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Know Your Grapes: Gruner Vetliner Taste and Pairings

What does Gruner Vetliner taste like and pair well with?

Gruner Vetliner (pronounced "groon-er vet-lin-er", and often abbreviated just as "Gruner") is a great grape varietal that has rapidly grown in popularity over the past few years. Most commonly grown in Austria and Germany, it usually comes in distinctive tall and thin bottles. Generally good values, these are wines that are mostly meant for easy enjoyment...don't have to think too much here.

New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov describes Gruner Vetliner wines as "Grüner veltliner can range from crisp and light-bodied to rich and full-bodied, with aromas and flavors of lemon and grapefruit, flowers and herbs. Perhaps its most distinctive feature is a peppery spiciness. Good examples can also have a minerality." He goes on to say that good acidity is a key feature of pretty much every example of Gruner, which I personally love.

If you generally like white wines like Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Pinot Grigio, Albarino, or Sancerre, you should absolutely give Gruner a try. You'll likely find a wine that is different enough to be interesting but that also doesn't cross over into the dreaded oak-bomb territory that a lot of Chardonnay wines do.

Gruner is an excellent wine to serve as an aperitif before a big meal or just enjoy on its own. However, if you do want to pair it with some food, your best bets are asparagus, scallops, sushi, and of course the classic Wiener Schnitzel.


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