One of the greatest, and also most frustrating, things about wine is that once you think you have something figured out (be it a country, a region, a grape variety) someone can step in and show you how little you actually know.
The V.I.P. Table
I think back to when I had just started getting into wine and the excitement I would feel whenever I was introduced to something new. I’ve often wished that I could recapture some of those moments. It’s unfortunate, but when you taste wine nearly every day of your life, you find that you are surprised less and less often. However, sometimes a wine will revitalize those magical tasting sensors and send up fireworks. But what I didn’t expect was for an entire tasting of wines to make me feel that nostalgia. Well, that’s exactly what happened at the Wines of Austria tasting during Snooth’s “People’s Voice Wine Awards” tasting.
My Vine Spot
My last day in Manhattan for Snooth’s People Voice Wine Awards started off with a 'Wines of Austria Master Class.' This event, dubbed “The Many Faces of Grüner Veltliner,” was led by Master Sommelier Aldo Sohm, who also had a wine in the tasting lineup. It was still mid-morning, but a vibrant and refreshing variety like Grüner Veltliner, in my opinion, was a good way to kick-start the day. Besides, I was very interested in getting to know Grüner’s many faces and styles a bit better.
My first experience with Austria’s signature wine, Grüner Veltliner, was not actually one that was grown and produced in Austria, but in Oregon. Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, located in Southern Oregon’s Umpqua Valley, produces an outstanding Grüner Veltliner; in fact, owner Steve Reustle was the first to plant Grüner Veltliner in Oregon. At my very first swirl and sip, I became a huge fan of this alluring white wine with notable aromas and flavors of pineapple, white peach, herbs, white pepper and spice. The solid acidic backbone, mineral core and super focused and fresh characteristics were simply divine. From that point on, the white wine of my choice has been and continues to be Grüner Veltliner. Imagine my excitement when I found out that one of the Master Classes I’d be attending during the Snooth People’s Voice Wine Awards was with famed award-winning Austrian Sommelier, Aldo Sohm, who would focus solely on different style Austrian Grüner Veltliners.