River Cruise through Europe’s Wine Country

europe's wine country

So… I have been awaiting this day for 15 months, and am having some trouble believing it has actually arrived. A river cruise through Europe’s wine country is one of those ‘somedays’ that on ‘some level’  you can’t quite bring yourself to believe. Nevertheless, I will work on it, as my ship embarks from Amsterdam this afternoon, and I aim to be on it!

Of the many unique experiences that I anticipate on this journey, one of the most interesting to me is the pleasure of trying new wines, some of which I have never even heard tell of. A white, Gruner Veltliner, for example, I have seen on shelves in our part of the world, but Blaufrankisch, a red, I have not been able to find. My reason for searching out these two Austrian varietals is that they are the ‘house wines’ served aboard my ship. So in addition to the wineries that will be accessible to me in the wine countries of Germany and Austria, these are two new contenders for my attention, or palate education shall we say, and I wanted to try them prior to my leaving.White and red wines in glasses

My first foray was to try and locate the Blaufrankisch, and not succeeding, I asked for a recommendation of a wine close in character, and came home with a Dornfelder from the Pfalz region of Germany. I liked it! As fruity and smooth as a merlot or pinot noir can be, lighter than our chambourcin, it reminded me a good bit of Iron Gate’s Pack House Red. The slightest hint of sweet berry, and maybe a more jammy taste to the Dornfelder, but both are velvety smooth and have a comforting feel to them. I am off to a good start!

I will be back with a report on the Gruner Veltliner during the sail!

And now, more than ever maybe, It’s Time to Taste the Wine! Here’s a video of what I will see on my trip.

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