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In which SWMBO counsels recovering alcoholics to not grocery shop in Budapest.

Beautiful hotel, downtown Belgrade

Hotel, downtown Belgrade

In Ontario from whence we hail, the sale of alcohol is controlled by the state.  If you want a drink, you get yourself down to the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario).  You don’t go to a grocery store and you don’t go to a corner shop.

Don’t be selfish...

Don’t be selfish…

We’ve left Serbia and although we didn’t write a post about Belgrade, let the record show that it is one great city.  We came back to visit friends and fell in love with it’s charm all over again.  It is an underrated/overlooked big European city.

Cheese (and wine) refrigerator case

Cheese (and wine) refrigerator case

Cheese (and wine) counter

Cheese (and wine) counter

Today we drove from Serbia to Hungary and ended in Budapest.  Fahbio and I left the kids in our apartment and set off to (urgently) find gas and groceries.  Our apartment is in the heart of the city so gas stations are a little thin on the ground.  Just as we were coasting on fumes, OMG OMV!  What I mean to say is that an OMV gas station appeared out of thin air just when we most needed it.  Tanked up, we set off in search of groceries and ended up at “Tesco Extra”.  The “extra” is in the form of white, red, rosé, sparkling, fortified…

One of many booze aisles

One of many wine aisles

All this wine is on sale

This is the sale section

Yet another wine display

A tower of wine

We have never seen a grocery store like this.  The alcohol and wine section was quite resplendent.  We thought this fitting in a country with a rich wine culture.  However, as we shopped we were surprised by the way that wine was featured throughout the store.  It was artfully done and each section featured wines that would go best with the foods on display.

The marketers or artists among us could say that the most efficient and beautiful system was being created.  If you want a cake, you don’t have to roam the store, the perfect wine match is in the fridge right above the cake.  Bingo! The cynics among us think it akin to placing chocolate bars and impulse items next to the cash.

Wouldn’t a glass of wine go well with that cake?

Wouldn’t a glass of sparkling wine go well with that cake?

Where’s the wine?!  Wine doesn’t go well with pickles...

Where’s the wine?! Wine doesn’t go well with pickles… (yes the homemade pickle selection is amazing)

Our shop was an interesting way to spend our first evening in Budapest but I’m not sure we’ll be making a habit of it.  Good thing, too.