This article is an in-depth introduction to Grüner Veltliner for Wine Pairing Weekend as well as a wine review and food pairing.
Although Grüner Veltliner has been growing in Austria for centuries, it is certainly in vogue in 2016. In fact Janis Robinson wrote, “Today, no self-respecting restaurant wine list, whether in New York or Hong Kong, can afford to be without at least one example of this, Austria’s signature white wine grape.” Why? Because it is so food friendly and easy to enjoy! This month Martin Redmond of Enofylz Wine Blog is hosting our Wine Pairing Weekend. Martin has selected Grüner Veltliner as the featured wine of the month. I have written two articles that included Grüner Veltliner, the most recent was “Stepping Out of the White Wine Rut,” and another one last summer called “Relax and Smile with Grüner Veltliner.” It is a wine that I particularly enjoy!
The name Grüner Veltliner translates to mean “Green Wine of Veltlin.” Veltlin was part of Austria until the 1600’s, today it is located in Valtellina, Italy. According to Austrian Wine, Grüner Veltliner is “the most important autochthonous grape variety in Austria.” Grüner Veltliner grows predominately in Austrian, with a little bit in neighboring Hungary and the Czech Republic. It is also being tested in New Zealand.
If you enjoy Sauvignon Blanc then Grüner Veltliner is a wine you should get to know. Its primary fruit notes are citrus: lemon, lime, and grapefruit and a touch of stone fruit. It also has very pleasing herbaceous herbal notes. But what separates Grüner Veltliner from other dry white wines is its wicked acidity. If you are an acid hound like me, Grüner is your new go to white wine! If you are looking for an inexpensive white wine that is light and crisp, seek out a Grüner Veltliner that is no more than 2 years old. It should be low in alcohol, 12 – 13% ABV, and cost no more than $20. It will offer hair raising acidity that is crisp and refreshing with a possible touch of effervescence. If you are seeking a nutty wine that offers more richness on the palate seek out a 5+ year old Grüner Veltliner. The acidity will be tamed and a pronounced nuttiness will shine through; however, not only will the ABV be higher, but so will the price, expect to pay upwards of $50 for older Grüners.
Janis Robinson made such a bold statement about every restaurant having a Grüner Veltliner on the wine list because Grüner loves food. The racy acidity pairs great with a large variety of cuisine. Any kind of white meat, seafood, shellfish, eggs or vegetarian dish you can imagine pairs with Grüner. Vegetables (even the impossible artichoke and asparagus) pair easily with Grüner. A wide array of spices and seasonings work great too so don’t think of Grüner as just a crisp summer wine, keep it in mind for Thanksgiving!
Weingut Malat 2013 Crazy Creatures Gruner Veltliner: This wine poured a golden yellow with green hues into the glass; crisp aromas of citrus including grapefruit, lemon, and a spritzy lime zest, stone fruit, a touch of green peppers and savory herbal notes fill the glass; as expected racy acidity fills the palate, a fresh tart wine with slight effervescence dazzles the tongue, all resting on a fresh minerality with soft floral notes, a beautifully layered, complex wine, really easy to sip and enjoy. 12% ABV; SRP $15.
I chose to pair Crazy Creatures 2013 Grüner Veltliner with Southwestern Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash. Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite things! Sometimes it is the best of all comfort foods. I was hankering for a hash and needed a pairing for my Grüner so I decided to test out the wine on this spicy, southwestern flavored hash. It was a great pairing. The Grüner totally stood up to the spices in the dish. Furthermore, I substituted the turkey sausage for Whole Foods pork chorizo sausage to kick up the spices even more. Winner Winner Breakfast for Dinner!
Malat crafted this line of Crazy Creatures wines to keep wine drinking fun. I selected the #2 label with the Locusta Cervus.
The jolly Locusta cervus is one of three patrons of Grüner Veltliner, a great white wine from Austria. His elegance and character represents the dynamism of Grüner Veltliner’s taste. Together with Caris septempunctata and Papilio scorpius he honors us with his presence on the labels of Grüner Veltliner.
While the Crazy Creatures are fun the Malat Winery is one of Austria’s most prestigious wineries. A family estate, Malat has been making wine for over 300 years, 10 generations.
The passion for quality, the drive for perfection, the love of artisanry and the respect for tradition – these are what characterize the wines from the House of Malat. This style was strongly influenced by Michael’s father, Gerald Malat, a true wine pioneer in the Kremstal and who took the Malat estate right to the top with his vision and creativity.
“I want to make wines that are wonderful not only to taste, but especially to drink. And each wine will reflect my own hand, my personal style – elegance, finesse and pure drinking pleasure!” ~ Michael Malat
Here are more great food pairings with Grüner Veltliner:
Jill of L’Occassion recommends we Go Ahead and Say It: Grüner Veltliner
Camilla, Culinary Adventures with Camilla is dishing- Herbs, Bitter Greens, and Halibut Cheeks with Grüner Veltliner
Sarah of Curious Cuisinere tempts us with Backhendl (Austrian Fried Chicken) and Grüner Veltliner
Nancy of Pull that Cork will be offering Grüner Veltliner: A Pair of Pear(ings) for #winePW
Lori of Dracaena Wines will be sending A Message in a Bottle From Austria
David of Cooking Chat presents a healthy Kale and Tempeh Curry with Grüner
Jeff of FoodWineClick asks the question Is Grüner Veltliner Your Next Pizza Wine?
Lauren of the The Swirling Dervish proclaims Gruner Veltliner: A Lot Easier to Drink than It is to Say
Cindy of Grape Experiences recommends we Wine and Dine: Gruner Veltliner and Salmon Teriyaki with Garlic Baby Potatoes.
Jade of Tasting Pour serves up Shrimp and Corn Soup with Gruner Veltlner #winepw
Wendy of A Day In The Life On The Farm presents Germany collides with Asia for #WinePW
Julie of Wine N Friends proffers an Emotional Connection with Grüner Veltliner #winePW
Martin of ENOFYLZ Wine Blog will be offering A Taste of Grüner Veltliner; Old World and New World #winePW
Please join us live at 10CST this morning using #WinePW as we discuss the virtues of Grüner Veltliner. And join us in October for #MerlotMe wine and food pairings!
My Song Selection: Grüner Veltliner is a groovy wine, its fast paced when young with racy acidity. Hold on and keep up….
Have you ever had Grüner Veltliner? What is your favorite food pairing with Grüner Veltliner?
Get your own bottle of Crazy Creatures 2013 Grüner Veltliner and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!