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Posts from the ‘Wineries & Wine’ Category

How to Make Glühwein (Mulled Wine) and Spread the Good Cheer


“Komm, trinken ma noch ein Glaserl, so jung kemma nimma zamm”
(Komm, trinken wir noch ein Gläschen, so jung kommen wir nie wieder zusammen)
(Come, let’s drink another little glass, we will never come together again as young as we are now)

First the basics — pronunciation:

Gluehwein Ingredients

Glühwein Ingredients: red wine, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, and orange slices

Glühwein. Don’t let the umlaut (those two dots above the “u”) intimidate you — it’s easy to pronounce.

Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market - photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market – photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

Just say the word Glue (like Elmer’s glue) and vine and then put the two together and you are good to go.

And experience has told me that the more you drink, the better your German becomes (or the others are too drunk to notice your terrible pronunciation).

Okay, now that you can say it, if you live in the US, it’s time to bring a bit of the Old Country to your Thanksgiving or Holiday festivities. And if you live in Austria, it’s time to invite over some locals and impress them with how well you have culturally adapted to your new home. Because Glühwein is THE drink of the Christmas Markets (see my post with a comprehensive list of Vienna’s Christmas Markets)   and if you can’t get to a Glühwein stand, then bring the stand home to you with one of the following two recipes. The first is the traditional Glühwein and the second is the so-called Vienna Glühwein, a Glühwein with a bit of punch (well more than a bit).


star anise

star anise


– 2 bottles of dry red wine. (In Austria we use Zweigelt but I think a Merlot would work just as well)

– about ¼ C of sugar. But if you are anti-sugar, leave it out. It will be equally good.

– 1 orange, sliced (make sure they are unsprayed “unbehandelt / Schale zumVerzehr geeignet” – if you can’t find these at some place like Whole Foods, then just peel them)

– 1 stick of cinnamon

– 5 cloves (in Austria, called “Nelken” and sold either in a green bottle or bag in spice section)

– a few star anise (in Austria called “Sternanis” and sold in a green bottle in spice section)


Warm wine in large pot but be careful not to boil it because you don’t want it to evaporate. Next add the slices of orange. I like to stick the cloves and star anise directly into the orange slices (look at photo above and specifically the orange slice, there I have inserted the cloves to demonstrate). Then add the cinnamon  and allow to simmer.

When the wine is warm, add sugar.

Serve in a mug and enjoy.

Possible additions:

Mulled wine spices –
in the US, get this at World Market or at Amazon

Jar of Gluehwein spice

Jar of Gluehwein spice

in Austria, get this at Meinl on Graben in the tea section upstairs.

Add a Glühwein Fix bag or two:

In USA available at: International Food Shop online store.

Gluehfix Gluehwein bags

Gluehfix Gluehwein bags


In Austria, at Julius Meinl, again in tea section. Billa usually sells it too but mine didn’t and I wasted about a half hour of my life scouring first the tea section, then the alcohol section, then the baking section thinking, “If I were a Glühwein bag, where would I be?” Then thinking, “If I were a Billa employee trying to cram all these products in the space the size of a living room, where would I put it?”

THE INSTANT GLÜHWEIN (which indeed feels a bit like an oxymoron since Glühwein is about slowing down a bit, relaxing and enjoying the company of loved ones – being gemütlich)

Glühwein sold in a bottle. I advise against this Glühwein version. Part of the beauty of Glühwein is the scent of the holidays that the pot of spices and wine exude throughout your house as it simmers on the stove. But if you are pressed for time or simply opposed to anything that requires about 5 minutes of prep time then give the bottle version a try. Apparently World Market sells it at its stores. And if you go this route, for goodness sakes, heat the Glühwein in a pot on the stove, add some orange slices and spices anyway and pretend, pretend, pretend, it’s completely homemade. (It can be our little secret, I won’t tell anyone).

