After a non-existent and extremely soggy spring, summer officially (and hopefully) arrives this Friday! It’s time to hit the Farmers' Market and pick up your CSA shares, pluck the leafy greens from your garden, and enjoy the summer vegetable abundance while it’s here. There just isn’t much better after a long wait for warm weather than a cold glass of white wine, and a fresh green meal on your plate. Early summer is the perfect time of year to reach for a bottle of Grüner Veltliner. Grüner Veltliner is one of Austria’s native white grapes, and makes light-bodied, fruity, easy drinking wines, to full-bodied, complex, and age-worthy wines. Of the many things that Grüner Veltliner can be, the most loveable characteristic is that it is infinitely versatile. Grüner Veltliner "plays well with others" as few wines on can do. It gets along with such problem-children as asparagus, artichokes, shrimp, and all those fresh, green vegetables.
Often people come in needing a wine for a certain event, a certain dinner, but aren’t sure what is being served. Grüner Veltliner can also be your I-have-no-idea-what-to-bring wine for all summer get-togethers. Its signature bright acidity will work with appetizers, Asian food, to grilled pork and poultry. I think a wine this versatile should always be a staple in your wine rack, especially in the summertime.
Surdyk’s has several great drinking Grüner’s in our store, but for my money—I go straight for the Berger. Inside this green liter-sized bottle, with an extremely convenient pop top, is a friendly and loveably simple white wine. It is light in both body and flavors, but don’t let its simplicity fool you; it is wonderfully balanced and perfect for food. Berger Grüner Veltliner is a great intro to the grape. As for the wine itself, you’ll find it to be bright, herbaceous, clean, and a perfect example of how versatile Grüner can be. It tastes good and it makes you want to drink more. After a glass it makes you happy that the bottle is large. Keep one in your fridge for last minute dinner guests, one to bring for a last minute gathering, and I recommend having a few extra on hand for yourself. Cheers! —Lindsey Coleman @surdyksliquor