Going "Grüner"... Wine Notes from Barcelona Restaurant

Gretchen Thomas

Nearing the end of the summer, I always crave what’s ahead in the coming Autumn. I’m dying for some butternut squash, I’m researching fall fashion trends, and I’m assembling my line-up of brooding red wines to pour by the glass. Every now and then something shows up on my desk that brings me back to the present, and most recently it is this amazing white wine that can combat every humid day we have left in this season. Truly, it was a tough summer; I found it hard to reach for a glass of anything other than water on some days, but I have found the solution in the 2010 Grüner Veltliner (pronounced GREW-ner VELT-lee-ner) made by Gustav Winery in Austria.

If you are new to this varietal, here’s the scoop: Grüner Veltliner has been the darling white wine of nerdy sommeliers (like myself) for about 5 years now. It is the most widely planted varietal in Austria, and is known for searing acidity, age-ability (particularly of the wines from the vines grown in Wachau, Kremstal and Kamptal) and food friendliness. This new one to the wine list has been haunting me! Every hot day that passes by I am kicking myself for not having a case of this stuff readily available at home for refreshment, as opposed to stocking up on Rioja for the fall. It presents aromas of grapefruit, clementine and green apple, followed up with mouthwatering minerality ( my favorite part) and a long, super dry finish. No oak barrel came within 500 feet of this wine, it is pure “grüner power’ without manipulation. Because of that dry acidity, it can be enjoyed with a large variety of foods and flavors, from tomato salad to grilled hangar steak, the reason my fellow sommeliers clamber for this delicious juice.

2010 Grüner Veltliner, Gustav, Wachau, Austria