Sunday, January 24, 2010

A good value Grüner Veltliner

If there's one wine that's got impossibly fashionable against all the odds it's Grüner Veltliner. I say against the odds because of its hard-to-remember-verging-on-unpronounceable name (grooner velt-leener, for those of you who wonder), and the fact that many people still resist bottles that look like they might be off-dry or German, let alone one from Austria. (Which if you may remember, though I hesitate to drag it up yet again when their quality is so much improved, was involved in the notorious anti-freeze scandal of 1985)

The Austrians are obviously conscious of this image problem and some producers have marketed it with names like GV to make it sound more sexy or prefixed with the description 'groovy'. But these days you'll find it on any half-way smart winelist.

The reason it's so much in demand is that it's absolutely brilliant with food, especially seafood, light vegetable dishes and tricky-to-match south-east Asian cuisines (it's absolutely perfect with Vietnamese food, for example.) And, as I discovered last night when I opened a bin end of 2007 Huber Alte Setzen Grüner Veltliner from Oddbins, even with a classic Moroccan seven vegetable couscous. If you haven't tasted it before imagine Pinot Grigio with more character and a refreshing white pepper/grapefruity twist to it.

I'd call or nip into your local Oddbins asap and see if they've got any. It was selling at £12.99 but is currently down to £9.09 - a bargain for a wine of this quality.



  1. Thanks for sharing this Fiona. Am a fan of Gruner Veltliner - groovy or not - and agree it's a versatile wine to match with food. Had some on Friday at a Scandinavian dinner ;) will look out for it next time I'm in Oddbins...

  2. Hope you can find some. I snapped up the last couple of bottles locally after I'd written this post!

  3. Hi, good to read your post :-)
    Myself an enthusiastic GV fan - I'm about to start a GV-only shop. Not sure though if it makes sense to export to the UK. What do you think are the wine lovers ready for it?

  4. There's a big following, particularly in the restaurant business but also some quite well-established distributors here. Would have thought it was a bit niche but I'm not a businesswoman ;-)