|Vol. 43: Pine Branch Sign Indicating Viennafs Celebrated gHeurigeh Inns|
The inns are generally located outdoors. Going through the entrance, one sees large tables in the shade. Guests gather around the tables in groups and spend the evening enjoying homemade wine and buffet-style Viennese food. A live performing group plays Viennese folk songs to enhance the atmosphere. When Japanese tourists make an appearance, they even come up with Japanese folk songs and popular songs.
A bunch of pine leaves is suspended to show that a heurige inn is open. Therefs an interesting parallel here with Japan, where sake distilleries hang a ball of cypress leaves for the same purpose. The bunches of pine leaves are hung from long cypress logs protruding from the front of buildings. The slightly uncouth presentation is, however, different from the Japanese style. To enhance the atmosphere, the proprietor appears with a waitress dressed in folk costume at the entrance to greet customers.
Enchanted by the atmosphere, I soon found Ifd drunk too much and succumbed to a violent headache. From the next day I couldnft bear even the smell of wine, and for the rest of the trip I made do with beer. The effects of that experience remain with me today, and I still rarely go anywhere near wine.