Yes, with all the grapes around, this region produces excellent, crisp wines. But be sure to set aside at least one "Prost!" (German for "cheers!") for a frosty glass of Forst, a rich and slightly bitter golden beer brewed here in Merano.

Sampling the Local Grape in Wine Bars

Merano doesn't leave all its famous grapes unfermented for the cure, and you can sample local wine at Weinstuben (enoteche in Italian), or wine bars. Rothaler Weinstube, Via Portici 41 (no phone), is a cozy Tirolean tavern, on Merano's arcaded main street, with a simple bar upfront and a teensy, dimly lit back room half-paneled and heavily frescoed with images of grapes and vineyards. Cheese and meat platters run about 3.50€ to 6€; it's closed Sunday and Saturday afternoon.

For less historical atmosphere but a larger choice, head to Enoteca Claudia, Piazza del Duomo 13 (tel. 0473-230-693), where over three dozen wines are available by the glass for 1.75€ to 5€. There's a smattering of round tables outside in the shadow of the Duomo's bell tower and apse, plus more seating lined against the shelves upon shelves of wine inside. The various mixed platters of meats, cheeses with olives and artichokes, homemade sausages with vinegar-pickled veggies, and a sandwich or two (such as speck, cheese, tomatoes, and peppers), cost from 4€ to 9€.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.