Does this look like a rowdy crowd to you?

Hmm… not exactly.

It looks like is a polite dinner party, on a unassuming deck, overlooking a vineyard in the Nähe winegrowing region of southwest Germany.

And if we look closer, we see this:

A lovely bottle of Gut Hermannsberg riesling. But one bottle of wine, of course, was no where near enough for a dinner of five people. But two? Surely two would have been sufficient. But just two? Gudrun and Tomas had other ideas.

We started drinking. The sun went down.

And looked pretty on the house.

Specifically the window.

Oh and before the sunset, there was me smiling for this photo:

By the time dusk rolled around, we were in the midst of a rockin’ good time. Gudrun had served a delicious dinner of salmon, potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Periodically during the meal, Gudrun would look at Tomas and say something like, “Oh we simply must have that bottle of such-and-such from France!” or Tomas would say, “Wait, I have something…” And each of them would scurry off and procure yet another bottle from the ‘Maurer Schatzkammer.’

Tomas and Gudrun have wines from just about everywhere. And they have (quite) a few bottles of the stiffer variety too.

This resulted in a parade of wine and cognac bottles across our dinner table.

In addition to the first bottle of Gut Hermannsberg riesling, we also drank a

  • German pinot noir
  • French ‘port’ (hey–it’s in quotes, you wine snobs, yes a real port can only be from Portugal)
  • Italian ‘port’ (stings, doesn’t it?)
  • “Tomas & Gudrun” cognac (you can’t refuse liquor when you know the people who’s names are on the label)

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think my relatives were trying to get me schnockered. (And yes, that word, in its present tense, is a real word.)

All of these bottles all over the table wouldn’t have been a big deal, if the wine wasn’t so darn good.

By this time, we were slowing down. I was not (thank goodness) that I recall (oh dear) acting too weird by this point. But if I was, then lucky for me that more food came ’round…

Cheese plate!

I LOVE cheese. When you’re feeling tipsy actually kind of drunk, eating a fancy cheeseboard (not the board) is one of my favorite ways to nip a hangover in the bud.

But the bottle parade was not over. Tomas went and dug up this beast:

Scary. (As if we I needed more alcohol.)

But I just had to try this 15-year old bottle of cognac. (By the way, doesn’t it look more like 100 years old?) And so, the cork was popped.

That did me in. Early the next morning, Gudrun, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and dressed in running pants and tennis shoes, was ready to play adventue guide for us up and down the hills of the vineyard. (How can I compete with someone who lives and works on a vineyard? It’s just not possible. Read: it’s her job to drink wine.)

Are you coming? they asked. My parents, the early-morning-every-day-no-matter-the-weather walkers they are, joined Gudrun for some lovely fresh air. I think not, I said.

No sir. On that particular morning, I did not care for fresh air. I preferred that my head stay in bed.

However, it could have been much worse. It was a bit of a headache, and nothing else. And for that, I thank the cheese plate. ☼