Gruner Veltliner is Austria’s most widely planted grape that is capable of producing some of the most assertive and rich dry white wines that are nearly rivaling the best Rieslings! It is pretty much exclusive to Austria, with a handful of vineyards in Slovakia and Hungary.
The most prominent flavours of the Austrian white wine are lime, lemon, and grapefruit. This is not the main reason why Gruner Veltliner is so unique. It’s the burst of acidity that explodes in your mouth like pop rocks. The length of the burst is a good indicator of the quality of the wine. The longer the acid burst, the better the wine.
Like most Austrian wines, Gruner Veltliner is made in a dry style. While you can notice a hint of sweetness here and there, most drinkers can’t taste it because of the sky high acidity.
Most Austrian Gruner Veltliner imported to the United States and Canada have the same qualities, light and zesty. Pale green wine with hair raising acidity and notes of lime zest and green bean. It tastes best on a hot summer day when served cold.
If complexity is what you are after, you will love the richer, nuttier Gruner Veltliner that is usually labeled “Reserve” and made from the best fruit in the vineyard. The price tag for these wines may go well above $50.00 per bottle, but it’s worth it. The rich textured layers of honey, lemon, nuts, pepper, and fruits are to die for!
If you are a fan of rich flavoured foods, Gruner Veltliner is a perfect companion for your dinner. While Gruner Veltliner is perfect for Austrian dishes like sauteed kidneys, it’s also great when paired with Asian cuisine such as Japanese Tonkatsu, which is a fried pork cutlet. On top of that, the Austrian white is one of the few wines that can hold up against challenging veggies like grilled asparagus and artichoke.