A match from heaven or hell?

Imagine this: You’re in Bavaria in late summer or autumn and you stumble upon the greatest folk festival in the world: Oktoberfest. There’s only one problem: You’re a wine lover. Is there a way for a wine lover to enjoy Oktoberfest? Of course!

Many Germans prefer to attend Oktoberfest wearing traditional bavarian clothes (Photo: Katja Rooke, unsplash.com)

The history of Oktoberfest

The first Oktoberfest was held in Munich from 12-17 October 1810. It was organized to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Horse races, dancing and singing were only a few of the activities that took place during this time. The celebration turned out to be so popular among the locals, it became an annual event.

Today, Oktoberfest is the most famous German tradition, and millions of Germans and tourists attend the festival grounds. It lasts for more than 15 days, and usually ends the first week of October. While the Oktoberfest in Munich is still the most popular one, there is a smaller-scale celebration in almost every village. Many of these small fairs have escaped tourist attention, and still keep their traditional charm.

What’s happening at Oktoberfest?

Oktoberfest lasts for a week and is organized in the city park. It’s open during the whole day and is free to attend. You can enjoy many different activities, such as rollercoaster rides, shopping for traditional products, as well as singing and dancing.

Kids are also welcome at Oktoberfest (Photo: Chandramohan Sudar, unsplash.com)

The main attraction is of course the beer. Many breweries build tents, where they serve their own beer along with traditional dishes. Sausages are the obvious choice. Each brewery offers many different types of beers, such as Pilsner or Weissbier, along with the classic Lager. Restaurants or other local producers and companies also have their own tents.

Oktoberfest for the wine lover

Many wine lovers avoid Oktoberfest, thinking it’s only about beer. Yet, the opposite is true! You can find wine in almost every tent, even if it’s owned by a brewery! People who like wine are not left out! Most places offer a selection of wines, that can be white, rose, red or sparkling (Sekt)! German wines are preferred, yet you can also find some Austrian or Italian options. Before picking a place, you can check the menu outside to check their wine selection.

Finding wine at Oktoberfest

To order wine at Oktoberfest, you need to know some basic German words and phrases. For example: Wein (vine) is wine; Weisswein (vice-vine) is white wine; Rotwein (wrote-vine) is red wine; Roséwein (rose-vine) is rosé wine; Sekt (zekt) is sparkling wine; Ein Glas (ine glass) is a glass; Eine Flasche (ine flash-a) is a bottle; Bitte (bit-a) is please; Danke (dank-a) is thank you

Tains are the easiest way to reach the festival grounds (Photo: Gaspar Uhas, unsplash.com)

Undiscovered Oktoberfest festivals

Folk festivals similar to Oktoberfest are held in many Bavarian cities. Most of them started as an agricultural exhibition hundreds of years ago, and have turned into a source of excitement and fun for the locals every year. Some of the undiscovered festivals are held in Straubing, Passau, Erding, Würzburg or Regensburg. These festivals take place at different times late summer or early autumn - or sometimes also spring! -, so you can have the Oktoberfest experience even if you miss the Munich festival.

What are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to plan your 2024 Oktoberfest experience! Enjoy Oktoberfest as a true wine lover.

Cheers from the VinoVoss team!

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