This article was published in The 30 Second Wine Advisor on Monday, May. 19, 2008 and can be found at http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor2/tswa20080519.php.
Introduction to GV
As I wrote when we featured this variety ("GV" for short) in a Wine Focus month last year, lovers of opulent, fat and happy "fruit bombs" may wish to look elsewhere, but for those who fancy sharp-edged, minerally white wines, Austria's signature grape ranks right up there with Muscadet from the Loire and Mosel Riesling for its austere transparency, with extra credit for being just plain refreshing.
Grüner Veltliner deserves your attention, not only because of its distinctive character but thanks to its easy food-friendliness. It makes a fine match with seafood and fish, stands up to poultry and pork, and, increasingly, is becoming a go-to wine for Southeast Asian fare, particularly Vietnamese and "fusion" Pacific Rim cuisine. And to put the icing on the cake, with the small but growing exception of single-vineyard bottlings from the more sought-after producers, GV remains delightfully affordable.
Today's featured wine cost $13 locally, but that's on the high end. This item - which the producer Markus Huber bills as a perfect choice for those seeking to discover GV for the first time. With spring in full blossom and summer coming fast, it's a fine choice for anyone in the mood for a crisp, minerally and food-friendly white wine.
Huber 2006 "Hugo" Niederösterreich Grüner Veltliner ($13)
Pale straw color. Fresh white fruit and that distinctly earthy "lentil" character often noted as a characteristic in GV. Flavors consistent with the nose, crisp citrus and a hint of green pea; tart acidity and bone-dry. A simpler-style GV but clean and fresh, fine with food, vinified at a reasonable 12 percent alcohol. U.S. importer: Boutique Wine Collection, Philadelphia. (April 10, 2008)
FOOD MATCH: GV makes an easy match with the complex, aromatic character of Asian food, and this one went well with a quick invention, Filipino pork adobo and its soy and star-anise scented sauce reinvented in a Chinese-style stir-fry with asparagus, mushrooms and onions.
VALUE: It's a good value at the price I paid, but shop around, as Wine-Searcher.com shows it widely available in the $8 to $10 range.
WHEN TO DRINK: GV will cellar surprisingly well, but as a quality entry-level wine at an affordable price point, it's really meant to be drunk up young and fresh.
WEB LINKS: The Markus Huber Website is available only in German. For information on this wine, click HUGO in the left-hand column on the home page:
For an English-language report on Markus Huber and his wines, see the U.S. importer's Website,
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Odds and Ends Sale Going On Now!
The Odds and Ends Sale is the ideal time to sample wines from The California Wine Club's upper level club, Signature Series. These highly rated and coveted wines are on sale at up to 68 percent off normal retail prices. Pick up a Diamond Mountain Cab with three 90+ point ratings for just $49; or how about a 96 point Zinfandel for $36? Feel free to mix a case and try 12 different wines!
Visit the Wine Store at www.cawineclub.com or call 1-800-777-4443.
The California Wine Club's Odds and End Sale also offers seven Summer Sippers, each one just $7.
The Odds and Ends Sale ends June 2, 2008, and in some cases, only a few bottles are left at these prices.
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Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:
This wine's no dog (May 16, 2008)
Australian white blend (May 14, 2008)
Oak and Chardonnay (May 12, 2008)
Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Pork chops Liègoise (May 1, 2008)
Wine Advisor Foodletter archive: