Reaching into fridge on a Sunday afternoon, I find this lonely bottle, leftover from some riverside gathering, just waiting to be opened and enjoyed… and enjoyed it was. It is a perfect transition from lean, citrus, acidic whites of summer to the fuller, spicier (and often red), wines of September, or in Texas, October.
This Count Karolyi 2015 Grüner Veltliner hails from Hungary. Hungary has been making wines since the Roman times and their wines (think Tokaji Aszu) were held in very high regard for several hundred years, up until World War II. Following Soviet occupation, fine wine production was discarded. For fifty years, cheap, sweet, bulk made, state-run, red wines with no discerning qualities were enjoyed by practically no one. Fortunately, at the end of the Cold War, the Soviets withdrew from Hungary and the Hungarian wine culture has been undergoing a renaissance ever since. Grüner Veltliner is a bit player in Hungary, but its cool climate nature, crisp acidity, and ability to reflect its terroir, make it an interesting up and comer. This particular Grüner, from the Pannon wine region, is crisp, bursting with ripe pear and nectarine and is perfect for light summer foods and white meat dishes… or just a hot, fall day in Texas.
When you are looking to enjoy a crisp, tasteful white wine, check out this Count Karolyi Grüner. While you are looking… see if they have plain old Hungarian Furmint (could you be so lucky?). Furmint, done in a dry style, is a crisp, delicious white wine, worthy of your dollars and taste buds. And, if you can afford Tokaji/Tokay Asźu… good for you!! Call me… I’ll come taste with you!!