Where can we get a mulled wine now? “A passer-by asks his companion. The two of them stroll through the city center on Thursday afternoon. A woman walks towards them who hears that and immediately starts laughing. Mulled wine? In these times, without Christmas markets? Oh yes Perhaps there have never been so many bizarre places and opportunities to stand around with steaming mugs. A quick tour of the first Advent.
On Marienplatz, for example, the snack stand at Wildmosers Restaurant-Café has bratwurst rolls and now mulled wine. They did not benefit from the lack of competition from the Christmas market, says the operator, and sales are going “as always”. With the mulled wine in particular, he notices something completely different, the “To go” is really being followed this year. “People get a mulled wine and move on, it’s rare that they take a second round.” As a possible reason, he cites that masking is mandatory on Marienplatz and with mouth and nose protection it is just bad to drink.
A few meters further on, even the Dutch have specialized in this drink, which is not widely used in their homeland. In the shop “Cheese & More” there is a note in the shop window, behind which cheeses are layered up to the top: “Mulled wine”. Inside there are also two metal pots with hot wine among dozen types of cheese. And a mulled wine dip specially developed two weeks ago.
The Japanese star chef Tohru Nakamura only opened his restaurant “Salon Rouge” on Dienerstrasse in October. When the partial lockdown came in November, Nakamura turned everything upside down and turned the Salon Rouge into the “Umai Street Food Market”. There are not only Japanese burgers to take away, but also a Japanese form of mulled wine, the “mulled sake”, based on hot rice wine.
Normal wine, hot and cold, is now also available on Gärtnerplatz in Cotidiano. Much prior knowledge is not necessary either. Get the mulled wine pot and the finished drink, connect, heat up, pour out. The seller at the counter is quite satisfied with the sales. Two women stand a few meters away on Thursday, one with cold, the other with hot white wine. “It’s the same as always, only better,” says one of them, smiling from behind the cloud of steam that rises from the cup. On the one hand, people meet earlier that the Corona period has finally made day drinking socially acceptable. “In addition, this tightness is always annoying at the Christmas market.”
There’s not much going on in the city center – you can find a bit of Christmas magic in Westpark
Now you can stroll from station to station and buy a new mug anywhere. Almost everywhere you can have the drink poured into cups you brought with you or into returnable cups and take it with you. And when you go for a walk you freeze less. In addition, there is the fact that the restaurants are supported and paid less because there is no deposit on the paper cups. “It won’t be our last stop today,” says the second of the two friends at Gärtnerplatz. However, the new possibility of glow hikes has apparently yet to be established.
At the Stachus there is still little going on in the early evening, no ice magic far and wide. And on the Theresienwiese, where the winter Tollwood with its brightly lit tents is usually running, with concerts, bazaar halls, food stands and cultural events, only the tent of the corona test station is lit these days.
A bit of a Christmas market can be found in Westpark, where the “Gans am Wasser” café serves mulled wine. In front of the beer garden there are a few, corona-compliant in small groups at a distance, cyclists and joggers brightly lit with LED lights come by. “This is at least a small replacement,” says one customer who is here often. It’s just a shame, says another, that the café closes at 6 p.m. after all: “We’re going to have a mulled wine elsewhere now, this year we’re definitely going to run more than usual at the Christmas market.” Or not at all if you order from Katharina Rohrer.
Rohrer usually sells her hot berry wine at Marienplatz around this time, and with the “Beerenalm” she has been an integral part of the Christmas market for years. Now the Rohrers are delivering their mulled wine to their customers’ homes, for which they have bought an electric car. This year, the Christmas spirit is more likely to take place in private, says Rohrer, and “customers drink their mulled wine at home on the balcony”. Of course, the Beerenexpress was created out of necessity, but something nice can be gained from the changed situation: “Most of the people we deliver to so far are regular customers of the Christmas market. Some of them now get a face for me and we talk briefly at the door.”
Not only mulled wine can be brought home, there are also Christmas gifts and gingerbread. The city portal muenchen.de has created a digital Christmas market presence, which more than a hundred market merchants have already joined. Still, it’s worth going out, maybe right now. Because the next mulled wine stand could be a lot closer than you think.