12 April 2010

NV Szigeti Grüner Veltliner Brut

The wines of Austria are getting a lot more attention these days, but the grapes and producers still don't quite roll off the American tongue. I've had several Grüner Veltliners in the past but I've never had one of the sparkling variety. This little beauty is the NV Szigeti Grüner Veltliner Brut, $20, 12.5% abv. It's from Burgenland, the easternmost state of Austria, and a patch of land that has passed back and forth between Austria and Hungary over the centuries. In fact, the family name Szigeti is of Hungarian origin though the winery is fully within modern day Austria.

The website calls this wine a Typisch* Österreichischer Sekt, or a "typical Austrian dry". The translation doesn't do it justice. This is in fact a light, dry, casual sparkler, but it has an enchanting aroma of lemon and toast on the nose, with a crisp lemony mouthfeel. Big bubbles, firm acidity, and a sharp, short finish. I'd compare it favorably to Prosecco, a tasty food-friendly bubbly that you can open in the middle of the week.

I served it with a vaguely Austrian dinner: lightly floured and fried veal cutlets (pounded thin, of course) topped with a mushroom cream sauce, braised apples/onions/red cabbage, and a refreshing salad featuring roasted golden beets. I dined al fresco on the back porch, with Wolfgang's bushy tail making yet another cameo appearance on this blog.

A lot of different wines could have been paired with this dinner, but I loved the way it turned out. The acidity cut through the savory/creamy main dish while making the cabbage side even better. And I've found sparklers to be consistently great dance partners for fresh salads.

I'll avoid the usual small type for a bigger thanks here: this wine was received as a sample from wine publicist and fellow blogger Constance, who is also responsible for the ribbons on the bottle and the collateral material that came with the wine, including a little packet of morning glory seeds that I think I'll plant near the backyard fence.

*Typisch is one of my favorite German words, because you almost never get to use the letter Y in German, even though they have all those vöwëls wïth ümläüts and the ß (eszett). Germans also don't make much use of Q, X, or even C except when combined with an H (much like the English Q is almost never seen without a U outside of Scrabble tournaments). Also, since I brought up Hungarian, they get to use neat vowels with double accents like Ő and Ű.


Constance C said...

I love that, "sparklings are great dance partners for salads." :)

Thanks for the shout out. I'm happy you enjoyed it!

Benito said...


In this case, I believe a waltz would be the appropriate dance style. :)


B8wine said...

I love GV; still or sparkling i think it is a great wine. I lived for 4 years in Austria and I really enjoyed their wines... and chicks.

Benito said...


I certainly enjoy the wines, can't speak to the latter. Every Austrian I've ever met has been over the age of 50, and profoundly annoyed by my Plattdüütsch accent.


fredric koeppel said...

this post was a diacritical dream.

Samantha Dugan said...

Sounds lovely

Michael Hughes said...

That Szigeti Brut is one of my all time favorite bubblies. I wish we could get more of it!

Benito said...


One of my in-house style rules is never pass up an opportunity to use a strange typographical character. Some day I'll write about Vietnamese food and get to go nuts with that lovely alphabet.


Trust Michael here--it's made in the traditional Champagne method and makes for a fun change of pace.