Wine Food Pairing ...... the Cows go up and the Cows come down!

Wine Food Pairing in the Alps ..... what, could be more of an adventure? Every autumn, usually in September or October the cows in the Alpine regions of Europe make the annual trek down the mountainside after a summer of feasting on sweet, tender grass on the mountain tops. This fattens up the cows for a winter season of "hopefully" bountiful milk and cheese producing.

This event is called Almabtrieb in German and is looked forward to as terrific time to celebrate with music, beer, wine and local food! Large tents are set up and locals as well as the tourists watch as the shepherds dressed in their traditional garb of lederhosen (rhymes with "lair-de-hose-in") lead their bovine wards down the mountains through the streets of the village.
The shepherds in their short leather breeches are not the only ones dressed up for the occasion. The night before they are led down the mountain, the cows are all decked out in flowered harnesses, ribbons and bells. It is quite a sight to see and hear!

Did I hear you ask about the motor traffic during this event? Nothing moves very fast on the day that the cows come down! If you are in your car and are going the same way, it is almost impossible ...... if you are lucky enough to be able to pass the "parade" you will find yourself moving along eye to eye with one of these colorful flowered beasts ..... and you pray to make it around the herd before it decides to move back across the road.

The best case scenario is to find the Beer tent and kick back to enjoy the celebration! For myself, I enjoyed a ? liter of the local red wine along with a cheese sausage or kase grinder. Teamed up with a fresh roll it made a hearty snack! Of course all of these local kitchens cook up a "mean" schnitzel, which is a breaded meat cutlet....this cutlet can be any type of meat from veal to pork or turkey. I like the hearty red wines to pair with these also, but many find that they can't do without their traditional beer!

If you would like to have a more personal interest in the events it is possible to "rent a cow". Yes, rent a cow! In Switzerland, some of the farmers have come up with a program to rent a cow for the summer. Renting a cow comes with privileges. You will get laminated photo of your "Bessie" along with her name ..... you can even visit your bovine up in the Alps..... and, the farmer will sell you cheese at a discounted price. For additional fees, if you arrive by 5:00am, you can have the special honor of milking your beast.

This cow rental contract, yes, you know the Swiss are very precise people, also allows you to join the procession down the mountain during the Almabtrieb. Pretty cool, huh? I'm not sure about availability, but I would book far in advance!

I found this whole celebration a delightful experience....good food, wine and entertainment galore....and you should see the cows!

This, my friends, is Wine Food Pairing at its finest! CHEERS!

Denise Clarke has been passionate about wine food pairing for many follow her blog to go:
or go to her website at:

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About The Author, Denise Clarke
Denise Clarke has been passionate about wine food pairing for many follow her blog to go:http://www.winefoodpairing.blogspot.comor go to her website at: