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Blown Away in New York
They say New York is the city where anything can happen. I was not sure how true that really is, when I first traveled there in February 2013. It was my first time in the USA and I was on my way to the Riesling celebration, an international event held in New York every year for the world's most renowned Riesling winegrowers. For three days there are seminars, specialist discussions, tastings and finally a lavish gala dinner as the crowning finale.
So I'm in New York and I'm getting into the New York subway somewhere in Brooklyn, for the first time in my life, to present our Rieslings in a Manhattan wine bar. The subway is full. Every second person stares at his cell phone, nobody speaks, everyone has earplugs. A man gets on and takes a seat opposite me. He also pulls out his smartphone and starts surfing. Then he looks up briefly, looks me over thoughtfully - and continues surfing. We thunder along for two stations in the tin carriages. Suddenly he points a finger at me and asks incredulously with raised eyebrows:
"Aren’t you Florian Lauer?"
I almost fell off my seat! These words surprise me so much in this most anonymous of all conceivable situations. I think I have misheard, but obviously no one else is responding to this name. I can hardly get the answer out.
"Ehm, yes, I am!"
"Cool, I'm Frank, I'm a huge fan of your wines! See you tomorrow at the Riesling celebration seminar.” With these words, the man gets off with a wave. I am absolutely blown away - what a crazy city!