Second post from Vienna!
If any of my readers have been to Austria/Germany - then you know that most people do not greet you with the typical
(you would think guten tag)
but Grüß Gott! (literal translation "good day" or its variants "gods greetings to you"). Since I am a huge nerd, a little research revealed that this welcome is mostly used in southern Germany and Austria. Even the Swiss use a closely related welcome - Gr
So what is with the language lesson?!
When I travel abroad, I try to immerse myself in the culture and language. In Austria, it is somewhat hard to do this because nearly
(at least those under 30) speaks English. In fact, some of my German relatives even question why I am interested in learning German as no one really knows the rationale behind der/die/das. As the suedo-german expert in my group (and I am by no means an expert) I translate for the group when I can (and let's be honest.... mostly with the aid of a dictionary). Recently, I let one of my group-mates borrow my German-English dictionary and she came up with the following essential list of German phrases to know:
Moot Welcome Ceremony - Vienna Symphony House
Sprechen Sie Englisch?
- Do you speak English?
- Where is...?
Wie viel kostet das?
- How much...
- Without meat/Vegetarian
Die Weinkate, bitte
- wine list please
- Cheers! (And the Germans basically require you to yell this - don't be shy!)
Die Rechning, bitte!
- The check please!
I shared this list with you because it is - by far - an extremely accurate description of our first two days in Vienna. Though, I still maintain that you only need three words to survive Austria -
ein bier, bitte!
Group in front of another beautiful statue in Vienna.
For my wine enthusiasts! You know I can't go too long without mentioning wine. Don't worry, I am taking plenty of notes to share with you when I return. But this post features one of my favorites - Blaufränkisch! I recently went out to dinner with my group-mates at a nicer restaurant and chose a blaufränkisch for the table. The label was
Paul Kerschbaum - Blaufränkisch Classic and this bottle did not disappoint.
Blaufränkisch is known as the pinot noir of the east because it is intensively grown in Eastern Europe (Its grown in Germany, Austria, Washington State, Slovakia, Croatia, and Hungary). The grapes flavor is truly intriguing - it has strong acidity, but a medium body and the flavor grows in complexity over time. Further, this grape is SPICY, and I love it! This interesting flavor and medium body makes it an extremely versatile wine that can pair well with almost anything. Whether in Austria (the primary home of blaufränkisch) or back in the states - I highly recommend this grape!
Stay tuned for more adventures on food, wine and international commercial arbitration from Vienna!