A friend and wine rep, Aaron Shaw, first introduced us to Austrian wine with a bottle of Rabl Grüner Veltliner Spiegel (I want to say 2003). The tasting note reads: Delicate grassy pepper spice with mineral undertones, beautiful fruit, lime, reinette apples, lemon balm; crystal clear structure, elegant, with incredible length.
At the time I can honestly say I preferred red to white most of the time but this wine gave me second thoughts. Rabl is the winery, Spiegel is the vineyard and Grüner Veltliner is the white wine grape that Austria is widely known for (like Shiraz for Australia).
Grüner Veltliner is now among my favourite white wine styles because it makes a great sipping wine, works so well with a wide range of food and it’s unique. Stacey ended up featuring it in her book (This Food That Wine) as a paring for several dishes because it is so food friendly. Then a couple of summers ago we toured Austrian wine country and spent a couple of days in historic Vienna. This opened our eyes to the other quality wine styles we don’t always have access to from dry whites, to light/medium bodied reds and their spectacular sweet wines.
Back in Ontario we had a hard time tracking down Austrian wines mainly because Austria is a relatively small producer on a global scale and there just aren’t that many agents importing.
Well we finally did a bit of sourcing with the help of the Austrian Consulate General and will be featuring Austria – A Taste of Culture as the next stop on our Underground Tasting Club September 20. 2011 in Ottawa. It’s a members only event but anyone can join and learn here.
To learn more about Austrian wine, food pairing and history visit www.austrianwine.com, jump on a plane or join us Sep 2011!
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