Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's in My Glass Wednesdays! 2010 Gruner Veltliner by Austrian Pepper

Gruner Veltliner is one of those up-and-coming varieties that I think we'll see much more of in the near future because New Zealand has taken the time to commit a lot of their vineyards towards growing this Austrian native.  That's right - Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia commit some investment in this variety.  Austrians typically drink this variety young, but I've heard some can be kept for over 10 years.  Although, if it's bottled with a screw-cap, I'd be weary of keeping it for more than 2 or 3 years.

And if you're lucky, you'll find a really nice Pennsylvania Gruner Veltliner as well!  Need suggestions?  Let me know, and I'll find you a good one!

Gruner Veltliner (said: "grooner velt-LEEN-er")
(Photo from Google Images)

Austrian Quality Seal
(Photo by author)

2010 Gruner Veltliner by Austrian Pepper
(Photo by author)

2010 Gruner Veltliner by Austrian Pepper

The D-2010 Scale 
2010 Gruner Veltline by Austrian Pepper (Austria)
Appearance (10 points possible): pale straw yellow color, clear - 10 points
Aroma/Bouquet (20 points possible): Slightly vegetal (green beans), light white pepper, and citrus.  The aroma is not overpowering, but I expect this from Gruner. - 18 points
Taste (10 points possible):  Medium-bodied with strong citrus, floral, vegetal, and white pepper spice flavors.  Wine is smooth and round throughout.  The finish is slightly astringent with a lingering vegetal and citrus flavor.  It almost appears slightly off-dry, although the wine claims to be dry.  - 8 points
Balance (5 points possible): The wine is 11.5% alcohol, which really pulls this wine together.  There's some real body in this wine, which many don't expect without familiarity of the variety.  A well-balanced wine. - 5 points
Finish (5 points possible): A citrus-vegetal finish, characteristic of Gruner that lingers. - 5 points
Packaging *Introduction to the D-2010 Scale*
Quality of Package (5 points possible):  Burgundian style green glass bottle.  Screw capped. - 5 points
Label Marketability (10 points possible):  I actually passed this bottle in the store because the label is so dull: cream colored with 1 black dot on it.  But I guess that is what the company is going for. - 7 points
Other (5 points possible):  Sealed with the traditional Austrian cap seal, but otherwise, nothing special. - 4 points
Total Points: 92 points
Overall Thought: I'm not a huge Gruner Veltliner drinker, but I can very much appreciate this wine, especially because I'm in the mood for it.  I guess with all wines, it's hit or miss whether you'll find a good bottle, and this is definitely a hit.  There's some nice fruit in this wine that matches the vegetal character very well.  It's medium-bodied and a good substitute to those stuck on Chardonnay. 
Food Pairings:  This is probably the best thing about Gruner - it's considered one of the easiest wines to pair with foods, mostly due to its vegetal flavor.  That means you can attempt to match this wine with green vegetables - like cooked green beans and asparagus.  Many other wines cannot match successfully with those foods.  But I'd also suggest something light and yummy like Provencal vegetables or a traditional Austrian dish like wiener Schnitzel.  I think this would also be good with things like sausage, sauerkraut, roasted chicken with veggies.
Cost: $13
Splurge Factor (out of 4): 1 - Are you kidding?  A real steal!  Go buy it!
Where to buy:  Again, I found this in the state store on sale (and I was lucky enough to catch the last bottle in State College), but it may be in your local store.  Can't find it, maybe you're one of the lucky ones that can order from a website!

Weiner Schnitzel
(Photo from Wikipedia)

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