You've probably seen a lot of recommendations to pair Austrian wines with Thanksgiving feasts, but according to The Second Glass of Boston, MA, these wines are also good for everything from impressive gifts to panty removers (yes, you read that right.)
So who made the cut? First, the 2007 Berger Grüner Veltliner ($13), imported by Micahel Skurnik Wines. From Niederösterrich (lower,) Austria, Berger is recommended as a beach and party wine, as well as good company to fish. What makes this wine unique is the enclosure method - instead of a traditional cork, the Berger is sealed with what looks like a beer cap.
Definitely made for drinking young, the description reads, "Since this super sipper comes in a 1-liter bottles, it's even less expensive than it looks. Light, crisp and refreshing this might as be Austria's version of lemonade. It rocks flavors of grapefruit and wet stone with a strong, but no overpowering acidity. Grüner goes down easy on hot summer night, you'll be screaming its fun-to-say name on your walk home. Drink liberally with tomato salads, corn on the cob and seafood dishes."
Also on the list is the 2008 Weingut Huber Hugo Grüner Veltliner, also from lower Austria and imported by Boutique Wine Collection ($12.) This wine is recommended as a panty remover and party wine and is also suggested for Asian food pairings such as sushi. The Hugo Grüner has a screw cap enclosure and is described as, "A simple, but addictive wine, the "Huber Hugo" is soft, luscious and refreshing just like the hot little spring fling or holiday hook-up you'll be drinking this with."
Moving on to the 2008 Punky Genau Sparkling Grüner Veltliner imported by Haus Alpenz ($20.) This sparkling wine is labeled as a beach wine, a new years wine and a gift wine -- by far the classiest categories yet. "What's more fun than Grüner Veltliner? Sparkling Grüner Veltliner!..." "...Soft flavors of apple and pear emanate from this light Austrian sparkler. Don't be scared off by the screw cap."
Next on the list is the 2006 Steininger Zweigelt from Kamtal, Austria, the first Zweigelt on the list, and imported by Prescott Wines ($18.) This wine is approved as a beach wine, a barbeque wine and pizza/tomato sauce wine...sign me up! "In 1922, Frits Zweigelt developed a hybrid red supergrape to withstand the harsh climate of Austria. Über dark in color, this is juicy with firm tannins and just a little spicy."
Despite the fact Zweigelt did begin as a hybrid fairly recently, it is now the most widely grown grape in Austria today.
Last, but certainly not least is the 2005 Steininger Grand Crü Grüner Veltliner from Kamptal, Austria, imported by Prescott Wines ($26.) This wine was classified as good company for oysters, the beach and/or good to impress your guests. "The best Grüners are harvested very late in the season. Straw-colored with flavors of peach and pears, this full-bodied wine has a ton of depth and character. Drink with high-end seafood."
If there's one thing to say about late-harvested and dessert wines from Austria it's their incredible balance. Although their honeyed characteristics are sweet on the front of the palate, the acidity counteracts the sugar making these wines a euphoric experience.
Overall, Austria made a great showing, but was it ever a question that they would?