The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
A UN study, reported here in Die Presse.com, has ranked Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world. Just behind are the cities of New York, Toronto, and London. The study which considered productivity, quality of life, infrastructure and sustainability, placed seven European cities in the top ten.
Another study, here in der Standard.at, highlights that a majority of Austrians are proud of their country. An interesting aspect of the survey is that supporters of the governing coalition (SPÖ – Social Democrats and ÖVP – conservatives) tend to be happier with the country than supports of the FPÖ (Far-Right) or Team Stronach (right of centre). Green Party supports tend to be more cautious of the whole ‘national pride’ concept.
I rather like the answers in the survey regarding which stereotypes and professions represent Austria. Top of the list is the countries winemakers.
I wish you all a happy Austria National Day from the world’s number 1 city, in a country of (mostly) happier citizens, deep within the EU & the Eurozone 🙂
We had another every enjoyable Christmas day and evening entertaining friends. One of our guests added to the festivities by bringing along a rather nice bottle of Heinrich Red 2009. It’s a blend of Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch, St Laurent grapes. This is the second time this month I’ve encountered the Heinrich Red which has now definitively made it onto my list of recommended Austrian red wines.
A friend of mine recently returned from a week’s hiking in the Steiermark. They brought back the news that this year’s grape crop is particularly good and that the wine it will provide next year will be of exceptionally high quality and quality (as good as 2003).
So this is all good news for the local wine producers?
Well for most a very definite yes. But alas for a few an event in recent weeks has deprived them of the chance to benefit from this bounty. It seems that there was a long narrow weather corridor across Steiermark which produced an
intensive hail storm and the hailstones destroyed most of the grapes in their path. This would be a sad story in any year for those affected but when it occurs in an exceptional growing year I think this would drive me crazy.
A visit of friends on Saturday night was all the excuse needed to open a couple of bottles of wine, after dashing to the local shop for a selection of cheeses, and then settling in for the evening. After enjoying a glass or two of the Blauer Zweigelt Maletschenberg 2007 from the Germuth winery, it was time to try something new from the wine rack.
The bottle of St Laurent 2007 from the Paul Lehrner vineyards had been sitting amongst the other red wines since our Burgenland
wine tour back at the beginning of the year. One of our guests immediately recognised the label and began to sing the praises of the wine we were about to sample. The praise was in no way over stated and after the first glass I was immediately interrogating my poor guest for every drop of information they had about the winery. I had bought the bottle on the simple basis that I like the
grape and wanted to try a bottle from a region from which I had not previously had the chance to sample the St Laurent wines.
Paul Lehrner’s St Laurent 2007 was a wonderful surprise. As I say, I rather like the grape and the various wines I regular drink can be summarised as reds with an enjoyable light fruity taste. But this wine was a richer red and had a more assertively spicy flavour, which added rather than distracted from the grapes natural taste. I was immediately regretting the fact that this was the only bottle in my limited stock and so the discussion began regarding a trip back to the Horitschon/Neckenmarkt area in which there are so
many good vineyards.
Blauer Zweigelt – Maletschenberg 2007
I was ntroduced to this wine earlier in the year and C brought a few bottles back for me from a recent trip to the Steiermark.
To quote rom their website (Google translated)
In the nose, this powerful Zweigelt dark berries and a hint of bitter chocolate. Aged in small oak barrels, this wine scores with a full body, powerful tannins and brings with potential for long life.
I can think of at least one Austrian Wine convert in Lincolnshire, England, who is going to become a fan of this particular wine 🙂
I have to admit that I just don’t get enough exercise and spend too much time in the company of my computer. Thus when the sun is shining, on a warm Vienna evening or at weekends, I have little in the way of argument to ward off R’s ‘suggestions’ that we take a stroll. So in the spirit of ‘health and happiness’ I drag my ever complaining body into action for the greater good.
But wait. Is this the whole picture? Is ‘healthy walking’ around the Vienna Woods and the local area really so onerous?
Well actually if you put a smile on your face and ‘embrace’ the whole idea with enthusiasm there are many opportunities to turn such exercise into truly enjoyable excursions into relaxation and enjoyment. Last night’s evening stroll, for example, took us up over the hill into the 16th District and initially to the heuriger Leitner. Located next to vineyards overlooking the city, the heuriger provided us with a pleasant red wine as we took a break in our journey and enjoyed the surroundings. The food also looked appealing but unfortunately all the tables where pre-booked, however this gave me the excuse to suggest that we head for the Am Predigstuhl.
The Am Predigstuhl is an absolute gem of a small restaurant. As you walk along the Oberwiedenstrasse it’s possible to miss the entrance to the restaurant, which looks very similar to the private house on either side – though for those more alert than myself the sign painted on the wall next to the gate is a bit of a giveaway. The menu provides a more varied choice than you find in many small places and the food that arrives at your table is excellent. The atmosphere is relaxing with friendly and helpful staff. To accompany your meal the Am Predigstuhl has a very good selection of Austrian wines, with the need to choose providing the only moment of ‘stress’.
As the spring turns to summer and we take more and more of these ‘healthy walks’ I am discovering new stopping off points. Only last week as we walked over the hill in the direction of the 18th District, we dropped into the Schutzhaus am Schafberg which provided another lovely venue for an evening meal.
Even turning a stroll in the local area into a full blown walk in the Vienna Woods provides many opportunities to enhance the genuine enjoyment of the woodland – though you do have to keep one eye on the more over enthusiastic mountain bikers and joggers. As you walk through the woods you are never far from a coffeehouse, restaurant, or heurigen with all their delights for the taste buds.
All in all this walking business is definitely contributing to a rather nicely ‘balanced’ Vienna lifestyle.