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Grüner Veltliner: Your New Favorite White Wine

Austria, home of Grüner-Veltliner.

Summer is coming to an end. But it doesn’t go quietly: the most sweltering weeks of the year are now upon us. The dark, heavy reds of winter are the last thing on your mind. So what to drink?

If you haven’t yet tried Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s dominant white wine varietal, it’s time you did. Grüner Veltliners can vary widely from bottle to bottle, but most are medium-bodied dry wines. Most Grüners are high in acidity, making them refreshingly perfect for hot summer nights. They can vary from fruity, with aromas of apple and pear, to very mineral, to spicy, with notes of pepper.

Grüner Veltliner is a great wine to pair food with: its subtle acidity is a good foil for all kinds of dishes. Austrians serve it with everything from Wiener Schnitzel to strong-tasting vegetables such as broccoli and artichoke. Grüner Veltliner also pairs well with spicy foods: try it with your next Thai or Chinese meal.

Some Grüner-Veltliners are meant to be enjoyed soon after bottling, but others have the kind of complexity that aging agrees with.    If you haven’t tried this varietal before, pick up a few bottles: some to save for a rainy winter day, and some to toast the end of a long, beautiful summer.

  1. erika hendel
    October 17th, 2012 at 09:33 | #1

    While it’s always great when someone recommends the great wines of Austria, your generalizations are misleading. Perhaps you were edited down, but first of all, there is no way to categorize “most” Grüner Veltliner (which is not hyphenated); as the number 1 varietal of Austria, there are literally 1000’s of them, and the top white wine producers usually have at least 4 or 5. They are 16 wine regions of Austria and 13 of them grow Grüner Veltliner, so style and terroir vary greatly also.
    And please, just like any other white varietal Grüner Veltliner IS NOT JUST A SUMMER WINE! Yes, it is an incredibly versatile varietal and quite possibly the ultimate food wine; one of the foods it pairs perfectly with is oysters, which are in season NOW, not in the summer. And there are full-bodied, complex, ageable GVs perfect w/meats, cheese and rich cuisine. The Austrian Wine Marketing Board has a great website full of interesting facts about Austrian wine, for your next post on Austrian wine.

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