Gluehwein in a bottle

Glühwein in a bottle ready to go. Sold at World Market and some liquor stores

You can also try these guys International Food Shop (which I must say, I have no experience with so if you try them, let me know if it worked out, if not, I will remove the plug from my blog. But if it does – the site looks pretty awesome and I can highly recommend this White Elderflower Syrup with sparkling water as a great alternative to soft drinks – just need a spoonful per glass)


And for the more daring:



– 3 C of water (3/4 L)

– a few black tea bags

Vienna Gluehwein Ingredients

Ingredients for a Vienna Glühwein with hard alcohol

– ½ orange sliced (make sure they are unsprayed “unbehandelt / Schale zumVerzehr geeignet”)

– ½ lemon sliced (make sure they are unsprayed “unbehandelt / Schale zumVerzehr geeignet”)

– 4 ¼ C (1/2 L) of red wine (Zweigelt or Merlot)

– ½ C sugar (100 g) – again, if anti-sugar, just leave this out

– ½ C (1/8 L) freshly pressed orange juice (or something you can pass for it by cheating, just make sure it is 100% juice)

– 2 schnaps glasses (4 cl) of apricot schnapps

– 4 schnaps glasses (8 cl) of Amaretto

schnaps glass and apricot schnaps

schnaps glass and apricot schnaps

– 3 schnaps glasses (6 cl) of rum (30%)

– a stick of cinnamon

– cloves

– a stick of vanilla


Boil water with tea bags. Place cloves in slices of lemons and oranges and add to tea. Turn down heat to a simmer and add red wine. Add sugar when wine mixture is warm. Next add the orange juice, schnaps, amaretto and rum. Last add the rest of the spices.

Serve and spread the good cheer! Print This Post



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Vienna’s Christmas Markets – It’s Time for Glühwein!

Here it is – KC’s List of Vienna’s Christmas Markets


Vienna’s Biggest Christmas Market – Rathaus (City Hall) photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

Reading from the US? Click on some of the links and imagine the smell of pine, roasted chestnuts, gingerbread, sausages and cotton candy. Feel the tingle on your cheeks as the crisp winter air nips at your nose, and enjoy the bright warm glow of colored lights and sparkling reflections of Christmas tree ornaments and angels’ wings. Then sulk a bit that you are not in Vienna because this is the Christmas Market Season and we are not lacking choices, here folks. Yes. In the States you can boast about your 101 choices of orange juice and aisles upon aisles of Mexican food. True. Austria has none of that. But Jolly Ol’ St. Nick do we have Christmas.

You can always bring a bit of the Christmas Market home to you by brewing up some Glühwein (see Nov 23 post for the “how to” of Glühwein: Also, here is a great video of the Rathaus Christmas Market I found on youtube that you might want to check out. The music is somber but fitting. The blonde woman in white getting her photo taken with the kiddies is the Austrian “Christkindl” – Christ Child – who comes Christmas eve instead of Santa Claus and for reasons beyond my comprehension is a young blonde woman (oh do we ever escape mantasies?) — I always imagined her as Tinkerbell to be honest. :

Rathaus Christmas Market

Vienna City Hall (Rathaus) Christmas Market

In Vienna? Then do what the Austrians do. Meet up with everyone you’ve been meaning to get together with all year but haven’t managed. Now.  Quick! Before the bell of Stephansdom rings in a new year. Go for a Punsch with colleagues after work (maybe even during, the markets open early and the Rathaus is all so close). Or Auntie Emma who you keep promising to visit. She is always much more entertaining with a Glühwein one or two.

Christmas Market

Christmas at Maria Thereseian Platz – Museum of Natural Hist. Photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

 Meet up with friends at one or — what the heck – all 21 or so markets and 1131 stands– so many choices and so little time and you have oh so many friends!

Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market - photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

Gluehwein at Schönnbrunn Castle Christmas Market – photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

And if you don’t there are plenty of folks hanging out at these markets so maybe you are only one Glühwein away from a new lifelong friend or two.

Important – the place to meet at the market is none other than the Glühwein stand. Suggest somewhere else and you are a hopeless foreigner. But same rule here as for the Sturm outing (see Sept. blog post: – no singing until the Austrians whip out their lighters and break out into the first verse of Stille Nacht (they rarely know the second). Once that happens, Unsilent your Night till the Fiakers roll home (or return).

Baked Goods

Baked Goods at Christmas Market in Vienna. Photo courtesy of M. Gardzina.

I will post photos as I make my rounds. The KC challenge – how many will I manage before the Christmas markets become New Year’s stands. And if you have photos help me cheat by sending me some and I’ll try to post if they’re civilized.

