What to Drink Now
Austria’s best known wine export these days is probably the tongue-twisting “Grüner Veltliner.” However, if you can’t pronounce that (or if, like the Finn who would not take a sauna, it isn’t that you can’t—you simply don’t wanna), don’t write off Austrian white wine. Austria also happens to makes some of the world’s finest Rieslings.
Crisper than most Alsatian Rieslings yet more full-bodied than many of its German counterparts, Austrian Riesling reaches its fullest potential in the Wachau district where terraced vineyards are cut into the rocky slopes above the Danube River. Hot summer days contribute to relatively high alcohol levels in Wachau’s Rieslings, but cool nights give them a stiff backbone of acidity that keeps any potential unruliness in check.
One of the more affordable Wachau Rieslings is the Domäne Wachau Federspiel Riesling, a finely focused wine with peach and mineral notes. You can find it at Sorella Wine & Spirits, the dearly departed Liquor Depot’s elegant new reincarnation. Like Austrian Riesling, it’s worth getting to know.