Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Hills are Alive with Wine and Film

I've been in an Austrian state of mind here lately, undoubtedly spurred by a book a friend recently sent me.

Knowing my love of old books as well as my desire to see Austria before I die, he found a wonderful glossy-paged book from the 50's, full of pictures and information about what a fascinating place it is (not that I needed convincing).

But I'm guessing that's why I've been drinking more of their top grape, Gruner Vetliner, at least when I do decide to go white during winter.

My local watering hole, The Belvidere, carries the Laurenz Singing Gruner Vetliner for $30 a bottle.

Cafe Caturra has the Huber Hugo Gruner Vetliner for a mere $22 (as well as by the glass).

I think it's the combination of fruitiness and spiciness that appeals to me...or maybe just a lust for all things Austrian.

So how could I resist three hours of Austrian panoramas on the big screen?

I couldn't, so I found a willing friend and we hit the Bowtie for the Movies and Mimosas showing of The Sound of Music.

I might have seen this in the theater during a revival years ago, but all I recalled were wide-screen landscapes that took my breath away, so I wanted to see it in all its big screen splendor again.

It was great and good god, what a fine hunk of manhood Christopher Plummer was in 1965.

Not everyone likes musicals, not everyone wants a history lesson in the Third Reich's takeover of Austria, but who wouldn't enjoy all that magnificent scenery?

And as beautiful as the panoramic views of rivers, mountains and ravines were, it's really the city views that interest me more.

Shots of Salzburg's streets, steeples and fountains proved to me that I need to see the architecture of Austria.

And considering that 75% of the Gruner Vetliner grown in Austria never leaves the country, it should be a cinch to find plenty of good sipping in between wandering the streets admiring the urban landscape.

Don't fret, though, I'll be sure to admire the natural beauty en route to the wineries.

I wouldn't want to miss any of the Austrian experience, excepting perhaps singing children.

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