‘Es is ausg´steckt – The Wine Tavern is open!’ This notice will always bring a smile to a local’s lips, which gives a great insight into the Viennese way of life. In the west of the city on the hillside of the Vienna Wood (Wiener Wald), you can find former wine villages and cosy Heurige Wine Taverns, which are centres of Viennese Schmäh – the distinct Viennese humor.
The Heurige Wine Taverns, originally known as Buschenschank, are only open for a limited amount of time each year. Locals recognise they are open when there is a wreath, the so-called Föhrenbuschen, and a lantern outside. At the taverns you can get locally pressed wine and home-made Schnapps, as well as a selection of cold dishes. There are also Heurige restaurants aimed at tourists, known as ‘City Heurige’, or as ‘Glamour Heurige’ in a slightly condescending way. They are open all year round and offer a wide selection of food and drinks.
The Heurige goes through three distinct phases: First it is ‘Süßmost’ (grapes juice), then ‘Sturm’ (new wine) and ‘Staubiger’ (unfiltered wine), before it officially becomes ‘Heuriger’ for one whole year on the 11th November, St. Martin’s Day. You should taste the ‘Wiener Satz’, which is currently experiencing a renaissance and is drunk from a glass with a handle. On these glasses you couldn’t see the greasy fingerprints, as people used to eat food they had brought to the tavern with their hands back in the day. Today you can enjoy a delicious snack of dark rye bread, cold cuts, spreads and Kren (grated horseradish) and with a bit of luck you can listen to some live Viennese Schramel music.
Heurigenrestaurant Weinbau Wolff, Neustift am Walde
Buschenschank Heuriger Hirt, Nussdorf