American wine drinkers are rapidly becoming better acquainted with Austrian wines, and for that I am glad, because it means that we’ll be able to find a larger variety of bottles from the country in stores and restaurants here. I have been enjoying the two G’s – Gewürztraminer and Grüner Veltliner – for a long time. They (in most instances) are perfect with many types of food (Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, oysters, asparagus, sushi, even artichokes – a food that is very unfriendly to wine – to name but a few), and can be had for not a lot of cash. A great example is the Grüner I had this weekend, the 2013 from Franz Etz. I paid $11 for it at Costco, for a liter, and it was a good decision.
We had made a salad of mixed greens and tomatoes and blanched asparagus, to be followed by steamed mussels in garlic and cream. The Grüner was the right temperature, and we took the first sip. Bright notes of citrus, followed by white pepper. Acidity was nearly perfect. Alcohol at 12.5 percent. It was the beginning of a fine meal. The wine continued to please when the salad and mussels were served.
The Etz family has been in wine since 1898, and the current caretakers, brothers Franz and Karl, are making some good stuff. Try it and let me know what you think.