Posts Tagged ‘Gruner Veltliner’

Spring Fever: Hugo Gruner Veltliner

In Uncategorized on May 3, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Is there a wine more eager to leave the bottle than Gruner Veltliner?  Like a Wisconsin Spring that has been delayed far too long by April’s torrid rains, and Vetliner’s adolescent vernal instincts burst from the bottle, health leap into the glass and slide gratefully down the parched palate.

Alas, buy just like this Wisconsin’s April, spring in 2009 for Austria was a rained out gloomy affair: flowering saw hail and soaking thunderstorms, and while the rest of the year was immaculate for growing grapes the effort was mostly wasted – there were very few grapes to grow.

Many a farmer and vintner responded to this shortage by raising prices to cover their shortfall in quantity.  While perfectly understandable it sadly resulted in wines more expensive than our regular spring fever for the flavor of Gruner Veltliner could substantiate.  So right from the get-go the search was on: fleshy, juicy Veltliner at a price that wouldn’t limit spring’s verdant consumption. 

And like a morel hunter in a forest of Elm trees, Markus Huber vinified a beautiful harbinger of the year to come: Hugo Gruner Veltliner.

Located in the Traisental, that small area of lower Austria south of the Danube from the city of Krems, Huber’s winery isn’t exactly on the beaten path of wine-tourism.  But this is to our advantage.  Most of the area’s “vineyards” are actually just family gardens, tended with lots of love and care but too small to be much commercial use – except to Markus Huber.  10 generations of Hubers have made wine in the Traisental and Markus, facing the same ’09 shortage as everyone else, called in some neighborly favors in order to make his fun and fresh springtime tipple, Hugo Veltliner.

Hugo bounds from the glass with all the anxious enthusiasm of a child receiving unexpected May Day candy.  Delicate pear and persimmon fruits intermix with an almost Chablis-like minerality drawing across the breath of the palate.  It is a precious little papoose of a Veltliner, pure energy and dimpled baby-faced smiles.  It drinks quickly and easily, brushing away Spring’s potential showers.  The finish is with Veltliner’s classic spicy Romaine note – a lingering touch of the wild.    

Within every passing thundercloud is a silver lining: our record setting cool and rainy April was greatly loved by one Wisconsin native – the morel mushroom.  And along with morels comes fiddlehead ferns, ramps and asparagus – all perfect culinary partners to Hugo Gruner Veltliner.  Cheers! 


2009 Markus Huber “Hugo” Gruner Veltliner

Suggested List Price:  $13.99

Special price via this email:  $9.99

We will be tasting this wine on Friday and Saturday.

All orders must be secured with a name, credit card number, and phone number.  All orders will be available at the time of purchase.  Half case (5%) and full case discounts (10%) do apply to this special offer.

When the wine is ordered your credit card will be charged.  The wine will be held in climate controlled conditions until you are ready to pick it up, free of charge.  Offer is good while supplies last. 

This piece was edited by Tim Hansen.

Seared Brussels sprouts with garlic and parmesan

In Brussels Sprouts, Eating on November 9, 2010 at 1:55 am

If you can get away with it this makes a great lower calorie Thanksgiving side dish.  Most people complain but only until they taste it – and then the complaining stops and the second helpings begin! 

Wine pairing

Really, salve the perfect pairing here is Gruner Veltliner.  And if you can get away with serving a Veltliner at Thanksgiving god bless you – it goes incredibly well with every traditional dish at the table! 

But my inspiration for this dish was really Italy and while a red like Brunello or Dolcetto might pair nicely it was Italian white wine that I think would go best.  Try Bucci’s Verdicchio, try Valentini’s Trebbiano (if you can find it), Jerman’s Pinot Grigio or even, for a blast, Elena Walch’s Gewurztraminer.


16 oz (one package)                 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 tbs.                                        olive oil

8 cloves                                    garlic, roughly chopped

1 bottle                                     Kabinett Riesling

2 cups (approximately)             vegetable stock

1 oz (or to taste)                       Parmesan, grated

To taste                                    salt

To taste                                    black pepper


1.   Add the oil to an oven safe sauté pan.  Heat on high.  

2.  When hot place the Brussels sprouts cut side down in the pan.  The goal is to blacken them, “sear them” a little bit.  Usually this takes about 2 -3 minutes.  You can always turn one over to check if you want.  Brussels sprouts are not steak, they will forgive you indiscretions. 

3.  Add a cup of Riesling to the pan.  It will bubble up so be cautious.  Add the garlic to the pan after the Riesling.  Do not let the garlic burn as it will taste bitter.  Turn the heat to medium. 

4.  Turn on your oven’s broiler.

5.  Place the remaining Riesling (or all that will fit) in a glass.  Drink deeply. 

6.  Check the Brussels sprouts – if they are tender turn off the heat.  If they are not tender add stock to the pan, 1 cup at a time (leaving on the heat).  When that stock is absorbed check them again.  Repeat steps 5 & 6 until Brussels sprouts are tender.

7.  When tender turn off the heat.  Top the Brussels sprouts with the parmesan and broil until cheese begins to melt.  Remove from oven.  If your pan is fancy enough go ahead and serve them right out of the pan.  Otherwise, place them in a dish and serve!

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