It’s a rainy Friday night in Auckland. The humid nor-wester blows in like the exhaust tube from a clothes dryer - and saturates the city in gentle, warm rain. Somewhere, a duck quacks.
Outside, cars hiss through the steamy wet streets as Aucklanders head home for a long weekend.
In his secret lair, NZWineblogger hunches over his PC, a glass of Matua Valley Pinot Gris at hand (bloody good and on special at $7.50 and also annoyingly - quite warm because he forgot to stick it in the fridge this morning).
In the background, he has Emmylou Harris on really LOUD playing the Brand New Dance on CD because he believes that downloaded music is stealing from talented musicians. His charming assistant is away in Waiheke for the weekend at a wedding, so he plans a selfish night of music, wine and defrosted stew with mashed spuds. He pauses to feel guilty about the noise level. He takes another swig of Pinot Gris and shrugs his shoulders. What the hey – it’s only 7.16 and the neighbours are noisy, unfriendly pricks anyway.
The PG starts to kick in and he feels suddenly very attractive, slightly amorous and amusing.
OK Grüner Veltliner. Probably the most famous dry style wine from Austria. And rumoured to be a distant cousin of Gewürztraminer. From my German Language night school classes I figure that the correct pronunciation is: Grooner Felt-Leaner. Das umlaut (ü) in German is pronounced as an 'oo' sound, but with the mouth making an 'ee' shape.
West Auckland winery Coopers Creek have a reputation for introducing obscure grape varieties to NZ. They were one of the first to produce Pinot Gris and Arneis. Grüner Veltliner is the latest in this series.
Verdict: Coopers Creek Grüner Veltliner 2010 $NZ22.00
I’m not sure what the ageing potential of this wine is. As a one-year-old it is quite complex. To me, it’s a food wine i.e. a bit too multifactored as an aperitif style.
Flavours – probably peg it in Pinot Gris territory, but quite dry and with herbal spicy notes. So I’m tasting apple, pear, nectarine fennel and lime. I think it would be a great match well with seafood – mussels, oysters – or a creamy Marinara pasta. I probably need to sample another bottle to get a real bead on the style. Watch this space.
Phil runs fine wine and food tours around Auckland.