Ahhh…Gruner Veltliner! Yes, this is definitely one of my favorite Finger Lakes whites. The whites in this region are just beautiful. The Finger Lakes produce balanced white wines that are crisp, clean, and fresh, with minerality and acidity unique to the region. Gruner Veltliner, a grape native to Austria, does beautifully in the cool climate of its home country, and this varietal is having no problem making the Finger Lakes its home away from home. The Gruners here are just fabulous!
So . . . I would suspect most wine lovers may have not even heard of a Gruner Veltliner, and that’s what makes learning about Finger Lakes wines so exciting. The grape varietals that excel in this region come from European countries with similar climates and terroir that are not so popular or even available in most liquor stores because they are overshadowed by the wine trends. I think it’s safe to say that if one likes a Sauvignon Blanc, one will enjoy a Gruner Veltliner. I would say a Finger Lakes Gruner is a more “tropical” version of let’s say a Sauv Blanc from New Zealand.
A Finger Lakes Gruner Veltliner is typically dry with tropical fruit notes on the nose that become more pronounced on the palate. You may pick up pineapple and grapefruit with all their acidity, and even perhaps mango with a tastefully tart citrusy finish of lime and even green apple. I am predominantly a red wine drinker in love with my tannins. Hence, I like a white wine that gives you a little bit of a mouth-puckering finish that pleasantly lingers which makes it a perfect food wine!
But with what food? How about a breaded and fried scalloped pork chop! Yes of course! Maybe with a side of asparagus baked with grated Italian grated cheese and roasted carrots with butter and parsley. Oh and let’s not forget to make a comforting bechamel sauce with hints of dijon mustard and Parmigiano-Reggiano to spoon over that crisp but oh so tender pork chop!
The crisp fried breadcrumb on the chop. The subtle spice and sharpness of the Dijon mustard and cheese in the bechamel all play well with the tropical notes and acidity of the wine. The savoriness of the baked asparagus along with the buttery sweetness of roasted carrots is in harmony with this soft but citrussy wine. A lingering tastefully tart finish on this Gruner Veltliner sets you up nicely for another palate full of this dish.
This 2021 “Vineyard Select” Gruner Veltliner from Lamoreaux Landing is a wonderful representation of an Austrian classic!
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