Sparkling Gruner Veltliner

As I march along in my goal of drinking more bubbly in 2010 (I’m kicking ass at this goal by the way!) I thought I’d bring you something totally different. Matt and I wandered over to the Curious Grape in Shirlington a few weeks ago for a tasting (sadly, we had trouble finding parking due to the snow and arrived a few minutes late and they had already started and wouldn’t let us join in) so we just grabbed a couple bottles of wine and ran. Like I’ve said before, I have trouble going into a wine shop and not buying something. It’s a good thing wine is consumable, otherwise I’d probably be on my way to being on that “Hoarders” tv show. What caught my eye this time was a sparkling Gruner Veltliner. I had to pick up this oddball and give it a shot! The NV Steininger Sparkling Gruner Veltliner clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a typical Champagne closure, and cost me $25.

On the nose I found lemon, stone, honey, cream, pineapple, wax, lychee, and white pepper. In the mouth, this wine struck me as very tropical. I got notes of lychee, white pepper (tons of white pepper), exotic spices, and a slight citrusy feel. I kept thinking I had a mouthful of Pop Rocks as I could hear the wine fizzing in my mouth as I drank it. I really enjoyed this sparkler, I would definitely get it again, especially to toss in at a sparkling tasting for something completely different.

Charming My Darling, Charming

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Folio Winemakers.

I decided I would really love some Gruner Veltliner for Thanksgiving. And I wish it could be either of the Laurenz V. Gruners that I’ve tried in the last few weeks. Alas, I am visiting my folks for the holidays and the wine shop near their house only had one Gruner on the shelf and it was rockgut. Not what I  was going for.  Oh well, at least I have the memory of the 2006 Layrnz V. Charming Gruner Veltliner to keep me going. (PS-the person in the wine shop told me Gruner isn’t very popular…so is it really just popular with Sommeliers? Because I see it stores at home as well as all over restaurant wine lists….) Anywho. The Laurenz V. clocked in at 13% alcohol by volume, had a screw cap closure, and retails for $24.99.

On the nose I got lemongrass, pineapple, tropical notes, peach, and green beans.  In the mouth I found white peach, white pepper, tropical notes, pineapple, and nectarine.  I found the wine to be round up front with nice acidity on the finish.  It felt fuller/lusher than the other Laurenz V. I tried a couple weeks ago.  I served this with Matt’s signature dish: Gruyere/bacon quiche and it was a fantastic match. I’d recommend both Laurenz V. Gruners that I tried, though for bang for you buck I’d highly recommend the Laurenz . and Sophia Gruner I tried earlier this month.


Gruner in my Glass

*Disclaimer: I received this wine as a sample from Folio WineMakers.

I love coming home and finding wine on my doorstep. I previously wrote about visiting Folio WineMakers with Thea on the last vacation Matt and I took to CA.  We enjoyed the wines and purchased a few bottles between us. I was pleasantly surprised to get a phone call from someone at Folio telling me they had wine for me and could they come by my house to drop it off. When I opened the box, I was doubly delighted to find two bottles of Gruner Veltliner. I don’t drink a lot of Gruner, but I must say I do enjoy them! Tonight we tried the 2007 Laurenz & Sophie Singing Gruner Veltliner from Austria. It had a screw cap closure, clocked in at 12% alcohol by volume, and retails for $12.99.

On the nose I found white pepper, pineapple, tropical notes, pears, tinned pears, and herbs.  In the mouth I got herbs, spice, citrus, tinned pears, tinned peas, and lemon sour candy.  This is another wine I’d classify as a “drink while making Thanksgiving Dinner” wine. It fits the bill of what I’m looking for—light, sprightly, inexpensive, and tasty.  Though this year I’m not hosting Thanksgiving for the first time in 4 years! I’m hosting Christmas instead…so maybe I’ll have to think again and call these “Christmas dinner prep” wines! Anyway, at $12.99, it’s a screaming bargain and I see that Folio is offering free shipping if you buy 6 bottles of wine!



My Garden or My Wine?

The wine for the evening was a 2006 Freie Weingartner Wachau Gruner Veltliner. My dad picked this up for me from Branford Wine and Spirits in CT, but I gather it sells for around $12, it clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume, and had a screw cap closure. We drank this on its own after dinner, and it was perfect that way.

On the nose I found almonds, peanuts, lime, white pepper, green beans, nutmeg, and crayon. Yes, you are reading that right, an aroma as if you were sniffing a box of a Crayola! In the mouth I got white pepper, exotic spices, grapefruit, lemon, and limes. Overall, I’d describe this wine as smelling like my garden. I often brush up against my tomato plants as I’m picking, pruning, or watering, and touching the actual plant has a very distinct aroma. That, mingled with the fragrant basil in my garden, was what this wine reminded me of.

A tasty little bottle of wine for the price, good structure and acidity, some of the typical varietal characteristics…not much more I could ask for in a $12 bottle of wine. Definitely one I’d snag again for a hot summer’s day.

Lots of Gruner Veltliner

Prior to Thanksgiving I believe that I had consumed a total of 2 bottles of Gruner Veltliner. Matt’s Aunt and Uncle offered to bring the wine for Thanksgiving and arrived bearing many, many bottle of Gruner Veltliner from 3 different producers! They brought so much that Matt and I were drinking it for weeks after.

This bottle, the 2006 Leth Gruner Veltliner Langenreserve from Austria ( it also said: Wagram Steingrund on the bottle, but I confess I don’t know what that means) was my favorite of the three. It clocked in at 12.5% alcohol by volume and had a screw cap.

On the nose I found citrus, lemon, a tropical aroma, spicy white pepper, fresh cut grass, and oddly enough, green beans. The nose was quite strong and distinct. In the mouth flavors of oranges and white pepper dominated, with a bit of something fruity and tropical. The finish on this one was very smooth and we enjoyed it all by its lonesome, though it would be a great wine for appetizers!