For the majority people first thing that cross their mind when thinking of Austria are probably Mozart, the Alps, beautiful green meadows, cows, imperial Vienna, skiing, picturesque villages. However, not so many people know that Austria is the country of exquisite wines. Petite is beautiful is the best way to describe Austrian wines. They are rare specialities that can be found on almost every respectable wine list, prised by wine experts and much-admired by journalists.
Before wine comes “Sturm” or Federweisser, preferred drink in wine regions of Austria during the wine harvest period. It is the product of the second phase of wine production made by fermenting freshly pressed grape juice, known as must. This young wine tastes and feels like you’re drinking carbonated grape juice. It´s alcohol content is typically 4%. Sturm can be found for a very brief period, mostly from the end of September until mid-November depending of year. Sturm is a dangerous drink. Its rapid fermentation, which can even cause the bottle to explode if closed, prevents it to be stored, and Sturm must be consumed within a few days after production.
Vienna being probably the only capital city in Europe with vineyards is the perfect location for enjoying Sturm. The former villages Nussdorf, Grinzing, Strebersdorf and Stammersdorf, that are now part of Vienna, are the best location for enjoying this beverage. Taking a leisurely stroll through the vineyards could be prelude before you end up in of the many Heuriger (winery) that serves homemade Sturm. If you are in the city centre, market “Naschmarkt” is the perfect location to taste it. And don´t forget, according to local tradition you drink Sturm with the left hand. Prost!
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