The Germans also make damn good wine.

I once attended a wine tasting (weinprobe) in a small town about thirty minutes from Wiesbaden.

When invited by my collegues I was told we'd sample some wine, and not to eat before, since the weinprobe would include dinner.

So I didn't eat anything before going.

The weinprobe was held on the grounds of a family owned vineyard, and had been in business for a little over seven hundred years.

Our host that evening was a direct descendant, and quite proud of his German heritatge, his industrys history and, of course, his product.

We sampled about twenty different types of wine that evening, all produced on this vineyard or another that they also owned several kilometers north.

Each type of wine was introduced with a funny story about it's origin, some of which were quite involved. A few were a little bawdy and they seemed to get funnier as the night wore on. Our host was kind enough to translate each tale into English.

And dinner? Eight different types of sausages and three different kinds of cheese (wurst und kase) with a little gerkin pickle on the side of the plate.

I don't eat that much meat, but considering the entire evening lasted a little over five hours, it's no surprise that I didn't mind it at all that night!
A few years ago I was somehow watching a television program that involved an interview with a fashion designer who I believe was British back stage at a show in Paris. She was being asked why her production facilities were in Germany.

She looked straight into the camera and said, "Say what you want about the Germans. But they know how to pack boxes."

For some reason this has stuck with me as a bit of wisdom and is the second or third association that comes up whenever someone mentions Germany. The first is Braun coffee makers and the design ethos that they had from 1955 to the mid 1990's: "There are two colours. White. And black. Everything else...is mud." There is no other nationality for which the issue of design style comes up for me at all.

Does this make any sense?

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