Cellar streets are a great invention. Few activities in life are as pleasant as to walk from cellar to cellar in some remote village, try their locally produced wine and contemplate at which cellar to settle for a Brettljause. That is the theory, at least. The reality is that I walked almost twenty kilometers along the Austrian-Slovak border, passed by at least five villages with impressive cellar streets, and not a single cellar was open. Obviously, February is a bad month for cellar hunting, even when the temperature outside approached the totally crazy +20ºC.
At least I knew that Buschenschank Minkowitsch would be open, as I had been careful to check their website the day before. My rewards were rather average wine and a simple but a satisfying “Spezialplatte.” Although not immediately evident from the photo, this Jause is actually quite varied. OK, one can forget the cheeses straight away: all three types, including the creamy one, tasted exactly the same: of nothingness. The meats, however, though looking somewhat similar, tasted enjoyably different. Out of the six types (Speck, Geselchtes, Surbraten, Kümmelbraten, Salami and Blunzen), the tasty and distinctly un-industrial Geselchtes was the winner, followed by Surbraten and Kümmelbraten, though I would lie if I said I could identify which one was which. One was pleasantly dry and salty, while the other had a more ham-like taste and was slightly greenish in color (it did not kill me, so there is nothing to worry about).
The Brettljause came with two wonderfully warm Kornspitz rolls, but unfortunately no butter. Some horseradish, mustard and a few vegetables would have been welcome, too, but alas, one cannot have everything. Besides, while the Brettljause itself was above average, the Buschenschank itself was rather small and dull. Perhaps it is best visited in summer when one can sit in the garden, but in winter, there is very little appeal in staying inside after finishing the meal. At least I got some entertainment watching the owner continuously delivering my orders to the table behind me and then excusing herself.