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Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Josef Bauer Gruner Veltliner, Austria
Gruner—say it GROO-NER—is the hottest thing out of Austria right now. The grape is native to Austria and wines made from it can come in various shapes and sizes. Usually, its done in a crisp and lively style, ala Pinot Grigio. Think citrus fruit notes, green apple, pear with a whiff of white pepper. Great for sipping on the back patio or with seafood/sushi.
Shizen ‘Cuvee Denis Dubourdieu’ Koshu, Yamanashi, Japan
This is a very interesting white made from the Koshu grape which is likely related to Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio. Look for pure and fresh flavors; citrus, Asian pear and a round mouthfeel. Its great for sipping or with sushi/sashimi.
Blenheim Vineyards Viognier, Charlottesville, Virginia
Viognier—SAY IT VI-ON-NAY—normally grown in the Rhone Valley of France, is sweeping across the US as an alternative to Chardonnay. Seriously though—the best Viognier in the US is grown in the Eastern US, primarily because of this phenomenon we call weather; the grapes just get too ripe or overripe in the West. Look for Viognier from Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Long Island and even Ohio.
This is a wine for those who like something more round and less acidic. Look for flavors of honeysuckle, ripe peach and apricot, mango, passion fruit and sometimes a whiff of toasted oak and vanilla spice. I find it’s a hard wine to pair with food but does work with Salmon.
Terrai Tempranillo, Spain
Tempranillo is main red grape grown in Spain but also found in Argentina and even in California, Arizona and Idaho. The wines can come in various shapes and sizes but the least expensive wines tend to be light and fruity.
Light and fruity reds are great for summer and won’t tire out the palate like a big Cabernet or Malbec. Look for black cherry and plum flavors plus a touch of spice. The fruity style of Tempranillo usually work well with barbecued meats so fire up the grill!