Our attendees were presented with over a dozen examples of Gruner Veltliner, and Aldo lead us all through a fascinating tasting detailing terroir, vintage traits and the production techniques utilized to create such a diverse and dynamic set of wines. Each article included here reflects one person's take on the tasting, but taken as a whole they represent a detailed and nuanced look at the state of Gruner Veltliner today!
RJ on Wine
Ever need a wine that will pair especially well with healthy food choices—grilled vegetables, salads, light chicken and fish dishes? Could you use a fully versatile wine that goes not only with lighter appetizers and your vegetarian spouse’s dishes but even, for a white wine, surprisingly well with red meat? Do you sometimes enjoy vegetables, like asparagus or artichoke, that don’t seem to pair with wine at all?
Benito's Wine Reviews
Sunday morning in Manhattan we left our Chelsea digs and headed over to a SoHo event space called Meet at the Apartment, a repurposed apartment with a big dining room seen at right, a kitchen, and a few other rooms. There we had our first of three Sunday classes. This one focused on the Wines of Austria and was hosted by Aldo Sohm, Chef Sommelier at Le Bernardin and recent maker of his own Grüner Veltliner back home in Österreich.
I started to think about what wines would be most evocative of this experience, and I got my answer at a seminar (one of many put together by Snooth for myself and a group of fellow bloggers) on Gruner Veltliner conducted by the personable and knowledgeable Aldo Sohm. Not only is he the Chief Sommelier at Le Bernadin and a winner of the Best Sommelier in the World award, but he’s also a winemaker. Naturally, Austrian-born Aldo is making Gruner. And, based on his dynamic presentation, he clearly has a passion for wine, for educating, and for life.
The wines ranged from pleasurable to contemplative, much like the gamut of emotion and feeling captured on the High Line that brisk, sunny day. Like a walk through the park, Gruner is a wine that can be fun and refreshing or serious and brooding.
The Reverse Wine Snob
We've long been fans of Austrian Wine here at The Reverse Wine Snob, going so far as to do a whole series of reviews featuring many of the varieties indigenous to Austria, entitled "Awesome Austrians". And while Austria produces tons of great wine, it's claim to fame/pride and joy/national treasure/crown jewel/magnum opus is Gruner Veltliner. And so it was that we sat down in NYC with Snooth and the award winning sommelier Aldo Sohm for a fascinating exploration of the different styles of Gruner Veltliner.
With many wines you know what to expect by variety or variety and region. For example, for the most part, a Napa Cabernet is going to be big and bold most of the time. Or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is going to be grassy, most of the time. But, when it comes to Gruner Veltliner, I am finding that I cannot be sure of what might be in my glass unless I give it a try.
Yes, I’ll likely get the classic profile of white pepper, green apples, yellow fruits and stone fruit with some zest, but from there, the range could be huge, from intense to nuanced, from sweet to dry, and yes even from light to full bodied.
Fortunately, I am finding that the Gruner Veltliner puzzle is one I enjoy exploring.