“First, you hold your glass of wine carefully over a white surface in order to check its colour. Then, you sniff at the wine, not too strongly otherwise all the tender aromas will not reach you fully. And only then comes the tasting test.” *Slurp*.
What my dear friend & “winesome” blogging colleague Anna Zell has taught me during the red wine workshop in Burgenland, I am able to share with my friends a good 24 hours later travelling from Vienna to the Slovakian capital city Bratislava. Angelika & Gudrun, for example, smile at recalling some of their first modest experiences with tasting red currant wine during their youth, and I have to say that I am a) too young to laugh with them and b) have never tasted red currant wine before, a wine that is typical for the area of Devinj near Bratislava. Is it sweet or dry?, I wonder right before its tasting. But let us start from the beginning. Tasting red currant wine on this trip with the TwinCityLiner from Vienna to Bratislava only happened rather late after all (” … that you have drive home still today, well that is rather tragic!”, our dear guide for the day Richard laughs). But first of all, let me tell you about …
… our red wine seminar in Blaufränkischland Central Burgenland. Here I am, learning what I shall put to good use during my day trip with the TwinCityLiner from Vienna to Bratislava: Do’s & Don’ts of proper wine tasting!
Happy to participate in this wine workshop organised by my friend Anna Zell at the wine shop Horitschon in Central Burgenland. Anna, from her many years of experience with wine, really knows how to teach good tasting techniques and uses a lot of creativity in doing so.
We learn how to differentiate the many aromas of wine, and to attribute them to certain flavours such as mango, chocolate or berries. Tasting them really makes the connection with wine aromas!
As proven here: Nibbling strawberries during our tasting workshop makes for a really pleasant wine workshop experience! 🙂
Or is it vanilla, chocolate, muscat or pepper spice aromas that you prefer? Wine really has a lot of aromas on display, as we are able to see here.
I really like our wine seminar: Here, we are testing for the colour of the red wine, a skill I am able to put into practice only little later during our tasting experience in Bratislava, Slovakia!
Thank you for this really good and very professionally organized tasting experience here in Burgenland, dear Anna!
From Burgenland to Lower Austria to Vienna to Bratislava. Everywhere, wine grows as a connecting element of this unique Central European #winelover destination! On the Danube river, the TwinCityLiner creates perfect connections for city hoppers like us.
“Elena, where are you?” Arriving at the TwinCityLiner boat landing stage at Vienna Schwedenplatz, I am already being waited for: On this Sunday, my dear friend & travel blogging colleague Angelika Mandler has designed a really cool outing for us travel bloggers. Gudrun Krinzinger (“Reisebloggerin“), Florian & Cori (“TravelPins“), Albert Karsai (“ComedianTraveller“), Angelika of “Wiederunterwegs.com” and I hop on board the speed boat from Vienna to Bratislava and get to know the “Slovakian way of life” for the day – last but not least thanks to the efforts of our dear city guide Richard! On board, Astrid has prepared some breakfast for us which is greeted by camera flashes, Social Media shares & enthusiasm. Off we go, then, slowly making our way down the Danube canal and out “on to the open sea”, the mighty Danube river downstream to Bratislava. Well, it is a sea breeze “kind of”, as we landlocked Austrians like to think … 😉 ).
Leaving the Danube canal, the speed boat does indeed “gather speed”: It is only 75 minutes from the landing stage in Vienna Schwedenplatz to the city of Bratislava in the East.
Here we are, past beautiful views of the city of Bratislava in our neighboring country, right downstream, right round the corner from where we live.
Having arrived, we hop on board this little city bus which drives us around the main sights of town – Cori obviously enjoys the trip and so do I! As it is my first visit to the Slovakian capital city, I really like the overview we get thanks to this bus trip.
The entire day, I am quite appalled at never having been to Bratislava before, it being right round the corner actually from our own capital city Vienna. Must make a point of coming back soon, anyway!
Cori, of “TravelPins”, takes it easy and goes for jumping styles in front of our city bus. Travel bloggers “would do anything” for a great photograph, right! 😉
Dear Richard, our city guide for the day, likes to talk us through the history and present of this town right at the border of the former Iron Curtain, separating Eastern from Western Europe. He speaks perfect German and really knows a lot – it is a pleasure to listen to him.
Thanks to his vivid storytelling and his perfectly dry humour, we are able to laugh and learn a lot about Bratislava and Slovakia today.
Bratislava is built on the hills overlooking the Danube River and now also stretches further south and into the border with the Hungarian Plains. The city nears some 500.000 inhabitants and has 17 districts, almost as many as its much larger neighboring city Vienna – an administrative burden that should be reduced, according to Richard.
Around Bratislava, we discover the pretty little small town Devinj (“Theben”) right by the Danube river: Wine. Castles. History. Nature. And views that span many hundreds of kilometres! It is beautiful here.
The radiant sun on this intensely luminous spring day, which opens the view on a fascinating and immensely vast landscape, surely does play a big part in our happy TwinCityLiner excursion. However, to fully understand the area and its history means also getting face to face with what has been here not so long ago: Meter-high barbed wire fences, the shooting command of the local police and the fear & shackles of the former “Iron Curtain“. Unfortunately, I have to admit, the consequences of this recent history, which ended only 25 years ago by the fall of the Berlin Wall, still form a part of our reality today: Almost all our travels that we have taken either as a family or on my own have led us almost exclusively into the “West”. And so it happens that I am here for the first time in my life, on this beautiful day in May, at what is literally only a stone’s throw away from where I live in Lower Austria.
“For us, the boundaries have simply always been open”, I nod in agreement to Florian & Cori, of “TravelPins”. We are so lucky, really. Check this out.
The cute little small town “Theben” (Devinj) gets me enthusiastic just by its pretty look, which surprisingly matches what we see in terms of cute little small towns in Austria. We are one big family, after all!
This is a model commemorating past peoples’ efforts to cultivate the land here, such as Romans and Celtic tribes before them, who have all had their history and part in shaping the land we see today.
View upon the Danube river, right at the border where Slovakia meets Austria.
Our dear guide Richard deep in explanations and thought …
… “how deep is the well?”
A little further downstream, we walk upon this memorial site that reminds us of past times when shooting was common during the Cold War …
… and I really like this statue of an artist, who has used part of the original barbed-wire fences to create this sculpture. It now stands right by the Danube and is visible to everyone cycling or walking past.
A good tip to create a better understanding among different people is to go and sit and drink with them: Here we are, entering a wine cellar in the small town of Devinj that is known for its (sweet) red currant wine! 😉
Did you know that red currant wine can be sweet or dry, and even stored in barrels to add a certain flavour pretty much as any wine? We learn all there is to know about red currant wine from this cooperative of dedicated wine growers in Devinj, near Bratislava in Slovakia.
Bye bye Slovakia: What a cool trip, and so easy to organise thanks to the good connections with the TwinCityLiner!
Check out even more travel pics about Bratislava as well as our trip to Theben (“Devinj”) and the TwinCityLiner here on Flickr:
Disclaimer: We have been invited by the TwinCityLiner on this trip from Vienna to Bratislava. All opinions are my own.
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