Tasting Notes: Höpler Riesling

Kevin has declared that he loves Riesling. I think we had it at a tasting once and he was surprised by the dry Riesling, so ever since then he has tried to find good Rieslings by the glass when we go to restaurants with respectable wine lists. When we were in Highlands about a month ago, the wine shop had an Austrian Riesling on their machines. I tasted it, liked it, and bought a bottle to do a more official tasting at home. 

The Facts

  • Producer: Höpler
  • Region: Burgenland, Austria
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Variety: Riesling
  • Where I purchased: Mountaintop Wine Shoppe*, Highlands, NC
  • Price: $19.99

*Mountaintop Wine Shoppe in Highlands, North Carolina. If you're ever vacationing there, check it out! They are the nicest people with a GREAT selection and great prices. Bobby, the owner, is super knowledgeable and friendly. It's difficult for us to leave without a case to take home.

  • Eyes: This wine was a clear, pale yellow color and almost had a greenish tint to it. It was not very viscous which implies lower alcohol. This is normal for Riesling since they tend to have more sugar content. Most people associate Riesling with sweet wines, but in fact, there can be (and this particular one is) a dry Riesling. This wine had about 11% alcohol, so the viscosity did not lie!
     
  • Nose: This white smelled very good. There were notes of lemon citrus, green apple, and peach. Doesn't all of those flavors sounds awesome? It was like spring or summer in a glass.
     
  • Mouth: This wine is super refreshing! I served it "refrigerator" cold and it was perfect for the warm evening we were having. The fruitiness that was on the nose definitely came through when I actually tried it, and I could especially taste the apple. It was tangy and acidic and everything I like in a white wine.
     
  • Thoughts: This is a great choice! As I mentioned above, it's everything I want in a white wine... fruity, acidic, and refreshing. I liked the apple notes a lot and the smell was delicious. I know Riesling gets a bad rap in the United States for being a super sweet wine, but that doesn't have to be the case. I am going to have to agree with my husband on this one and say that dry Rieslings are definitely a wine I will have to start drinking more of! 

As a random side note, I came across this post about the winemaker of Höpler (a Höpler himself) on Wine for Normal People. Check it out if you'd like to read more about the winery!

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Tasting Notes: Winzer Krems Grüner Veltliner

I recently read this article on the wine of spring, Grüner Veltliner, and it sparked me to stop by Total Wine and pick up a bottle. I came across this wine by Winzer Krems that was recommended by a Total Wine employee, and I actually visited this winery when I was in Austria over Christmas so win-win! 

The Facts

  • Producer: Winzer Krems 
  • Region: Kremstal, Austria
  • Vintage: 2014
  • Variety: Grüner Veltliner - A white grape primarily grown in Austria, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. Click here to read more about this grape varietal at a favorite source of mine, Wine Folly.
  • Where I purchased: Total Wine
  • Price: $13.99
  • Eyes: This wine was an extremely pale straw color. I daresay it was almost clear. It was definitely a change from the reds we typically drink! Based on the color, I would guess that this wine is a light bodied wine.
     
  • Nose: This wine had a strong citrus aroma. The citrus was more lemon than other types, which is very appealing to me since lemon is one of my favorite flavors in cooking and otherwise. Besides the citrus, the only thing I could really pick up on in the nose was acid. I know that seems bizarre since you usually taste acid, but there was a certain tang or tinge to the nose when I smelled it.
     
  • Mouth: The citrus and acid that came through on the nose definitely showed up when I tasted the wine. The wine was very light and crisp, but I would actually consider it a more medium body (think 2% milk vs skim or whole). Other flavors that came through were lime and maybe a hint of green apple with some minerality. 
     
  • Thoughts: I think this wine is a great choice, especially as we head into spring and summer! It's so crisp and has a good acidity to it which makes it easy to drink in warmer weather. The acidity also lends itself to pairing well with a lot of lighter foods like fish, chicken, and even veggies. As mentioned in the article, Grüner Veltliner is actually a good pairing with asparagus which is notoriously difficult to pair with. I will definitely pick up another bottle the next time we have asparagus as our side! If you like a lighter Pinot Grigio or the citrus flavors of Sauvignon Blanc, I think this would be a great choice to expand your horizons!

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