2014 Gobelsburg Kamptal Grüner Veltliner, $15.99 & 2014 Ott Am Berg Grüner Veltliner, $20.00

When I find myself in an ABC mood (Anything But Chardonnay), I'm gravitating more and more toward Grüner Veltliner, the Austrian white that has been gaining traction as a popular alternative. Usually I just grab one of the ubiquitous 1.0 liter bottles of entry level Grüner that we have stacked in the store. Those suffice for the everyday use, table-variety white. However, we also carry a good selection of upper-tier Grüners, including quite a few new arrivals from the excellent 2014 vintage. It was time, I thought, to check out a few.
The Gobelsburg's immediate impression was that of tell-tale lemongrass and fresh snap pea savory notes, both on the nose and on the palate. The crisp acidity carried the savory impression all the way through the finish, with a lift that enhanced the freshness, but also balanced the richness. It was a very satisfying combination that immediately brought food pairings to mind, but more on that later. The Ott also displayed a lemongrass component, but more prominently, pear and asian pear came to mind. It seemed slightly richer and riper than the Gobelsburg, with a faint honeyed creaminess and depth that hinted at seriousness. These wines are surprisingly ver-satile with a wide array of foods. Perhaps my favorite pairing is with baked shrimp, especially shrimp scampi, but that would also translate to scallops, lobster or any white fish. They work well with simple pork and veal presentations and even mild curries. Try it with ravioli drizzled with caramelized sage butter, with or without mushrooms.....Yum!