Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Route du Vin

Saturday morning I awoke at 7:15 am, rode my rented, gearless, basket-boasting bicycle to the train station. I got on the train, bike in tow, with three friends. We rode for 40 minutes through the chilly, thick fog. We got off the train in Colmar, a smaller city south of Strasbourg. We got out our map in search for the mythical “wine road” that would lead us to adventure and hopefully treasure. After about an hour of riding around the city and being directed by a slightly creepy Frenchman, we found the highway of our dreams, which was for a while also a real highway with cars. This did not discourage us.

We rode on, passing signs with impossible german names that I will never be able to pronounce or spell. We passed corn fields and cabbage patches. Finally, we rode into a small town, and as we idled along our bumpy path we saw a sign: Cave Ouvert. We immediately pulled the brakes and locked up our vehicles next to our first winery for a taste.
It was very calm and quiet as we entered (possibly because it was only 10:30 am) and we were unsure of the exact protocol for wine tasting. Do you have to buy wine to taste it? How much does it cost? What do you say to the old man/eyebrow-less woman/silent plant-waterer who is serving you wine? All this, and more, we learned on that fateful day.
We tasted many a white wine that day, because white grapes grow well in Alsace. We savored dry Reislings, fruity Pinot Gris, and sweet Edelweisles from 4 different villages, all with distinct flavors.

We bobbed through beautiful country sides, riding up and down hills covered with vineyards and marked by large roadside crucifixes. We remarked on the beauty of the Voges mountains behind, veiled in a mist of fog for the entire day.
We passed through villages with castles, cathedrals, towers and stone walls that looked as though they hadn’t changed in centuries, save for the Tabac, clearly labeled with a yellow sign.
We ate freshly picked apples that had a natural, but definite peanut butter taste.
It was a beautiful day that ended abruptly at 10 pm when I saw my bed and fell asleep.

Our adventure may have only yielded a few bottles of wine, but it was the journey, not the destination, that was the real treasure. How corny.


Blogger Alyssa said...

grrl have you seen Getting There with MKAO, half the fun IS getting there!

4:14 PM  

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