Getting a Line on Gruner Veltliner

Posted in: Wine in the Glass
By Robert Johnson, Editor
Feb 6, 2011 - 9:00 AM

Every so often, one of the wine clubs of Vinesse will feature a bottling of Gruner Veltliner.

Every so often... and not more often... because it's an under-the-radar wine variety. Not much of it is made in the U.S., and not much is imported, either. So on those rare occasions when a high-quality Gruner Veltliner finds its way into the supply chain, our wine finders jump all over it.

Gruner Veltliner shares some characteristics common to Riesling, and others common to Sauvignon Blanc. The best renditions - more often than not made in the variety's home country of Austria - exhibit bold citrus flavors, accented by an intriguing minerality.

Other common characteristics include impressions of green apple, peach, pear, herbs, jasmine, and/or white pepper. And there's always ample acid, assuring a thirst-quenching treat in every glass.

That acidity also means that Gruner Veltliner is exceptionally food-friendly, pairing beautifully with Asian cuisine, spicy Tex-Mex dishes, shellfish and chicken.

We've also enjoyed it with the eclectic fare found on the Thanksgiving table, and it even matches nicely with one of the leading "enemies" of wine: asparagus.

Now that's a versatile wine.

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