it gets. I hope it stays this way forever. I will keep wishing for it every single time I blow out the candles and make a toast.