Grüner Veltliner: A Treasure to Discover
Welcome to slow’s corner:
Wine, a wonderful juice, made from grapes grown all over the world, with endless variations and expressions. The world of wine has always fascinated me, but it can have a difficult barrier of entry. Without guidance, it can seem impossible to decipher where to begin. I hope to provide a little bit of guidance to those who follow this series and help everybody discover wine. It may seem that without knowledge you cannot enjoy wine, but that simply is a falsehood. The most important thing I can impart on newcomers to wine is:
To enjoy wine, all you need is a clean glass.
While Austria is by no means far off the beaten path (they make world class wine), the grapes are often hard to pronounce and slightly less familiar to the inexperienced consumer. The steep slopes of the Danube offer a climate similar to the Mosel (probably the most famous German region for Riesling) and produce wines that are worth seeking out. Cool nights and wind from the river help the grapes achieve a wonderful acidity that showcases itself in the wines featured below!
We’re going to talk about an under appreciated grape variety that everybody should have at home: Grüner Veltliner.
Austria’s most planted grape, can be enjoyed both young and old. It provides such a wonderful drinking experience, that can be replicated every time you open a bottle. When perusing the wine shelves, I always appreciate wines, and grape varieties that provide consistency and value. Grüner is a star by those measurements. Vintage after vintage, my excitement never wanes when bringing home Austrian wine. Grüner shines at the table, its high acid, along with a fervent salinity allow it to accentuate food. If I endeavoured to list all the Austrian Grüner’s I’ve enjoyed over the years, I’m sure I could write a small tome. Instead, I will highlight three bottles that I look for every year, that I purchase without hesitation, regardless of vintage.
The oldest vineyard in Austria, Nikolaihof provides drinkability, along with world class wines. Appealing aroma with gentle sweet hints from soft fruits such as peach or pear, followed by flint. A lively fresh palate that lights up all senses, but doesn’t disappear quickly. Clean stony characteristics that shows the terroir of the soil it hails from. It provides high acid, but also depth with mouthwatering salinity. This wine melds acid and minerality to find a fine balance. You won’t want to put down the glass, it keeps you coming back for more.
If you see the Loimer label, put it in your cart, and thank the earth for providing such tantalizing juice.
Great wine, to be opened on a whim without regret. Complex enough to stand on its own, but very generous alongside a good meal. Genuine intensity of flavours that include a wide accompaniment of orchard fruits, along with a terroir driven herbal edge.
Unique mouthfeel and textural experience drinking this wine, explosive aromas fill your glass with bright citrus, apple and peach. A classic expression of Grüner that stars lime at the centre and is finished a light herbal edge. A viscous wine with character that provides immense enjoyment on every sip.
Thanks for taking the time to explore wine with me. I hope you’re able to track down a bottle to try any of these great Grüners, or any others you may find. Feel free to comment below, and start a conversation. My partner would love a break for her ears!