Christmas Markets In The Mosel Region

We’ve had some snow so everything is starting to feel a little more festive, which is great news for those planning on attending one of the famous German Christmas markets which are now well underway. For those of us living in or visiting the Mosel valley, the unique combination of the magical market atmosphere coupled with picturesque surroundings really is unbeatable.

So, wrap up nice and warm and head off to indulge in a glass or two of the ubiquitous “Glühwein” (warm mulled wine) or “Eierlikor” (eggnog) whilst browsing the multitudes of stalls selling crafts, trinkets, sweets and a whole host of other traditional and not-so-traditional Christmas goods.

Most towns big and small have at least one market, some lasting just for a few days and others for much longer. You can find a selection of those that take place in and around the area by clicking here, or for those happy to take a day trip a little further afield, try here.

Riesling Glühwein

Christmas is rapidly approaching now and those of us living in Germany will no doubt have already had the pleasure of sampling the famous “Glühwein” at one of the multitudes of Christmas Markets that start in late November and go on right up until Christmas Eve or even into the New Year.

Traditionally, Glühwein is made from red wine, but of course, Mosel wine is predominantly white. It would be a bit of an insult to the local wine producers not to attempt to make some using the local plonk, so I reproduce here a recipe I found on the German cooking website http://www.kochbar.de/. It is the best translation from German to English I could manage, but I think it is reasonably accurate.

Weißer Glühwein (Mulled White Wine)

Ingredients:

  • 600 ml dry white wine
  • 150 ml Vodka
  • One orange
  • Five cloves
  • Two cinnamon sticks
  • Half teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • Three tablespoons of honey
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • Lemon slices, to serve.

Slice the orange and throw into a saucepan along with all the other ingredients. Cover and heat gently but do not boil for at least ten minutes (if you boil it you will evaporate off the alcohol and we don’t want that now do we?). Taste and add more honey if necessary. Serve hot in heat-resistant glasses garnished with a light sprinkling of cinnamon, one clove and a slice of lemon.

Please note this is just one variation on a theme – the aforementioned website has numerous other recipes for mulled white wine, so feel free to experiment to come up with different spice and citrus combinations to make your own personalised Christmas drink!

Nativity Play In Reichsburg Cochem

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If you are looking for something really “Christmassy” in December, this event could be what you are looking for. It is a live nativity play in the courtyards of the beautiful Reichsburg castle in Cochem, which is well worth a visit in its own right and Cochem is a lively and interesting town too.

The play is conducted in German, but I attended a similar one in another part of Germany and it really did have a magical feel for both children and adults alike. At the end there will be Christmas market stalls selling seasonal foods and other bits and bobs.

Further details can be found by clicking here.

Mosel “Wein Nachts” Christmas Market In Traben Trarbach

Despite it only being early November, the whole world seems to be getting ready for Christmas and Germany is no different. The Christmas markets will soon be kicking off, and whilst virtually every town has one, they can be a bit ‘samey’ if you know what I mean. Luckily there are plenty with an unusual twist, and I think one of the most notable and romantic has to be the Traben-Trarbach”Mosel-Wein-Nachts-Markt” which literally means “Wine Nights Market”, a clever play on “Weihnachtsmarkt”, the German word for Christmas Market.

In keeping with the wine heritage of the town, this event offers markets in the enormous old vaulted cellars under the town streets which are specially decked out with stalls offering a big variety of traditional crafts, edible treats and of course local plonk. Also on offer is an ice skating rink (outdoor, not in a cellar!) plus an extensive entertainment programme.

The cellars are open Friday to Sunday between 24th November 2017 and 18th December 2017, and the doors are open from 11am to 9pm. From 18th December 2017 to 1st January 2018 they are also open from 11am to 7pm Monday and Thursday. New Year’s Eve opening times are 11am to 4pm, and everything is closed on 26th November and 24th/25th December 2017.

Traben-Trabach is very accessible, being located right on the Mosel between Koblenz and Trier. A shuttle bus service is available from some of the other towns in the locality, and cheap flights are available from various European cities to Frankfurt Hahn regional airport which is only about 40 minutes away, so why not spend a weekend here and experience the real German Christmas spirit?

You can find out more by clicking here for the website but you may have to run it through Google Translate as it is only in German. Clicking here will give you the brochure which has all of the important information in English, French and Dutch and includes a map of the various attractions, programme for the entertainment and more. Alternatively, the Tourist Information office in the town will be able to help.

