I recently took part in a fun experiment, in which a group of wine bloggers were sent four Austrian Gruner Veltliner wines to face-off against one another in a head-to-head tasting.
The event was billed The Grü V Olympics, the idea being that each blogger scored the wines according to a predefined system with points awarded for color, clarity, aroma, and so on. The culmination of all of the scoring across all of the wine blogger judges would then result in the declaration of a ‘gold medal’ winner.
I dig Gruner Veltliner, because it’s capable of startling complexity in its aromas and often includes spice, citrus and exotic vegetable notes. But I really dig Gruner because it pairs extremely well with the large and complicated salads that so many U.S. restaurants serve as entrees these days. Too bad most of those same establishments almost never carry Gruner on their wine lists…
Anyway, like all gold medal style competitions, the Grü V Olympics results should be taken with a grain of salt, because the field was limited in both the wine and judge selections. I should note that none of the wines in the Grü V Olympics really floated my palate boat, but my fave of the bunch did make ‘gold’ in this case. Having said that, there are definitely better Gruners to be had out there, though the gold medal winner here will treat you well enough and is a good introduction to what the variety has to offer.
You can check out the official Grü V Olympics results here.
5 thoughts on “Final Results Are IN for the Grü V Olympics”
I can see how they would work well with vegetable dishes. We paired with some good french bread with pesto that was nice, but I had a hard time consuming that much GruV. Ed (@winetonite) and I actually got a few more from a local distributor to throw into the mix. They were under the "Mozart" label (including one that was oak-aged, raising the blood pressure of purists). Not bad, but I haven't warmed up to GV yet. It definitely seems like a food pairing partner rather than an stand-alone.
We've got the same problem here in finding them. I think it's one of those grapes with a funny name (Gewurztraminer comes to mind) that is hard to sell because people don't know how to pronounce it and are afraid of it like it's some alien. I really like them in the summer, and they pair well with summertime foods where the over-the-top lemon, acid, and grass flavors of sauvignon blanc would over-power a dish. The other thing I like about them is that they are relatively cheap, once you find them. If I can find one on a sushi restaurant wine list, I'll often have this with sushi instead of sparkling wine, especially if said sparklers are in the 3x markup range.
Suburban – you just need the *right* GV… when that nose is in full swing, it's crazy!
Thanks, Richard – had't considered sushi but with the acidity, I can certainly see it working.
I learned a long time ago not to give up on a grape or region, even after several tries (Chile took me a while, but I've found some winners). I've even had some good GV, and the extra 3 we had probably were good, but we weren't doing a good job spitting and dumping, so they didn't get a fair shake :)
I also go in phases. Right now, I'm on a big Rhône/Syrah/Grenache/Shiraz kick, so minerally, high-acid whites have a big barrier of entry. However, I can see some good GVs doing great with a low country boil come warmer weather (and I was on a huge Alsace kick last summer, so GrüVee has a fightin' chance!).
Great idea in tackling regions / in phases- there's so much depth to wine in any particular area that doing a deep dive is sometimes the only way to really get to "know" that region / grape. Cheers!
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