Lately I had gotten so used to the Heurige that were crowded and noisy that I approached the Winzerhof Hozheu with a sort of dread. After all, it was just about lunch time, and that Heuriger was one of the best rated in the area and one of the very few open on this last day of winter. For whatever reason, however, I was blessed with one of the quietest wine-drinking experiences of the recent times. Almost all the tables had “reserved” signs on them, but just a couple were already occupied, and the visitors were untypically calm.
The menu listed a “standard” Brettljause, but being true to my principles, for this first visit I went for the more expensive specialty plate, called “Urgestein Jause” here. It really looked slightly unusual initially, especially its “rolled pork roast,” which tasted like Speck but had a round shape. The dry fatless ham was another curiosity, which at the end of the day provided the greatest enjoyment. The other ingredients – a “Dürre” (a kind of lightly smoked salami), a Brie cheese, a Grammelschmalz and a very watery Liptauer-like spread – were more “normal,” and the glass of what at first I took for fresh fruits (which would have been bizarre) in reality contained perfectly ordinary pickled carrots and cucumbers.
When it came to food, Hozheu left me satisfied but not overly excited. The wine, in particular the Riesling, on the other hand, was of a much higher-than-average quality. Better still, during my post-lunch walk towards Krems I encountered so many interesting-looking Heurige, that now I have no shortage of Brettljause destinations for prospective weekends.