Leaving 2016 Behind With A Bang

The Germans are remarkably responsible people. I mean, there cannot be many other nations in the world where people stand to attention at a pedestrian crossing waiting for the green Ampelmann to give them the all clear despite the fact there is not a car within a three mile radius and the weather is like a scene from The Tempest. The very same nation that shuns microwave ovens for fear of the damaging effects on the molecular structure of the food being heated. However, that impeccable approach to responsibility does lapse once a year – at New Year in fact when the tradition is to get plastered and lob fireworks (and lots of them) at one another. Continue reading “Leaving 2016 Behind With A Bang”

Merry Christmas

Just a quick posting to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas whether you will be celebrating it on the 24th as the Germans do, or on 25th as we Brits do. I myself am spending it in Essen with my partner and our Christmas lunch will be a rather untraditional but incredibly tasty roast leg of lamb supplied by my brother back in England who runs traditional butcher shop in England and can claim Jamie Oliver as a customer.

Whilst I am here, I also want to apologise for the lack of posts over the last few months. Work problems, studying and more recently a family bereavement amongst other things have taken their toll but hopefully I will be able to start 2017 with a fresh outlook and provide you with lots more interesting stuff on life in both the Moseltal and Germany in general.

Take care everyone and enjoy the festive season no matter what nationally or religious denomination you are.

Mosel Wein Nachts Markt In Traben Trarbach

Germany is famous for its Christmas markets, and virtually every town has one. The problem is, they can be a bit ‘samey’ if you know what I mean. But there are plenty with an unusual twist, and I think one of the most notable and romantic has to be the Traben-Trarbach”Mosel-Wein-Nachts-Markt” which literally means “Wine Nights Market”, a clever play on “Weihnachtsmarkt”, the German word for Christmas Market.

In keeping with the wine heritage of the town, this event offers markets in some enormous old vaulted cellars which are decked out with stalls offering a big variety of traditional crafts, edible treats and of course local plonk. Also on offer is an ice skating rink (outdoor, not in a cellar!) plus an extensive entertainment programme.

The markets and other activities are open from Friday through Sunday to 18th December, and then daily from 22nd December to 3rd January, although 24th and 25th December are closed for obvious reasons. In general, opening times are 11am to 9pm, but please check the website (links below) for the exact programme.

Traben-Trabach is very accessible, being located right on the Mosel between Koblenz and Trier. A shuttle bus service is available from some of the other towns in the locality, and cheap flights are available from various European cities to Frankfurt Hahn regional airport which is only about 40 minutes away, so why not spend a weekend here and experience the real German Christmas spirit?

You can find out more by clicking here for the website but you may have to run it through Google Translate as it is only in German. Clicking here will give you the brochure which has all of the important information in English, French and Dutch and includes a map of the various attractions, programme for the entertainment and more. Alternatively, the Tourist Information office in the town will be able to help.

“Festlicher Weinpudding” – Festive Wine Pudding

Here is another intriguing recipe using Riesling (or any other) wine, and despite it being called “festive” there is no reason why it cannot be enjoyed at any time.

Being a useless cook myself, I have to admit that I have not attempted to make this one yet, but if anyone does I would love to hear if it was a success!

You will need:

  • 750 ml Riesling or other white wine
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • 50 grams ground almonds
  • Cinnamon and sugar to finish

Briskly beat the wine with the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla sugar and starch over a gentle heat until thickened – do not overheat as it will scramble! Beat the egg white until stiff and fold in the almonds.

Pour the egg yolk mixture into a greased baking dish and top with the egg white mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes at 200 ° C. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

(Adapted from the recipe the German imosel website which can be found here).

Weihnachts Comes But Once A Year

Christmas – or “Weihnachts” in German – is fast approaching and that means the famous German Christmas Markets are now well underway. For those of us living in or visiting the Mosel, the unique combination of the magical market atmosphere coupled with picturesque surroundings really is unbeatable.

So put on your woolly scarves and gloves and indulge in a glass or two of the ubiquitous “Glühwein” (warm mulled wine) or “Eierlikor” (eggnog) as you browse a multitude of stalls selling crafts, trinkets, sweets and a whole host of other traditional (an not so traditional) Christmas goods.

Most towns big and small have at least one market, some lasting just for a few days and others for much longer, and you can find a selection of those that take place in and around the valley here, or for a little further afield but still close enough for a day trip click here.

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