It has been 148 days of travel. So overwhelmed by Vienna’s art-packed core (last Monday’s post), we tacked on another day and return to the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Down monumental steps a marble lion greats us to the Ephesus Collection:
Taken from Turkey over a hundred years ago, its marble frieze depicts scenes of slaughter, sacrifice, and succession with Hadrian hugging a preteen Marcus Aurelius:
Our Masters in Art History brought us here, but the museum woefully lacks anything didactic. My wife’s journal notes: “I was exhausted by the inexhaustible display of works without significant explanation”.
Wrapping stairs take us up to the musical museum. Relics of musical memory include the zither from the Third Man, pianos owned by Mozart, Schuman then Brahams, Chopin, and Beethoven, even his metronome:
We try to tour the world’s largest collection of armor, Monty Python singing in our heads, but by now our brains are yogurt, even if it is fabulous.
We hit the pavement and find Aida cafe, birthplace of the fabulous, chocolate-tastic Sacher Torte. Torte in hand, Aida’s just happens to be near a birthplace of modern art: The Secession.
Here the first, blank, white, single gallery for modern art was built in 1897 with Gustav Klimt as its president. But it costs too much for our Austerity Travel measures and our train awaits. A block away is Wein & Co, Austria’s best wine shop. We grab a few bottles, tasty eggplant falafel (3 euros) at our market and hop on the 5 hour train to Prague with only 10 minutes to spare.
We arrive in Prague completely lost. Worried about everything being closed on Sunday, we go to a grocery and discover local, yes, local Czech wine.
Worrying labels and strange varietals aside, I find Rulandské modré…aka Pinot Noir. Sure it’s $6.26. Sure, we’re at the edge of cold climate, continental, northern wine making. But how bad could it be?
Vinnysklep Sovin, pinot noir (Rulandské modré), Moravské Zemské Vino Červené Suché, Czech Republic, 2010 $6.26 ….try saying that five times fast!
APPEARANCE: Sovin’s pinot looks hazy, moderately ruby, with a garnet rim.
AROMAS: smell, um, clean (?) and powerfully of beef jerky and clove. Somewhere behind the clove hides bramble berry and raspberry aromas.
PALATE: Feels dry, pretty acidic, moderately tannic, with medium alcohol (12%) leading to a medium body.
FLAVORS: taste in one quick hit of tart red berry, apple, truffle, cigar ash, clove, all rounded out by a wild, gamey pheasant flavor of medium length.
Sovin’s Pinot is acceptable at best (2 of 5). Sorry Sovin. It is real wine but just a mess. Maybe our palates have yet to make the Eastern jump. Acclimating to new terroir takes time and focus. We just got a handle on Austria’s edgy Gruners and Zweigelts.
Whatever. We’re sticking to beer.
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