Where’s Santa? Christkindl? An indoor market? Candle light parade? Krampus? Abba? Middle Ages market? Gospel music? Light of Bethlehem? Check it all out here:

Altes AKH (Allgemeines Krankenhaus) – Old General Hospital Adventmarket
Old AKH, Alserstr/Spitalgasse, Universitätscampus – Courtyard (Hof) 1
Start: Nov 16 Mo – Fr 2pm – 10pm; Sat, Sun, Holidays 11 am – 10 pm
Public: take U 2 to Schottentor and then tram 43 or 44 to Lange Gasse; trams 33 or 5 to Lange Gasse; Bus 13A to Skodagasse

Am Hof Adventmarket
Next to the Golden Quartier

Am Hof Christmas Market

Am Hof Christmas Market

Start: 15 Nov daily Mon – Thurs 11am – 8 pm; weekends: 10 am – 9 m
As they say in German “Klein aber fein”[item]=6
Public: U3 to Herrengasse, 2 minute walk over Haarhof and Irisgasse; U1 to Stephansplatz then 10 minute lovely walk over Graben towards Meinl, then the Bognergasse; U2 to Schottentor then walk up Schottengasse, past (or first at) Freyung Christmas Market, further up road and hit Am Hof.

Belvedere Castle Adventmarket
At the Upper Belvedere directly in front of the pond
Start: Nov 22; Mo-Fr 11-9pm and Sat & Sun 10 – 9pm
Public: U1 to Südtirolerplatz, tram D to stop Schloss Belvedere, 18/O stop Südbahnhof, or buses 13A or 69A Stop Südbahnhof (south train station)

Columbusplatz Adventmarket – (neighborhood market)
1100 Vienna
Start: as of Nov 22

Favoritenstraße / Quellenstraße Adventmarket – (neighborhood market)
1110 Vienna
Start: Nov 15

Favoriten (Pedestrian Zone) Adventmarket – (neighborhood market)

Ornament Stand at Christmas Market in Vienna

Ornaments at Christmas Market. Photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

1110 Vienna
Start: as of Nov 15

Franz Jonas Platz Adventmarket – (neighborhood market)
1210 Vienna
Start: Nov 15

Freyung Adventmarket
Start: Nov. 22, daily 10 am – 9 pm
Celebration at opening on Friday, Nov 22 at 5 pm.
Make an advent wreath on Satuday, Nov 30 from 10 am – 3:30 pm

Freyung Christmas Market

Freyung Christmas Market. Photo courtesy of M. Gardzina
Public: subway: U2 to Schottentor and walk down Schottengasse into town, or U3 to Herrengasse and walk past Café Central towards Schottengasse,  or bus 1A or 2A,

Heeresgeschichtliches Museum Adventmarket
Arsenal 18, 1030 Vienna
From Nov 29 – Dec 1. Punch Happy hours 2 pm – 10 pm
Nikolaus AND Krampus will be there.
Highlight: Middle Ages Christmas Market
Public: trams 18, D, O, Buses 13A, 69A, Subways U1 (Südtirolerplatz) or U3 (Schlachthausgasse) or Express Train (Schnellbahn) to station Südbahnhof Address and Info How to Get to Heeresgeschichtliches Museum via Public

Hirschstetten – Garden and Glass House of the Vienna City Gardens Adventmarket
“Christmas Dreams” (This is a market I’ve never been to but will try to visit this year — sounds cool)
In the warm cozy glass houses of the flower gardens of Hirschstetten
Flower Gardens Hirschstetten, South Entrance, Quadenstrasse 15; North entrance: Oberfelgasse across from O Nr. 41
Start: as of 21 Nov, Thurs-Sun 10-8 pm
Public: subway U1 to Kagraner Platz and then Bus 22A 10 minutes to Hischenstetten, Süßenbrunner Str

Karlskirche Advent Market
Resselpark, 1040 Vienna
This year’s motto: “Fiery celebration” Stand after stand in front of the always lovely Karlskirche (
Start:  22. Nov, daily from noon – 8 pm
Highlight: On Friday, Dec 13 at 5 pm they will have a candle light parade through the market to mark Santa Lucia Fest
Public: U4/U1/U2 >Karlsplatz, exit Resslpark, Trams 1 & 62, Buses 4A, 59A or walk from trams 1,2,or D from Kärtner Ring, Oper or bus 3A

Kirche (Church) Maria Hilf – (neighborhood market)
1010 Vienna

Ornaments at Christmas Market

Ornaments at Christmas Market

in front of church, 1060 Vienna
Start: Nov 16


Landstraßer Hauptstraße near Invalidenstraße Adventmarket – (neighborhood market)
1030 Vienna
Start: Nov 15

Mahlerstrasse Adventmarket – (neighborhood market)
1010 Vienna
Start: Nov 15

Maria Theresien Platz  Adventmarket
Between the Art History Museum (Kunsthistorisches Museum) and Museum of Natural History (Naturhistorisches Museum)
Start: Nov 20 Daily 11am – 10 pm.
Public: U2 or U3 stations Volkstheater or Museumsquartier, trams along the Ring D, J, 1, 2 as well as 46 and 49 – Station: Dr. Karl Renner Ring or Bus 2A to Burgring, or 4A to Dr. Karl Renner Ring

