Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Under-rated Wine of the Week

I've decided to use the blog to occasionally highlight certain wines that I think deserve far more attention than they get. Wines such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and so on make the vast majority of wine sales in America, but as a proportion of the types of wines made these are a small minority. Some wines aren't popular because they don't deserve to be, but there are a few out there that are really hidden gems. My pick for this week is Gruner Veltliner, a grape native to Austria that is used to make white wines. Nearly all Gruner Veltliner you will see in the U.S. will be made in Austria. There are two ways to make it: in a low yield style which produces a full, lush wine, or high yield which produces a much lighter, crisper wine. The latter is less expensive, and is actually one of Gruner Veltliner's most attractive characteristics - it's a heck of a deal. Inexpensive Gruner Veltliner is almost always dry (ie, not sweet), with a crisp citrus flavor, perhaps a bit of peach, and its characteristic white pepper flavor. It's this last bit that gives Gruner its reputation as a great wine to have with food, especially fish.

Oh, and I should add that one of the wines in this month's 6 for $60 (theme: staff picks) is a Gruner Veltliner. It's called Hugl Weine.

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