“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” ….  Walt Disney

Bear with me, please, while we go through this exercise.  I’m going to name a country and ask that you respond with a wine associated with that country.  Don’t think about it.  Just respond with the first thought that comes to mind. There are no wrong answers because there are several correct answers to each inquiry and each response (whatever it is) will be correct.  So don’t get nervous about it.  Hopefully, this will be fun.

Here we go:
1)      Red wine, Spain
2)      Italy
3)      Germany
4)      Portugal
5)      France
6)      The U.S.
7)      Sparkling Wine

How did you answer? May I guess? (I’ll be wrong too, there’s a lot more of you than there are me).
1)      ollinarpmeT
2)      itnaihC
3)      gnilseiR
4)      troP
5)      xuaedroB
6)      dnelB deR
7)      ngiapmahC

O.K., the answers assumed are written backwards so as not to spoil the exercise by tipping you off as to my assumption.  Obviously, each country produces several wines and each country has several regions. You may have said “Rioja” (a region) for #1, for example.  You may have said something else.  In fact, as for Italy, Chianti (#2) is most often a blend of varietals, even when made within the Classicio DOCG.  There are a lot of variables in this mini-exercise, so before you send me “hate mail,” consider the point.

If I asked you to associate a wine with Austria, what would you say.

Many wouldn’t say anything.

Too bad.  

As Riesling is to Germany, Gruner Veltliner is to Austria. But somehow, the message didn’t get out.

Riesling is a grape.  Gruner Veltliner is a grape and they are different.  Germany and Austria are also different countries. As for the grape, Jancis Robinson (The Oxford Companion to Wine) says “Gruner Veltliner can produce wines which can combine perfume and substance. The wine is typically dry, full-bodied, peppery or spicy, and with time in the bottle can start to taste positively Burgundian.” 

There was no time in the bottle for this 2016 Stadt Krems 2016.  What there was, however, was an amazing flux of coincidence.  I invited myself to a visit with my brother while he was recuperating at home from a medical procedure.  He had some skinless brats made with mushroom and Swiss cheese at the ready. I pickled some organic, rainbow radishes, made red cabbage and procured German-style potato salad from a local (German) deli. He suggested a Gruner Veltliner. I brought one along (and a Spatburgunder – more on that later).   Putting away my Gruner in his wine refrigerator, I couldn’t help but notice he had the same wine also at the ready and chilled.  My brother is not a certified wine snob.  And I don’t like to think I’m a snob, though certified.  So the lesson to appreciate is that of Pliny the Elder (who 2000 years ago) was correct when he said, “The best wine is that which taste good to thine own palate.”

The Stadt Gruner certainly did that for each us and a guest.  And, at $13.99 (Binny’s Beverage Depot) I consider it a value. Consider Gruner as an alternative to Albarino. It goes great with seafood (Snapper).  Its bright acidity makes it food friendly with so many foods. Pair it with smoked ham.  Go safe with “Wiener Schnitzel,” which is basically another version of breaded veal.  Play it against chicken breast with rosemary and thyme. Have to have a wine with cheese? Consider Camembert. Or bring a bottle to your favorite BYOB Asian food restaurant, though if ordering spicy – stay with a sweeter Riesling (Spatlese).  If it matters, know too that it’s one of the few wines that will do well against artichokes and asparagus.
As for this bottle, (91 points Wine Enthusiast), I enjoyed grass (not fresh cut) on the nose with hints (for me) of pineapple and fresh cut apple. Creamy lime and faint lemon on the palate. Green herbs. Cleansing acidity. White pepper hints.  Lean and concentrated but balanced expertly.  This is a varietal you need to explore if you too are to open new paths as Disney recommended.   If you claim to enjoy wine, you need to tastes grapes, after all, because it is grape that becomes the best wine.   And perhaps this is a grape you haven’t explored yet.  If so, I’m happy to have been of help.    

…………… Jim
(The official language in both countries is German and there is shared history. But they are different countries.  So don’t get all technical on me. This is not a history blog).

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Color:                 Deep Lemon Green in the glass
Imported By;      Winebow Inc. (NY., NY)
Produced BY:     Weingut Stadt Krems GrmbH
Varietal:               100% Gruner Veltliner
Region:                 Niederoesterreich, Austria
Fermentation:       17 Days, Stainless, 65 F
Fining:                  None
Aging:                   4 Months
Additional             2 Months Bottle
ALC:                    12.5%
RS:                       3.2 g/L
Acidity:                6.7 g/L
SO2                      126.0 mg/L

Grapes are hand harvested at September’s end. 
Weingut Stadt Krems was founded in 1452, but managed (since July 2003) by Fritz Miesbauer.  

Note: Look for Gruner Veltliner from the DACs of Austria from Wachau, Kamptal and Kremstal, Wagram and Weinvertal.  Kremstal is a DAC designation, which can only use specified grape varieties considered the most outstanding and most typical of the delineated region

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