young wine, and tree cake

We arrived in Mainz around 830 on Friday night. We had planned to stay with Anna, another friend I had also met in Belize the same time I had met Michael. We met up at the main station, grabbed some mixers and went back to her house for the evening. We hung out catching up over drinks until about 2am. Hiking around one of the largest parks in Europe with our packs on, and traveling the rest of the way to Mainz; that was a long day.

We got up had breakfast and went to walk around the downtown area. We did a little shopping and checked out the massive cathedral, also called the Dome church. I did not know that Gutenberg was from Mainz. He was the guy that is credited with basically inventing the first removable type printing press in Europe sometime in the 15th century. You may have heard of the Gutenberg Bible. That’s this guy. Removable type today is based on this invention. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to check out the museum.

Highlight of the day was trying ‘fresh’ wine. I don’t know exactly how to describe young wine and I won’t pretend that I know a lot about it either. I have no idea about the aging, barreling, fermenting, decanting, or for any matter, appropriate drinking processes. Beyond identifying the basic characteristics of reds, whites, and blends and how they differ from each other, I don’t know squat. I do know that I have a developed pallet for food and drink naturally, and If I don’t like something, it is usually for a reason. Even if it is beyond my understanding.

This fresh wine is called, Federweißer. It is kind of like a grape juice that has yeast added to it. They serve it even when it is still fermenting, leaving it cloudy, and sweet. In laymen’s terms – it has floaties and tastes like candy. Wiki says, when the alcohol content reaches 4% it is ready to serve, but can be fermented up until 10%. It is also made from a red grape as well called Roter Rauscher, but the place we went to had run out for the day so, unfortunately, we didn’t get to try it. They said they only had 15 bottles available for the day. Boo.

Afterwards we wondered around the downtown area for a bit and grabbed some dinner at a local brewery then headed back to the house to get our stuffs ready for the flight. Plans for the night, meet a friend, go out for drinks until we can’t take it anymore, grab our gear from the main station and catch the airport shuttle at 3am to the airport. Again, wonderful Ryanair choosing airports that are nowhere near the city they say they are. Frankfurt Hahn isn’t anywhere near Frankfurt. You have to go through Mainz to get there. A completely different city! Anyways, 3.5 hours later we were on our flight, sleeping most uncomfortably, heading to Crete for the last days of sun, beaches and relaxation of the summer and our trip. Our last few stops in Greece, and Turkey before, it’s back home to Seattle.