Grüner Veltliner is the most planted and most important grape variety in Austria.

January 16, 2011

Grüner Veltliner is the most planted and most important grape variety in Austria. It has become so trendy in English-speaking markets that we have given it various nicknames: Groovy, GV, Gruner, GruVe, or simply Veltliner, to name a few.

Grüner Veltliner has been around for hundreds of years, but it is only quite recently that it has become known as a world class wine. Up until the 1980s it was primarily used to make jug wine, sold in 2 litre bottles, and purchased at bargain basement prices. The focus was on quantity rather than quality.
The Antifreeze Scandal

The catalyst for Grüner Veltliner’s rise to fame was a rather unfortunate scandal that broke in the mid 1980s. It seems that diethylene glycol, a type of antifreeze, was being added to some Austrian wine to add body and sweetness. (At the time sweet wines fetched higher prices.) This had a devastating effect on the Austrian wine market and was the worst disaster to hit Austria since WWII. The year after the story broke Austrian wine exports were down to less than a fifth of the year before.

But, the antifreeze scandal did not destroy the Austrian wine industry for long. In fact, it turned out to be a turning point in the history of Austrian wine and many positive changes came out of it. Strict wine laws were drawn up and enforced, there was a huge movement towards quality instead of quantity, and more environmentally conscious viticulture was encouraged. The quality of all Austrian wine has vastly improved with these changes, and the demand for Gruner Veltliner continues to grow.
The Taste of Grüner Veltliner

Grüner Veltliner is an incredibly versatile grape that can be made into a wide range of wine styles from very light and refreshing summer sippers all the way to lusciously rich sweet wines. Some of the more common styles are:

Light summer Grüners: Grapes for this wine are picked quite early and typically aromas of slightly under-ripe green fruit such as gooseberry or garden vegetable with a lemony freshness are evident. These wines are meant for drinking early, not for cellaring.

Classic Grüners: This is the most versatile of all Grüner Veltliners and is the most food friendly. Vibrant aromas and flavours can include cracked white pepper, spice, herbs, blossoms, and exotic fruit. These wines are also crisp, refreshing, and revitalizing.

Powerful Grüners: The grapes are picked later, sometimes as late as November. The wines are richer, fuller, spicier, and creamier. Aromas of pear, almond, marzipan, tobacco, dried fruit, honey, green tea, and juniper are frequently mentioned.

Sometimes the wines are aged in oak. When small, newer oak barrels are used the wine can acquire sweet and smoky notes with the vibrant primary fruit characteristics pushed into the background.

Malolactic fermentation can also be encouraged which produces a softer wine with milder acidity and unique spiciness.
Cellaring Grüner Veltliner

It is a little known fact that Grüner Veltliner can, in fact, age well. Most Grüner Veltliners are consumed relatively young, even in Austria. They can be considered mature at only 2 or 3 years old. But, many Grüners can age very well for many more years, perhaps decades. The primary fruit flavours fade into aromas and flavours of tobacco, sponge cake, and dried fruit.

When choosing a Grüner Veltliner to cellar, look for good examples in the classic or powerful categories. These categories won’t be mentioned on the label so it’s important to ask the sales person about the style of the particular wine you are interested in. The lighter wines tend not to age as well.

Find a Grüner that you like from a good producer and buy a few bottles. (Rabl and Kurt Angerer are two to look out for.) Try one every few years to see how it is evolving. Once it is at a point where you love it, or it starts a subtle decline, then drink it up.
Pairing Grüner Veltliner with Food

Grüner Veltliner is extremely versatile with food, especially lighter summer fare, and pairs well with a number of dishes. The lighter Grüners are great matches with vegetarian starters and salads. They also work surprisingly well with deep fried finger foods.

The classic Grüners are the most versatile with food and pair excellently with the popular Austrian dish, Wiener Schnitzel. They also work well with roasted pork or veal. Sushi, prawns, tuna tartar, and soft goat’s cheese are also favourites with Grüner Veltliner. The peppery spiciness of these wines also makes them suitable matches with foods that are generally seen as wine killers, such as artichokes, cress, and asparagus.

The big, powerful Grüners are best with monkfish, swordfish, lobster, or scallops, as they have the power to stand up to the rich textures and flavours of these dishes. Grüners with a touch of sweetness can be wonderful matches with spicier Asian dishes featuring ingredients such as chili, ginger, and coconut milk.

Gruner Veltliner can also be a delightful tipple when quietly sipped on its own.


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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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