Winter is coming! Where to fatten up on St. Martin’s goose in Prague this month

St. Martin's wine comes three days early this year while markets and restaurants across Prague will celebrate with roasted goose menus and delicacies all month long

Across Europe, the feast of St. Martin, known elsewhere as Martinmas, means a hearty winter pairing of roasted goose and, in the Czech Republic, St. Martin’s wine (Svatomartinské víno). 

Why goose and wine? Legend has it St. Martin once hid out in a goose pen to avoid being ordained bishop and was betrayed by the cackling of geese. While he is said to have spread wine-making throughout France, it was during the 18th-century reign of Emperor Joseph II, that vineyard owners in the Czech lands began visiting winemakers on St. Martin’s Day to sample the new wine.

Photo via Facebook (@svatomartinskevino)

St. Martin’s wine is light and dry, with low alcohol content and fruity character. Four grapes are used in its production – Müller Thurgau and Veltlínské červené rané for white wine, and Modrý Portugal and Svatovavřinecké for red or rosé wine. The St. Martin’s tradition is similar to that of the French Beaujolais Nouveau, but the Czech ritual is much older.

The medieval custom also falls in November because that’s when geese are fattened across the continent. And there’s a legend: during November, “St. Martin comes on his white horse,” the white horse symbolizing the end of autumn and the wintry weather to come. 

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St. Martin arrives on a white horse to herald the coming winter


In the Czech Republic, the feast is accompanied by red cabbage and dumplings; the official release of St. Martin’s Wine takes place on November 11 at precisely 11 am. This year while the traditional toast will still take place on this date throughout the country, however sales of young wine will begin three days earlier this, due to the good quality and condition of this year’s harvest.

Here’s where to get your roasted St. Martin’s goose in 2019 in Prague this year as well as where to toast with new wine:

Parade

St. Martin’s Parade
November 11

This annual lantern parade through historic Vyšehrad, led by St. Martin on his steed, is preceded by a short play at the Rotunda of St. Martin. Read more

Toast

St. Martin’s Toast at the Botanical Gardens
November 11

This Troja event hosted by the Botanical Gardens and Vinotéka sv. Klára, opens the wine cellar to visitors who can taste an assortment of eleven wines from both Bohemia and Moravia. Read more

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St. Martin’s Toast at Vinotéka sv. Klára, November 11

Festivals

Festival of Young Wines at Náměstí Republiky
November 6
Shop for young wines at this mini-fest in front of the Palladium shopping center. Read more

St. Martin’s Celebration at Jiřák
November 9
The JZP farmer’s market on the square promises a selection of goose dishes for pairing with young wine plus activities for kids and musical accompaniment. Read more

St. Martin’s Festivities at Kasárna Karlín
November 11-16
Teaming up with The Real Meat Society this Prague 8 hang-out promises “a heated big top full of quality food, wine from an ecological family winery and an accompanying program for children.” Live music and free entry. Read more.

St. Martin’s festival at Culture Center Kyje, November 9

St. Martin’s Feast at Kyje Culture CenterNovember 9
Read more

St. Martin’s Festival at Náplavka
November 9
The ninth annual St. Martin’s Festival has ver 25 winemakers, goose specials and live music.
Read more

Letná Goose at the National Agricultural Museum
November 16
Guided tasting of St. Martin’s and young wines from leading Moravian and Czech producers, sale of wine and various gastronomic specialties. Program for young visitors. Read more

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Letná Goose at the National Agricultural Museum, November 16

Karlín Feast
November 17
The Karlín Market will serve goose specialties, St. Martin’s wines, creative workshops, face painting, and feature pop music performances. Read more

Restaurants with St. Martin’s menu

OSSEGG Praha
November 5-11
Read more

Červený Jelen
November 8-11
Read more

Lokal locations
November 8-11
Read more

Meat Beer (All you can eat St. Martin’s brunch)
November 9
Read more

Goose delicacies at Meat Beer’s St. Martin’s brunch, November 9

Kastrol
November 9 and 17
Read more

GARE restaurants
November 9-11
Read more

Point
November 11
Read more

Visit Point November 11 for a St. Martin’s goose feast

Restaurace U Tří Prasátek
November 11
Read more

Výčep
November 11-13
Read more

U Matěje
November 11-30
Read more

Občanská plovárna (Beaujolais Nouveau)
November 21
Read more

Or cook up your own goose feast with this recipe here!

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