If you like Sauvignon Blanc but sometimes want a wine with a little more body and complexity then you should try Grüner Veltliner. Grüner Veltliner is the signature grape of Austria and has evolved almost entirely as the result of natural hybridization over time in the region. It is a white Vitis vinifera grape also called Grûner Mushateller but is better known by the colloquial name “Grūner”. Grüner Veltliner is a versatile grape that can be made into a wide variety of wines ranging from light and easy-drinking to rich and packed with varietal character. Grüner vines have medium-sized leaves with 5-7 lobes. It’s grape clusters are medium to very large conical clusters of medium density with round or oval greenish-yellow berries. These vines have adapted perfectly to the wet mineral-rich loess and loam soils of the lower vineyard sites near the Danube River. The lots higher up the hill are planted with Riesling. The rocky soils of these sites force the Riesling to struggle to survive but result in a wine that has concentrated flavors and complex taste profile. This farming practice utilizes the attributes of the land and yields the best grapes possible from the prevailing conditions. Although the largest plantings of Grüne Veltliner are in Austria and surrounding countries it has been dispersed throughout many of the wine regions of the world. While most Austrian Grüners are dry, full-bodied and acidic with flavors of citrus fruit, spice, and white pepper you can easily find others that are weightier with a more structured body that requires years to reach maturity in the bottle.
If you haven’t tasted Grüne Veltliner and you’re curious about where to start I would suggest trying a few from Austria first then expand your search to
The United States and Italy to find good Grūner at very reasonable prices. Here are a
South Shore Wine Company Gruner Veltliner 2015
Gruner Veltliner 2018 Photo Courtesy: Fero Vineyards & Winery
few to get you started on your journey.
AUSTRIA: Singing Grūner Veltliner 2017 Niederösterreich, Austria or Domane Krems Grüner Veltliner 2018 Kremstal, Austria
ITALY: Eisacktaler Kellerei Cantina Valle Isarco Grüner Veltliner 2018 Alto Adige, Italy
The United States of America: Grüner Veltliner Fero Vineyards & Winery
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Grûner Veltliner South Shore Wine Company North East, Pennsylvania or Grüner Veltliner Hosmer Winery Ovid, New York (FLX)
Hosmer Estate Winery 2017 Gruner Veltliner
Photo Courtesy: Narcisi Winery
Narcisi Winery will host a Regional Wine Dinner featuring the wine and cuisine of the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy. The event will be held at the winery at 4578 Gibsonia Rd. Gibsonia, Pa beginning at 6:30 pm on March 27, 2014. The cost is $55 per person and reservations can be made by calling 412-444-4744. I have included the menu for the dinner, click the link to view. TRENTINO+2+Main+Menu www.narcisiwinery.com
Campo Maccione Morellino di Scansano 2008
This is a hidden gem that comes from the southwestern Tuscan town of Scansano. Morellino is the name for Sangiovese in Scansano but no matter what you call this red blend the one thing you will be calling it is delicious. Rocca delle Macìe produces this solid but modestly priced red blend that is softer and rounder than the wines from Chianti because the Zingarelli family vineyards are located further south in a more moderate climate that is warmer and drier. Best described as fruity and finely balanced this medium bodied offering has a nice finish that can be paired with a diverse menu. Pasta, pizza, roasted or grilled meats and aged cheeses are just some of the pairings that this food friendly wine can be served with to showcase its best qualities. When you start with a price that is easy on the wallet then add a taste profile that is easy on the palate what you will certainly end up with is a sure winner like Campo Maccione Morellino di Scansano 2008
All Materials Courtesy of Morrell & Company Fine Wine Auction
Have you ever wanted to bid on a great bottle of wine offered at a wine auction but could not stand the thought of sitting in a room filled with wine snobs while holding a little paddle with a number on it. If your answer is yes then you are in luck because Morrell & Company Fine Wine Auction is conducting an internet only auction on Wednesday February 27th at 10:30 a.m.(EST) on their website www.morrellwineauctions.com. Bids may only be placed by absentee bid and live bid. Absentee bids may be placed now and the live bidding will be available online at the commencement of the auction. To participate go to the website and register, peruse the catalog of offerings then place a bid if you find something you like. If you intend to bid live, Morrell recommends using their Live Bidding Simulator to check your computers compatibility to prevent any issues when live bidding starts. Need more information? Call 212-307-4200
Italian sparkling wine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Prosecco is often mistakenly called Italian Champagne but that isn’t a bad comparison. This sparkling wine is made from the Prosecco grape the oldest cultivated grape in Italy. Mionette Prosecco D.O.C. Treviso Brut has received a 89 point rating from the Wine Enthusiast. This wine has a 11% alcohol content and a R.S. of .9. Pop the cork and pour a glass to enjoy the pale straw color with your eyes, lift it to your nose to smell the fruity aroma of pear and citrus then finally taste the golden apple and peach with the light body and dry finish. This wine should be enjoyed fresh and certainly be consumed within 3 months of purchase. Serve with appetizers and mild cheeses but another use is as an excellent base for a Bellini and other sparkling wine cocktails.
Calling Prosecco Italian Champagne is meaningful for me because Champagne is associated with memorable events and that is the case for me. My lovely wife and I have celebrated our wedding anniversary twice at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Both times we had dinner at Osteria del Circo where the staff lined up to greet and congratulate us upon our arrival. Circo is a Tuscan styled restaurant that boasts a wine list of 900 selections from all over the world. We were led to our table that looked out onto the lake and it famous dancing waters. She ordered Prosecco to complement her Mediterranean Sea Bass. I can still see the thin strings of bubbles rising in her glass as she enjoyed the evenings celebration. Where we will be celebrating this year is still unplanned but I hope you will make great memories in your life that include great wine.
I would like to tell you about a wine that I have always kept in my wine rack, while others have come and gone this one has never disappointed. The wine is Cantina Zaccanini Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. This wine is a Proprietary Blend Dry Red that has an alcohol content of 12.5% to 13% depending on the vintage. The first thing you will notice is the beautiful dark ruby-red color with a touch of violet. The nose is one of ripe red berries and the taste is that of dark fruit and well-balanced tannins that gives way to a dry oak finish. This wine is made from Montepulicano d’Abruzzo grapes that are pressed and fermented with their skins on in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. It is then aged in oak barrels for 6 months then left to bottle refine for an additional 3 months. Bottles are released for sale 2 years after harvest and can be cellared to bottle refine for 3 or more years. This selection is a good match for dishes with a hearty Italian red sauce and entrée’s of roasted meats. You don’t have to remember that long name just look for the bottle with the little grape-vine clipping tied to it and you will have found one of my favorite reds. Item number 4560 and $14.99 at PA LCB stores.