Grüner Veltliner is not the name of that steroid-crazed bobsledder who assaulted those poor farm animals but a grape variety, grown mostly in Austria.
The single example available at the NLC is the Fred Loimer 2012 “Lois,” pronounced, over in that deeply weird birthplace of Hitler, to rhyme with “choice,” which is how I am now to forever address any of the women I know with that name.
This is a dry white wine, with crab apple flavours and tartness, and even some grapefruit pith bitterness. There’s a funk here too, something vaguely shroomy and a chalky sort of mineral profile. That sounds better than it is.
Not sure what this wine would go with. I’m tempted to say “schnitzel” because it is terrific fun to do so. Like shouting “auf wiedersehen!” and “schnell!” The different parts of Lois don’t really come together. Mostly “meh.”
Affordable white is harder to find than red but there are better deals for the $20 or so you drop on this one. 34.2 out of possible 56.8 on an arbitrary scale I only now made up.
Côtes du Rhône means “slopes of the Rhône” and the vineyards and wine made in a vast stinking-hot part of the South of France.
On a bottle it gives no indication of what’s inside. It’s mostly red, mostly from grenache and syrah grapes but sometimes white and then mostly of a half dozen different grapes you’ve never heard of.
It ranges from the most god-awful “carafe” wine to stuff that is better than Chateauneuf-du-Pape made around the corner and selling for $60 a bottle.
The best red examples convey the heat of the sun under which the grapes ripened and the taste of rosemary, thyme and even lavender that grow over there.
The worst examples manage to be raisiny and somehow thin at the same time. You want a little intel before you buy, no wine better justifies this sort of column than Côtes du Rhône.
The 2011 Xavier Côtes du Rhône has some mourvedre grape in the mix and is purported to come from older vines which, like older lovers, better know what they are doing.
The Xavier is a good, not great, example. It’s got a cheery cherry thing going on but a little too much alcohol heat. Just worth the price, this sound cheapie would go with anything off the barbecue, from chops to eggplant and peppers, even a burger. It’s particularly garlic-friendly and can handle North African or Middle Eastern fare.