The signature wine grape of Austria is totally unique. Grüner Veltliner is brisk and mineral, spicy and herbal, all in one. It is one of the most versatile wines at the table, effortlessly pairing with many types of cuisine. Those tart, fruity/savory traits are a complement to many vegetables and meats alike. Grüner is equally a joy to drink on its own!
What it tastes like : Grapefruit, Pear, Apricot, Radish, Chive, White Pepper, Smoke
Similar to : Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, sometimes Riesling-esque
Pairs well with : Asparagus, Pad Thai, Sushi, Schnitzel, Tonkatsu, and a lot else!
Grüner Veltliner is indeed the most grape planted variety in all of Austria. The best vineyards are located in and around the beautiful city of Vienna, especially along the Danube River. Look for wine labels that list top regions in Lower Austria such as Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal, Wagram, Traisental, or Weinviertel.
Some recommended wine producers for light, ethereal, and graceful versions of Grüner Veltliner (the best of which tend to come from Kamptal and Kremstal) are : Hirsch, Malat, Nigl, Ott, Salomon, and Veyder-Malberg. More robust, spicy, and textural versions are made by: Alzinger, FX Pichler, and Knoll. The latter wines usually come from the Wachau, and the most potent bottles are designated with the term “Smaragd.” The name refers to the local emerald lizards which can evidently change color for camouflage!
For a true match made in heaven, treat yourself to a chilled bottle of Grüner and the most classic Vienna dish of them all: Wiener Schnitzel.