For a wine guy, I guess I’m an anomaly. Besides the obvious reasons I can think of, what I’m thinking specifically of now is that I really love white wines.
Ever since I’ve been doing this, whatever you want to call it, the general consensus is that “Red Wine Rules!” Not just in cooler times of the year but in general, most of the year. There are those times, during the long hot months of Summer, that thoughts turn to something cold and refreshing. That chilled Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or the now infamous, Rosé. There are a lot more out there, but for the sake (not to be confused with Saké, the Japanese rice wine) of space, I picked the most recognizable.
Me, I like a nice chilled wine that gives me that crisp acidity and flavors of citrus, stone fruit and minerality. Just something about them.
So it’s no wonder that once again, even in the depth of Winter, I’ve picked another white wine to enjoy and review.
On this particular occasion, I was glancing around the weekly “Tasting Highlights” from the online version of Wine Spectator. The title of this particular piece caught my eye: “6 Green Grüner Veltliners.” So at least I know I’m not the only one looking at white wine during the Winter! I start to read the article and see if anything jumps out at me. Right off the bat, the first one, numero uno (you get the picture) I see a familiar name, Nigl. I see that it’s the first wine as it had the highest score of those listed, 92 Points. It lastly mentions that their 2016 was Number 48 on the Top 100 Wines for 2018. Oh wait, last last item, it shows a price of $20 (past reality tells me that the price could be less).
Nigl Freiheit Grüner Veltliner 2017
I love Grüners. Goes back to the third paragraph of this post, “crisp acidity and flavors of citrus, stone fruit and minerality.” Add all that with what is usually described as white pepper spiciness and you get an astonishing wine. Exactly what the Nigl had. Originating from the small area called Kremstal in the Northeast of Austria and having the cooler climate to draw on, this winery focuses on whites (Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings), although making a small amount of red wine as well. Click here for the tech sheet.
The other really important part of all this was going to be “Is it available?” A quick check of my local wine shop and while it’s not available at every store, they do have it at a couple not far from me. Like so many times before, I hop into my trusty steed (my car) and head out. Just as I thought, the price was actually a little less than published (I love when that happens). $17.99, okay so not a huge difference, but I’ll take it!
All during my road trip (hey, when you don’t leave the house much, even a 5-mile jaunt is a road trip) I started my thought process as to what to eat with this wine. Shellfish, fish is an option, maybe a little too obvious. No, I needed something with a little more weight to the protein and yet could “spice it up” if you will.
It hit me! CHICKEN! Put that over a bed of lime infused rice and add some sautéed veggies with a good amount of spice and heat, and it’s complete! Just so happened that I had everything I needed at home so no need to make a side trip to the store while on my “road trip.”
Not to keep reiterating the previous paragraph about why I like whites, but all the citrus, stone fruit, acidity and minerality of the wine was a perfect complement to the food. It would have worked with fish or shellfish by the way (I could have used the acronym BTW, but I don’t think too many Millennials read this blog).
So if you’re looking for something like a Sauvignon Blanc or maybe a Pinot Grigio, give a Grüner Veltliner a try, I think you’ll enjoy the wine as much as I did (boy, I think I just stole Martha Stewart’s line???). Anyway