One of my favorite parts of traveling to another wine-producing country is seeing what local wines are available. Even a trip to the grocery store can be an envy-inducing exploration of just how much less expensive wines are before entering the U.S. three-tier distribution system. While visiting the ski town of Schladming, Austria, tucked into the Alps and far away from any of the country’s wine regions, I found plenty of Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt, Riesling, and, of course, Austria’s key grape variety, Grüner Veltliner. A a mere €6.49, the Ewald Gruber-Röschitz Grüner Veltliner Klassik was a seriously delicious find.
While landlocked Austria is a top Riesling-producing country, its signature white grape variety is most certainly Grüner Veltliner, a moderately aromatic, high-acid white grape known for its classic notes of lime and white pepper. Bottles from lower Austria’s Weinviertel DAC, the the country’s first designated DAC region, such as the Ewald Gruber-Röschitz, are guaranteed to be dry and fresh, often with emphasis on the grape’s spice character.
Lovers of dry, easy-drinking white wines from Pinot Grigio to Sauvignon Blanc will find new energy in the Ewald Gruber-Röschitz Grüner Veltliner. It has friendly flavors that manage to be layered but approachable at the same time. The nose is subtle, revealing only hints of lime zest and field blossoms, but the palate has bite, with crunchy, zingy acidity and scrubbing rockiness leaving the mouth feeling fresh and clean. And best of all, even though it is more expensive in the U.S. than in its home country, this Grüner stays below the $15 mark — a clear value regardless of location.