Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Rollercoasters and bubbles at the Oktoberfest

Yes, you can have a wild time at the Oktoberfest without drinking any beer at all. Beer, of course, is the main ingredient and Munich's six famous breweries each have a sought after tent set up for entertaining the festival goers with Oompah bands and an abundance of delicious Bavarian food.

However, there's a whole festival going on outside the tents, with rollercoasters and games, as well as food and wine and cocktail stalls spread out across the Therisienwiese festival grounds.

I can't help thinking that it might be a bit dangerous to walk underneath those rollercoasters.Just because I can imagine how I would feel up there after a couple of those massive beers. However, I do think the rollercoaster riders are probably well regulated by the German officials. Still, better safe than sorry.

Then, of course, there is also the sparkling wine tent named after Munich's own version of bubbly, called Nymphenburg Sekt. Here they serve a variety of different wines, sparkling wines and champagne paired with gourmet food.

I didn't make it to the Weinzelt this time unfortunately. Perhaps because I haven't made too many wine drinking friends in Munich. I've also been told that that the wine crowd can be quite schiki-micki (snooty) - but, hey, if someone wants to think I'm posh because I like to drink bubbles, then that's totally ok.

It is, in fact, a relief to see women all around the Wiesn standing around with glasses of wine and bubbles from the stalls. I do tend to agree with my Cape Town friends who insist that wine and bubbles are a lot more feminine than beer.

They were horrified to hear that I drink beer in Munich: "But, uhm, that's just not very sexy at all!"

I've been throwing myself into the Munich beer culture in order to experience the city in a truly authentic way. While I still struggle with the jugful quantities I find that I actually like dark beers most. It really is a special experience to sit in a beer garden under the chestnut trees, or at a beer tent at the Oktoberfest trying to master the Maß.

And yet, I'm still a wine aficionado at heart.

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