February 18, 2020

Wine Tasting… German Style!

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Spaulding here to report on our last full day in Germany… and what an amazing last day it was! Today was our wine tasting day in the Pfalz region of Germany. That’s right, WINE tasting… not BEER tasting… 😉

We were able to sleep in this morning, which was really nice since we’ve had a lot of late nights and early mornings this week. Oli and Moh did a run to the grocery store and picked up lots of breakfast goods so we could start our wine tasting day out right with a full stomach. Once we ate, all showered and got ready, we were running a bit behind schedule so we had to book it to get to the train station in order to make our train. Luckily we got there with a few minutes to spare and then we were off!

To get to the winery, we had to take a short train ride and get off at a cute, little town where we then had to wait for a bus to take us to the winery. While we were waiting, we had the opportunity to take a couple of pictures.

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Nice work, Moh-star! And Marty’s walking with the little communist dude on the cross walk sign!

Our bus arrived soon after and we then headed to an even smaller town, called Duttweiler, where our wine tasting adventure began! First of all, the town was amazingly cute…

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And the winery we went to, Bergdolt-Reif & Nett, was even cuter!

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When we walked up the driveway, we saw 8 glasses of sparkling wine waiting for us… It was a beautiful sight! We were then greeted by our tour guide, none other than the winemaker himself, Christian Nett.

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And also the world’s oldest cat, Garfield:

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No joke, this cat was 16 years old (I think) and when he meowed, if you can call it that, it sounded like an 80 year old smoker with a voice box. But he was super sweet and friendly, so we liked him!

As we were getting ready to take a tour, Oli suddenly got stung by a hornet! Thankfully it wasn’t a bee because he is allergic to them and that wouldn’t have been a good situation! It would have been a long haul to get him to the nearest hospital since we were out in the middle of nowhere. Luckily Oli was okay and one of Christian’s employees quickly cut up an onion and had him rub it on the sting mark, and amazingly enough, it went away fairly quickly. Thank goodness! Who knew an onion could do that! Learn something new everyday…

We then went on to the tour and Christian took us to the wine cellar where they had the wine barrels and bins. It wasn’t a huge cellar, but there was plenty of wine brewing going on.

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After the tour came the part we were all looking forward to… the tasting room! And it was just us… no other tourists there to steal our wine! 😀

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So right off the bat Christian asks us which of the wines we wanted to try off of their menu… There was no set list, just us picking a wine and him opening up a bottle. And the most amazing part of this whole process was that he would open a bottle, pour himself and the person closest to him some and then hand us the bottle to pour ourselves however much we wanted to try… DANGER!!! Oh my! There were SO many great wines… how could you not try a good amount of each?!

Their specialty is Rieslings and I usually don’t like them because they are so sweet, but in reality, Rieslings really aren’t suppose to be sweet. They are a semi-dry wine, but for whatever reason, Germany only exports the sweet Rieslings because that is what Americans expect when they drink a Riesling. But the Reislings in Germany are SO much better! They’re not super sweet or super dry; they are in a good middle ground. Yeah… DANGER!

Luckily when Becca and Oli set up the wine tasting a few weeks ago, they had ordered an appetizer plate for each of us since they knew we’d be tasting a lot of wine. After trying 4 or 5 bottles, it was time for the second most amazing thing… the FOOD! I can’t even begin to explain how freakin’ spectacular our plates were without showing a picture first:

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Look at that care and detail with the flowers and the grass tying up the beef roll! Clockwise from that is melon and prosciutto with a little piece of fruit stuck into it; meatballs with a dip; bread with a pesto spread; a baked pizza-like pastry; cheese and olives; and my favorite, the tomato stuffed with ricotta cheese… Need I say more?! It was such a fun and delicious little feast!!

As we ate, we continued tasting wines… mostly whites because that is the grape the region grows best, but we did have a couple of reds as well that were pretty decent. And the wine we saved to the end was called Reisling Eiswein, which is an ice wine! Basically that means that they harvest the grapes during the first frost so they are cold and slightly frozen. The end result is a very sweet, but not sugary, wine. Even I, who doesn’t really like sweet wines, loved it! It was pretty amazing.

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So, are you wondering about the final number of wines that we tried that day…? Grand total of bottles opened just for us… 14! Now that’s what I call wine tasting!

Needless to say we were all in a very happy mood when we left the winery 😉

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So happy that as we were waiting at the bus stop, we had some fun snapping silly pictures of us in the grapevine fields (courtesy of Jani, our paparazzi):

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Yeah… I have no idea what the guys were thinking in that picture…

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Jani is a lucky man… We had to get the paparazzi in a pic somewhere!

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Yes… very happy we all were! Especially Jani who went from this:

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To this (Oli is pretending… Jani is not!):

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On our way back to Mannheim, we stopped and had some beers and a little food and we came across a very interesting drink on the English menu:

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Sex with a bitch anyone?? 😀

As we got back to Mannheim, we walked past the university that Oli is working and teaching at:

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We then walked by this really cool monument that had the names of some of the Jewish people killed in the concentration camps during WWII:

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The names are printed backwards, but when you get up close and look through the glass wall to the other side, the names can be read forward. It was a really amazing monument… and it makes you get up close to read it.

And then we headed back to Oli and Becca’s apartment for our last beers of Germany… Drum roll…! Marty’s final number:

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50! He hit his goal! And my final number:

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42! Always the over-achiever, I am!

What an unbelievably fun last day to have with such great friends. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end our vacation. We truly feel so blessed to have had such a wonderful and stress free trip… and on top of that, we were able to enjoy it was some of the most wonderful, fun, smart and hilarious people we know!

Spaulding Out!

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Comments

  1. Hmmmmm. I wonder if we are related in any way (through my grandpa Charles Reif) to the Reif in Bergdolt-Reif & Nett? I must go visit my family winery soon!

  2. The Bride says:

    Obviously based on the picture of Jani above, he needs to go into training before he goes to Vegas……

  3. The Groom says:

    This wine tasting was really nice! Killer wasps and killer wine included!

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