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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Drink a Heurigen at the Heuriger! Cheers!

It's raing cats and dogs - yes - this weather these days in Vienna is similar to the UK.
Rainy all day, damp, greyish - all in all, not a summer weather to go to the lakeside or to climb a mountain.

But Vienna has that much to offer, dont mind the weather!

Even if it's damp and not sunny, as long as there are no gusty winds and no rain why not pop into a Heurigen and chill the Viennese way!
The definition Heurigen comes from the german word 'heuer', which means this years'.
We use it for 2 meanings:

Heuriger can be the wine, which is harvested this year
Heuriger can be the place, where the winemaker sells his wine

It is a typical Viennese vocabulary, as more in the West of Austria, in Styria for example you would say Buschenschank, if you mean the winesellers place.

That said, Viennese people go to the Heurigen, sit at the Heurigen, often in the private garden of the winemaker and drink Heurigen! Got it?

It was in 1784, when Kaiser Franz Joseph allowed the winemakers to sell their own wine in their own house without any special licence. 
Until today the tradition Heurigen is allowed  to open for a special period of time during the year only, while selling their Heurigen together with a small variety of traditional and local food.
This is why in a good Heurigen you will find only some small amount of cold, rarely warm food and almost never a menu card.

Sometimes local pastries are sold, which are home-made and delicious. Like this "Kardinalschnitte"

To know when the Heurigen is opened, just look out for the Buschen, a green bunch of pines hanging above the entrance of the Heurigen. If it is out it is "ausg'steckt", meaning the Heurigen sells it's Heurigen. Go for it!

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