I don't know about you, but when I hear someone mention Austrian wines, red wine is not what comes to my mind. As a matter of fact, doing a search for "Austrian wines" on Wikipedia, will show a picture of a glass of white wine made from Grüner Veltliner. It turns out the 70% of Austrian wines are white.
Austria also does a fair amount of desert wine production. And this is what I am most familiar with.
13.5% Alc by Vol
The Zweigelt grape (pronounced ZVY-gelt) can be found in Austria, the Czech Republic and in Canada - in Ontario and British Columbia. It is a hardy grape with good resistance to frost. It has a late bud break and ripens early. With these qualities it is easy to see why the grape does well in Ontario and British Columbia. It makes me wonder why the grape has not been introduced in Southernm Colorado or Northern New Mexico; two places where having a frost resistence, late budding and early ripening would be qualities for a grape variety to have.
The Zweigelt grape variety was created in 1922 by Dr. Fritz Zweigelt by crossing two other grape varieties; St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch. The Zweigelt grape variety has become the most widely planted red grape variety in Austria. The wine is very dark ruby or dark purple color. It reminds me of a zinfandel - juicy and spicy. After letting the wine breathe for a bit in the glass, I noticed the smell of cherry. It has a nice oak taste due to aging in Barrique barrels, that is not an overwhelming woody taste.
I paid $12.50 for the bottle but I have seen it on the Internet for under $11. But at that price and then adding shipping of $2+ per bottle brought the price back to about what I paid. So $12.50 is probably not a bad price.
Let me know how things are going with you, O.K.?
Jim Fortune, The BellaOnline Wine Guy
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