Home Is Where The Heart Is
As a second generation nomad, my "home" isn't necessarily tied to an actually place. Rather it's entirely connected to my family and closest friends. One exception is the Styrian wine country in southern Austria. As soon as I set wheel on the windy roads at the border to Slovenia, a rare sense of heritage and belonging sets in. When I reach the top of the hill, the sight of grape vines melts my heart. The nonchalant attitude of the winegrowers makes me smile in memory of my late grandfather. And with the first sip of the most incredible white wine I suddenly have arrived, I'm back home.
The best place to drink that wine (apart from the grower's kitchen of course) are local establishments called Buschenschanks. Those aren't normal restaurants but a glorified version of a farm stand or tavern still operating according to centuries-old laws. In 1784 Austrian Emperor Joseph II permitted Austrians to open establishments where they could sell and serve self-produced wine, food and fruit juices. All food has to come from the owner's farmstead and has to be served cold. It's the most authentic form of farm to table, my home, my heart.
And if you are smart enough to find yourself in a good Austrian Buschenschank, I recommend ordering a Bretteljause (traditional charcuterie and cheese plate) and one of my favorite wines; a Gelber Muskateller.