I love me a good Grüner, which is fast replacing my favorite white (Sauvignon Blanc) as my go-to on a hot day. Typically crisp and dry, Grüner also displays flavors of grapefruit, citrus and peach on the palate, which hits the spot when the sun is beating and the sweat is beading. On the nose, the wine often has a characteristic hint of white pepper, even minerality. Grüner is the most widely planted grape in Austria, accounting for one-third of the country’s plantings, and is readily available in any wine shop worth their salt.
Besides being a fresh and zippy alternative to Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner is also a great value wine, with prices never topping more than $20 for even the best bottles. And talk about food-friendly! Thanks to the white pepper and acidity, not to mention its general dryness, Grüner is great with Asian, lighter meats, fish and grilled vegetables. My favorite pairing, though, will always be a cold glass of the stuff on a rooftop and sunset. Bliss.
Below are a few common labels you should try:
GV Grüner Veltliner, Austria 2010
GV is refreshingly acidic, with notes of crisp green apple and hints of citrus. With its fresh, light finish, the GV pairs wonderfully with Asian cuisine, fish, veal and even asparagus.
Grooner Grüner Veltliner, Austria 2011
This Grooner is a wine for any occasion. Crisp and easy-going with balanced acidity, it is an easy-going wine that is perfect for any summer occasion.
Berger Grüner Veltliner, Austria 2010
The Berger expresses an herbal note on the nose, hinting at its youthful minerality. It is a joy to drink and would pair well with anything from pasta primavera to cod.