It's easy to forget sometimes that I come from a long and slightly eccentric line of Germans. My dad's job has meant that I've never actually lived in Germany but my mum made sure I learnt German and that I had at least some sense of my German background. It's not always been easy learning about a country which seems so far away from you. I learnt English when I was five and since 2004 I've been living in the UK so my home country has sometimes felt more like a distant cousin at times.
I never felt particularly German growing up but the longer I've lived in the UK the more I've wanted to connect with my history and I've always been very proud of where I have come from. My grandfather on my mother's side always had the most fascinating stories about our relatives, he could recall any dates and names instantly and listening to him always made me feel a little closer to my family.
So when and InnTravel got in touch with me about seeing German in a new and different light I didn't want to say no.
The German cliqués are all about sausages and beer. But as stereotypes and cliqués go, naturally there is so much more about Germany than that. In fact it's probably worth saying that Germans have a great great love for wine.
The village my dad was born and raised in is surrounded by steep hills upon which the grapes for the local wine grow and every summer there is a raucous three day 'Wine Fest' which of course involves lots of wine and lots of food. Wine brings people together, so many of my memories from childhood are of watching the adults get together at the wine festivals, sharing bottles of local wine, laughing and sharing old stories.
Being sent two bottles of excellent German white wine meant I could have nostalgic flashbacks to my summers in Germany whilst sat on my couch in Cardiff. The Dr. Loosen Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese is a wine that my family would crack open in the summer without hesitation. My family are big Riesling lovers, but if you're worried about enjoying a sweeter wine then give the Grey Slate Dr L Riesling Private Reserve Riesling a chance, it's only £9.99 at Waitrose. Knowing I can find high quality German wines in the supermarket warms my heart. I do tend to get homesick so knowing that I can get a pit of home in the UK is comforting.
When thinking about European chocolate you're most likely to think of Belgium and Switzerland straight away but if you're German then Ritter Spot will instantly transport you back to your childhood. Ritter Sport come in seemingly endless flavour combinations. They're designed so you break off small squares, that's probably so you don't eat the entire bar in one sitting but that's never stopped me.
Growing up my grandfather used to send these out to us in the post. But by the time the chocolate would arrive in the Middle East it would just be one big melted square of chocolate, but it was always the thought that counted!
Now if this post has you intrigued you'll be very happy to hear that InnTravel and giving away to one lucky winner the same German care packaged that I received! All you have to do is enter the Raffelcopter giveaway below for a chance to win two bottles of Riesling and tasty German chocolates. Can't wait to hear what you think!