Grüner Veltliner is a varietal that is often passed over, due to it being overshadowed by more well-known wines like big, buttery Chardonnays and tropically aromatic Sauvignon Blancs. It probably doesn’t help that it’s home country, Austria, is neighboured with more famous and well-established wine producers such as Germany, France and Italy. Which gives the discerning wine enthusiast a good opportunity to try a new wine from a new region at a reasonable price.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Pale
- Colour: Lemon
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium
- Development: Youthful
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: High
- Tannin: N/A
- Alcohol: Medium
- Body: Medium-
- Flavor Intensity: Medium
- Finish: Medium-
- Quality: Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential to cellar
- Identity: Austria / Region Unknown / Gruner Veltliner
- Price: High-priced (~$22)
- Long, thin tears
- Aromas of white peaches, lemon, nectar, white florals
- Flavours of lemon pith, kumquat skin, nectar, unripe stonefruit, bitter almond
- Slight but persistent bitterness on the back palate
- Interesting challenge for the nose and palate
- Pair with seafood and salad dishes
If you’ve done your research you might be aware that Grüner Veltliner has some strange flavour profiles associated with it, such as white pepper, lentil and celery. It would be understandable if you turned away from trying any, expecting it to taste like some liquid salad.
Fortunately in this example that was not the case, although it did seem a bit one-dimensional on the nose and palate, making it quite challenging to pick out specific characteristics. I had to think long and hard to associate what I sensed with terms that were easy to understand, but the gist of it was that this wine did not have much complexity or depth.
This isn’t to say that it was a bad wine in particular – who amongst us hasn’t shrugged off the responsibility of choosing a nice wine and settled for something that was just simple for once? And that is part of the pleasure of matching wine with food – you don’t need a world-class thousand-dollar wine to make the perfect pairing, where something exotic yet simple will do.
Read more: Developing A Healthy Lifestyle Around Wine