Wine Wednesday: The Best White Grape for Fall, and a Solo Vino Tasting

John Garland / Growler Magazine

John Garland / Growler Magazine

I was chatting on WCCO with John Hines yesterday, and it got me thinking about all things autumn. We’ll be toting heavy porters and fresh hops to our harvest tables, but what wines are best suited to fall drinking?

In our discussion of comfort foods, my thoughts began to wander back to Foreign Legion and a couple glasses of gruner veltliner I had alongside a plate of meats and veggies. That’s when I remembered that gruner veltliner is not only one of the world’s most under appreciated grapes, but it should wrest control of fall wine drinking away from chardonnay.

Austrian wines have an interesting potency about them. Gruner veltliner, the country’s most planted white grape, shows its bravado with persistent acidity in a medium-bodied sip of fresh herbal and fruit flavors. It’s like sauvignon blanc went Slavic, tending to a herd of dairy cows in a grassy meadow by day and fattening up on sausage around the fire at night.

Gruner veltliner is a chameleon at the dinner table – a no brainer if you need to bring a bottle to dinner and don’t know what’s on the menu. It’s delicate enough to accompany sushi, it’s flavorful enough to cut through choucroute garnie. It’s also the white grape probably best suited to vegetables. Got a big salad with apples, pecans and brie with a sharp vinaigrette? Gruner. Seafood with sharp flavors like baked cod in a mustard-cream sauce? Gruner. Schnitzel with noodles? A bottle of gruner will chill down on any medium-length sleigh ride.

As an added bonus, Austrian gruner veltliner often packaged in one-liter bottles. Who couldn’t use eight extra ounces of merriment when the sun begins setting before dinnertime? Gruner is a natural choice to handle the soul-enriching dishes of autumn, so take a chance to familiarize yourself with wines from Eastern Europe this fall.

And you know what? A fine chance coming up at Solo Vino’s first annual Austrian-German wine tasting at the Saint Paul Athletic Club on October 19th, 2014 from 2PM-5PM. A $35 dollar ticket gets you access to over a hundred bottles from the region to taste.

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.

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