The first year Tony and I lived in Zurich, we made sure to explore all the Zurich wine boats had to offer. The wine boats are an annual tradition in Zurich. Boats are pulled together at the lakefront, and different wine distributors set up shop to sell their products. This event is essentially free wine tasting while floating stationary.
Our first time around in 2013, we struggled a bit. Part of the struggle was the fear of the approach. We hadn’t learned any German and didn’t know how to “get started” when it came approaching the stands to taste wine. This year we were much braver. So brave, in fact, that we brought our baby with us.
We received two different reactions from the people on the wine boats:
- Aw, she’s so cute! What type of wine does she like? Haha, I think I am so funny.
- Who the hell brings a baby to a wine tasting event? I hope she doesn’t cry and spill her tears in this 2004 merlot I’m sipping.
Of course we didn’t care. We were as considerate about it as possible, strapping her to Tony’s chest rather than daring to push a stroller through crowds of people and small spaces.
Besides, the wine distributors themselves loved her. Because of Matilda, we were able to get to the front of the line at most of the wine stands. We also had the distributor’s full attention due to Matilda’s interaction with them, which meant more wine for us to taste.
We only stayed about an hour because the tiny space and amount of people made it very hot. Matilda started to get antsy and fussy, and of course, we didn’t want her tears spilling into anyone’s wine glass.
We managed to leave with a few orders or wine, and are looking forward to their arrival.
Some things I will share in regards to the wine boats:
- I didn’t take my own advice from 2013, which was to RESEARCH in advance. The guide you are given is alphabatized by distributor, not wine type or wine region. This made it more difficult to identify which stands we really wanted to dedicate our time to. I don’t know many people who buy wine based on the distributor, so if you are serious about purchasing wine, know what you want (specifically who distributes it) in advance.
- I mentioned this in the original blog as well – eat before you go, and go on a week night. We did follow this advice which was to our advantage.
- You don’t need your wallet. They bill you after they send you the wine but watch out – you tend to spend more money when drinking. I will soon be the owner of a case of Barolo I didn’t realize I wanted. 🙄
- Check your coat. The event is in late fall when it starts to get very chilly. Most people hang onto their coats because you are temporarily outside when walking from boat to boat. However, the boats are very hot given their size and the volume of people, and the coats just take up more space.
Here’s to another successful year on the wine boats, and to starting a new family tradition! 🙂