Name: H.u.M. Hofer Grüner Veltliner
Grape: Grüner Veltliner
Price: $8.99 to $10.99
Dang, it's hot! Grüner Veltliner (pronounced: Grooner Veltleener) is a crisp, dry, low-alcohol wine, which when served icy cold is a delightful antidote to the summer's heat.
Grüner Veltliner is the most widely planted grape in Austria, though you may not know it as it has just begun to be exported into the United States. For many years our collective American palette shied away from the bone-dry, racing acidity that is Grüner Veltliner, preferring a sweeter type of wine. Fortunately times have changed!
The 2005 Hofer Grüner Veltliner is a must-have accessory for any party you throw or attend this weekend. Not only is it delightfully inexpensive (under $10/bottle for 1 liter), it also has a pop-top that can be opened with a lighter. (Hey, wine doesn't have to be packaged with a cork and a seal to be good.) This style of packaging is traditional for locally sold Grüner Veltliner in Austrian villages. I think the package is wonderfully rebellious and a good reflection of the fun wine in the bottle.
The 2005 is a refreshingly crisp, clean wine with lime, mint and mineral flavors. It is young and should be consumed young. Grüner will also surprise you as it not only pairs with the traditional white wine matches: seafood, lighter fare, salads, but is also great with the hard to wine-match likes of artichoke and asparagus.
Stores: Appellation Wines & Spirits $8.99 (156 10th Avenue between 19th & 20th), Astor Wines & Spirits $8.99 (399 Lafayette @ 4th Street), Prospect Wine Shop $9.99 (322 7th Avenue @ 9th St., Brooklyn), Union Square Wines & Spirits $10.99 (140 4th Ave @ 14th St., New Location!)