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Friday Night Wine Down : Grüner Veltliner

Featured wine: Grüner Veltliner

Nickname: Gru-Vee

Wikipedia description:
Grüner Veltliner is a variety of white wine grape widely grown primarily in Austria and widely also in the Czech Republic, but almost nowhere else. It has a reputation of being a particularly food-friendly wine – notably, it is the classic pairing for the otherwise hard-to-pair asparagus..

..The steep, Rhine-like vineyards of the Danube west of Vienna produce very pure, minerally Grüner Veltliners intended for laying down. Down in the plains, citrus and peach flavours are more apparent, with spicy notes of pepper and sometimes tobacco.

I've tasted:
Grooner (Kremstal Niederosterreich, Austria) $9.99
Berger (Kremstal Niederosterreich, Austria) $12.99
Grun (Austria) $11.99
Gustav (Wachau, Austria) $12.99

Food pairings:
Rich, fatty cheeses
Thai food
Veal Wiener Schitzel

Similar wines:
Sauvignon Blanc
Pino Grigio

I first discovered Gruner last summer when my sweetie came home with a giant bottle of Berger. Of course, the first thing that struck me was the size of the bottle (1L), since we rarely go for the super-size options. The other thing that stood out with this particular brand was the bottle-cap (yes, like on a beer bottle). Clearly, this was meant to be consumed in large quantities, and all at once, due to the fact that the bottle could not be resealed once opened. Always up for a challenge, I dove in, and was treated to one of the most refreshing sensations ever!

Gruner, to me is an ideal summer wine. Light and acidic with an effervescent feel. Along with the aforementioned food pairings, I think it would be a great wine to accompany an outdoor summer brunch - eggs Benedict (with smoked salmon or the traditional Canadian bacon), a delicately dressed green salad, fresh fruit and a chilly glass of Gruner sounds like a great way to start a lazy Sunday.

Of the four I've tasted, I think my favourite would have to be Grooner, which showed up in my local wine-store a few weeks ago. It has a pronounced grapefruit flavor, and a bit more complexity than the others I've had. But any Gruner at all would be among my list of go-to wines for 'chilling out' in the summer time.

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