Meidlinger Hauptstrasse Adventmarket – (neighborhood market)
1120 Vienna
As of Nov 16

Museumsquartier Adventmarket

Sausage Stand at Christmas Market

Sausage Stand at Christmas Market

Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Vienna
Start: as of Nov 8
Public: subway U2 to Museumsquartier

Naschmarkt Adventmarket
Schleifmühlbrücke, 1060 Vienna
Start: Nov 29

Prater / Riesenrad Adventmarket
In front of the Giant Ferris Wheel – Live Shows and Hot Punch
Every Thurs – Sat starting at 7 pm – live concerts with gospel, pop and soul music.
The Coco Cola Santa will be present with his igloo and waiting to have his photo taken with big and little kids
Start: Nov 16, Mo-Fr 12 – 10 pm, weekends 11 – 10 pm
Public: U2 or U1 to Praterstern

Rathaus X-Mas Tree

Rathaus X-Mas Tree. Photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

Rathaus / Vienna City Hall Adventmarket
Highlights: See Vienna’s biggest market and official Christmas Tree – this year from the Styria – over 100 years old and 30 meters high
Start: As of Nov 16, Sun – Thurs 10 am – 9:30 pm, Fri & Sat: 10 am – 10 pm
More Highlights: Lighting of the Christmas Tree: Saturday, November 16 at 5:30 pm with over 1000 energy efficient lights.
Starting Nov 18, Vienna’s high society will be reading Christmas stories at 6 pm almost every day at the “Himmelsbühne” (Heaven Stage).
And even more Highlights: The Christkindl (Christ Child – blonde girl) will be present Thurs – Sun 4 pm – 7 pm;
Christmas Post office with Christmas stamps for letters
Public: trams 1 or D directly in front of Rathaus or take U2 subway to Schottentor or Rathaus and walk over

Schloss Hof Adventmarket
(A bit outside of Vienna in Gänserndorf)
Over 100 stands, musical concerts Saturdays at 5pm
Entrance: 5€ adults, 2€ kids or family tickets for 12 €
Start: 23. Nov.; weekends only, Saturdays 10am – 8pm; Sundays, 10am – 6pm
Public: trains and buses – see info in German here:

Schloss Neugebäude Adventmarket
Otmar-Brix-Gasse 1, 1110 Vienna
Thurs Dec 5 2 pm – 8pm; Fri Dec 6 2 pm – 8 pm, Sat Dec 7 10 am – 9 pm and Sun Dec 8 10 am – 8 pm
Highlight: Saturday, Dec 7 at 5:30 pm – ABBA show “Christmas Program” and at 7 pm Krampuses come a huntin’ – all you bad kids better hide!
Public: subway U3 until Simmering and then with the bus 73A to Hörtengasse

Schloss Wilhelminenberg
Savoyenstrasse 2, 1160 Vienna
Kids can also ice skate next to the castle
Start: as of Nov 15
Public: bus 46B or 146B

Schönbrunn Christmas Market

Schönbrunn Christmas Market. Photo courtesy of M. Gardzina

Schönbrunn Castle  Adventmarket
Beautifully situated in the front of Schönbrunn castle.

Start: 23 Nov; Daily 3-7pm
As of 6 Dec 2 – 6 pm
Public: Subway U4/green line to Schönbrunn stop (for park) or Hietzing stop (for zoo)

Spittelberg Adventmarket
For crafts lovers and everyone else. One of my all-time favorite markets. The cobblestone lanes and little houses just feel like you are on the scene of Christmas train set.
Start: Nov 15, Mo – Thurs 2pm – 9pm; Fridays 2 pm – 9:30 pm, Sat 10 am – 9:30 pm and Sundays and Holidays 10 am – 9 pm.
Public: tram 49, subway U2 to Volkstheater, bus 49A

Stephansplatz Christmas Market

Stephansdom Christmas Market in Vienna

Stephansdom Christmas Market in Vienna

Start: Nov 16, daily from 11am – 9pm
Public: U1 / U3 Stephansplatz

Stift (Monastery) Schotten  Adventmarket
Breitenleer Strasse 247, 1220 Vienna
Start: Dec 1

Türkenschanzpark Adventmarket – (neighborhood market)
1180 Vienna
Start: as of Nov 15

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It’s Sturm Time! Mahlzeit!

