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Vinohradsý parlament

OUR PRAGUE GUIDE TO ST MARTIN’S GOOSE AND WINE

WHAT IS ST MARTIN’S DAY AND WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Easy. St Martin’s Day falls on the 11th of November and it celebrates St Martin of Tours, one of the first „non-Martyr saints“, a soldier-turned-Bishop who lived in the 4th Century. There are many legends surrounding his life, but only a few are relevant for us specifically.

Namely, it’s St Martin goose, St Martin rolls, St Martin wines, and St Martin arriving on a white horse.

Traditionally, St Martin is said to be arriving on a white horse, meaning that November 11 tends to coincide with the first snow of the winter season. Well, due to a little thing called climate change, this hasn’t been the case very much lately. Still, St Martin is the day on which you feast on comfort food before the Nativity Fast hits on November 28: there’s a few legends involving geese and St Martin (they either made loud, annoying noises during his sermons, or he hid among geese when they came over to make him a Bishop, and they ratted him out – in any case, they misbehaved and must be punished one way or the other), but the fact is St Martin goose with cabbage or sauerkraut and dumplings is an absolute St Martin’s Day classic, along with sweet rolls filled with either nuts or poppies.

St Martin’s wines are a much newer thing in the Czech Republic, although they do follow some historical logic – St Martin was about the day when winemakers stopped working for the masters who hired them. Marketing-wise, the denomination of St Martin’s wine was introduced as late as in 2005, as a Czech and Moravian response to Beaujolais Nouveau wines. Not all young wine are eligible to be St Martin wines. Only some grapes qualify (the more aromatic whites like Muller Thurgau, Moravian Muscat and Veltliner Frührot, and St Laurent, Blauer Portugieser and Zweigeltrebe for reds and rosés), and allowed residual sugar is capped. All wines that want to bear the denomination must be approved by an independent committee. In 2020, 312 wines by 74 wineries will bear the mark.

VINOHRADSKÝ PARLAMENT

Vinohradský parlament, one of the nicest pubs after the redesign (too bad we can’t go there to check it out now), offers a goose promotion – buy one goose leg dish (which includesred cabbage and dumplings) and you get a second goose leg for the low, low price of free! That’s two goose legs for CZK 399. They can be yours at the take out window from Friday, November 6 on.