Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s signature white wine. It’s the name of the grape and the wine: Austria is in the minority of European countries that call their wines by the varieties, as we do here in the U.S.
France, Italy, and Spain, by contrast, mostly name their wines by appellations (Bordeaux, Chianti, Rioja, and so on) and you have to know, or figure out, what grapes are in your glass. This can be challenging.
Here’s another thing about Grüner Veltliner: There are a lot of good ones around at affordable prices, some of them even sold in liter bottles, and many downright “crushable,” to borrow from the beer-crowd lexicon.
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One that falls into the latter category is Fred Loimer’s “Lois” Grüner Veltliner 2016, made from grapes sourced from growers in Lower Austria. It’s refreshing and affordable at about $14, but has some complexity as well that puts it a notch above mere quaffing wines.
With aromas that suggest green apple, white flowers, and an exotic spice note, the tastes bring to mind apple as well as white peach, citrus, and a touch of cumin. Lively acidity and a modest 12 percent alcohol will make you want to pour yourself another glass, and make this an excellent food wine. Since it’s aged in stainless steel (no oak is used), food matches are not hard.
I enjoyed it the other night with broiled flounder fillets seasoned with fennel seed; try it as well with lighter grilled dishes, including shrimp, chicken, and vegetables. While pronouncing it may be difficult – it’s Groo-ner Velt-li-ner – drinking this one is easy.