Austrian wine for American Thanksgiving? Who knew?
But first: a (very) brief look at the 2010 European wine harvest, and, in particular, that of Austria. (Not Australian: there are no kangaroos here.)
Let me just say it in a few words - it was a very challenging year for Austria (and probably all of the European wineries). The 2010 harvest was the smallest in 25 years, coming on the heels of a small harvest in 2009. Top producers, however, will produce outstanding wines, just much less.
Grüner Veltliner —the name for both the grape varietal and the finished white wine— combines a subtle tropical fruitiness with a hint of white pepper, and a finishing acidity. That last quality —and the lack of overripe fruitness, and lack of oak or butter— makes Grüner Veltliner, what wine folk refer to as, a 'food wine.' That's a tasty quality needed if one wine is asked to play well with many different foods, such as at an American Thanksgiving dinner.
If the name 'Grüner Veltliner' gives you consternation ... just say, "Gee Vee."
Caveat lector: As a representative for wine and beer wholesaler Select Wines, Inc., I sell the wines of KW Selection in northern Virginia.