Here’s to a Fun-Filled Weekend in the ‘Other Lisbon’

If I could hop on a magic carpet and be whisked away to a far-off land today, you know where I’d go?


No, not the capital city of Portugal. although it does offer much for a wine drinker to love.

I’m talking about Lisbon, Iowa, a town of 2,200 not far from the “big city” of Cedar Rapids.

Why Lisbon, Iowa? Because today through Saturday, Lisbon Sauerkraut Days will be celebrated with an array of small-town activities, from a parade to a car show, and from an ice cream social to a “largest cabbage” contest.

And throughout the venue, vendors will be selling flavorful brats topped with the festival’s namesake ingredient.

When I’m asked to name some of the more challenging foods to pair with wine, two that almost always come immediately to mind are asparagus and sauerkraut.

Challenging… but not impossible.

In case you missed our blog on pairing wine with asparagus, Sauvignon Blanc works well because the veggie and the wine share an herbaceous characteristic.

When it comes to sauerkraut, we’ve found that dry Riesling, Sylvaner and Pinot Blanc — particularly renditions from the Alsace region, situated along the border between France and Germany — work quite nicely. Their freshness and minerality serve as perfect counterparts to the kraut’s saltiness.

And when you place a freshly grilled bratwurst on a lightly toasted bun and top it with sauerkraut, an Alsatian Gewurztraminer would complete the meal perfectly.

Sadly, my magic carpet is in the shop for repairs, so I won’t be visiting either Lisbon this weekend. But I just may fire up the grill, cook some brats, slather them in sauerkraut and raise a glass to those lucky folks in Iowa. Sometimes, the simple things in life are the best. P.S.: Did you know that Iowa has a thriving wine industry? To learn more, click here.

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