This is one Sturm you don’t want to let pass you by.

Sturm is a dangerous drink. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But don’t let that stop you.

Bottles of Sturm at Karmeliter Market in Vienna's 2nd District

Bottles of Sturm at Karmeliter Market in Vienna’s 2nd District

For a very brief period, usually from the end of September until mid-October is Sturmzeit, or Sturm time, the only time of year the drink called Sturm (Federweiss in Germany) is available.  Because of rapid fermentation (which could cause the bottle to explode if corked), Sturm cannot be stored and must be consumed within a few days (or hours, depending on your mood and your company).  However, wine farmers will often put loose foil caps on the bottles, not to prevent spillage, but rather party-happy fruit flies from having their own little get together in your drink.

But what is Sturm? Sturm is a young wine that is basically fermented freshly pressed grape juice. And that’s exactly what it tastes and feels like you’re drinking – carbonated grape juice. So even though the alcohol content tends to be rather low, (beginning at 1%), you tend to drink more than you would a wine (or maybe you drink more because it is often served in a glass with a handle rather than a stem). Whatever the reason, you really do tend to drink more.

Viennese grapes

Viennese grapes at the Market

And the ultimate way to enjoy Sturm?

Collect a few of your favorite most-trustworthy people in this world (folks who won’t hold it against you if you succumb to a Sturm-induced euphoria involving Austrian folk songs and dance), don your Dirndl or Lederhosen, then head to the outskirts of town, to Neustift am Walde, Salmannsdorf, Nussdorf, Grinzing, Strebersdorf or Stammersdorf. Next take a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, on a route that will land you at a table of your favorite Heuriger (winery) where you can enjoy the house’s own homemade Sturms. Then eat, drink and merry.

White Sturm in Glass

Sturm freshly served and still bubbling

Some insider tips: Try not to be too loud until the Viennese start singing and then it’s okay. All cultural barriers tend to break down about that point and you would be amazed how fluent your German becomes. Regardless of the level of euphoric, avoid the temptation to break out in Sound of Music medleys. The Austrians won’t know them and aren’t bound to be too impressed. But if you want to show how culturally adept you are, rather than saying “Prost” when toasting, say “Mahlzeit” (like “Guten Appetit”). And of course, an offer to buy the next round, never hurt international relations.

Oh yeah, and look for the wine branch hanging over the door of the entrance of the winery – this means they are open for business.

How I love a good Sturm.

And you will too.

Hiking through Vienna's vineyards with view of city in background

Hiking through Vienna’s vineyards with view of city in background

In Vienna October 8, 2016: 14h – 23h? Hop into those Lederhosen and don’t miss and authentic Sturm Street Festival – the Stürmische Tage in Stammersdorf

Some Heurige I can recommend – but there are so many good ones don’t limit yourself to this list. Be adventurous:

Weinhof Zimmermann

Buschenschank Wolff

Wiener Heurige Buschenschank Friseurmüller (highly recommend the homemade Schaumrollen here (lady fingers we called them in PA).

Mayer am Pfarrplatz for some wine, a little Beethoven and some real Viennese Heuriger folk music from a charming accordion player who’s been serenading Heurigen guests for over forty years (just be sure to phone ahead and reserve yourselves a table for the evening). Food here is buffet or à la carte.



Top 5 Heuriger according to from Austrian newspaper, Kurier, in form of slideshow – just click on button marked “weiter” to see all five, address and contact info below slide: Kurier’s Top Heurige in 2013 –

Here are the ones they selected: (1) Kierlinger, (2) Zawodsky, (3) Stift St. Peter, (4) Göbel, (5) Mayer am Pfarrplatz in Beethoven House

Some lovely walks through the vineyards:

Two maps of lovely vineyard walks from the Vienna city government (with some English translations I’ve added).

Slow down, you crazy child, you can afford to lose a day or two. You need to realize, Vienna (and Sturm) waits for you

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Vienna Vineyard

Vienna Vineyard

Vienna Neustift am Walde and Nussdorf Vineyard Hiking Map courtesy of the City of Vienna with Eng. translations courtesy of me

Vienna Neustift am Walde and Nussdorf Vineyard Hiking Map courtesy of the City of Vienna with Eng. translations courtesy of me

Vienna Strebersdorf-Stammersdorf Vineyard Hiking Map courtesy of the City of Vienna with Eng. translations courtesy of me

Vienna Strebersdorf-Stammersdorf Vineyard Hiking Map courtesy of the City of Vienna with Eng. translations courtesy of me

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