Austrian Wine Experience 2013

Posted on May 15, 2013 by Wai Xin, CSW, FWS

Austrain Wine Experience

Matching wines to each dish that are strictly from a single country is a massive challenge even for the most experienced. Even more so for diners who have a stronger preference for the mainstream wines. In the landlocked country of Austria, the farmers grow a diverse range of grapes that are made into food-friendly wines for most, if not all, I dare say. Say hello to Austrian Wine Experience 2013, held for the third time in Singapore and this time is definitely a charm.

Austria lies on the eastern side of Germany, but doesn’t share the reputation its Deutsch neighbour enjoys. Unlike most of the European wine producing countries where vines are found in all parts of the country, Austria wines regions are clustered in the east-end department. Accounting for around one per cent of the world’s total wine production, the acceptance from the average Singapore consumer is on the relatively low end, not helped by the fact that these wines are rare on the market.

From a cool climate region, the bulk of Austrian wines are dry white with a medium to high acidity that can be served as aperitif or a glass to pair with the meal. A small quantity but good quality of red wines are produced. Geographically, the wine regions fall into the same latitude as the regions of Burgundy.

The first Austrian wine I will introduce is Grüner Veltliner. A white wine grape that makes up the bulk of Austrian wine production is also affectionately known as GV. This wine with its white pepper spicy aroma has developed a good reputation and following with consumers who have tried Austrian wines in recent years. Capable of expressing itself in either stone-like mineral aroma with crisp acidity, or luscious mouth feel and nose with opulent fruits and spices, Grüner Veltliner is a dependable wine for pairing with most dishes. For those who prefer more familiarity, there is always the reliable Riesling. My other favourite from Austria is the red St. Laurent – mixed berries on the nose, polished textured with lean acidity.

For most people, both Grüner Veltliner and St. Laurent are nothing more than foreign names – but things can get better with a little help. The Austrian Wine Experience by Mr Michael Thurner and his Unique Food and Wine company aim to actively introduce consumers to the diversity a cool climate can offer. In a nutshell, the project will last for a month starting from the 17 May, with close to twenty participating restaurants. At the restaurants’ discretion, the introduction of Austrian wine can manifest in a few forms. Free tasting flights before buying, designed degustation menus, winemaker dinners, wine education classes and the Try-and-Buy incentive promotion that rewards customers who buy a total of five wines or more from participating restaurants.

In whichever form, this is going to be educational for anyone who hasn’t tried Austrian wines and a good opportunity for experienced drinkers to compare the stylistic differences between producers. I hope to see you there.

About Wai Xin Chan

Wai Xin is constantly educating himself in all things wine-related. Believing strongly that wine is for enjoyment and not a trading commodity, he encourages sensible, affordable drinking and the exploration of individual preferences. A Certified Specialist of Wine, his personal wine blog is on www.winexin.sg.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Anton May 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Well,

    1) Austria is considered to be in the south of Germany – http://www.atlapedia.com/online/maps/political/Germany_etc.htm

    2) Austrian wine wins every year more awards than German wine – http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com/

    3) “the acceptance from the average Singapore consumer is on the relatively low end” says more about Singapore customers than the quality of Austrian wine …

    … try harder

    Anton

  2. Ray May 15, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Haha… I wonder what is the point Anton is making!

    From what I’m reading, the author is plainly introducing Austrian wines, no judgement on whether the wines are better than German wines. Reputation also implies general acceptance or recognition, not just professional judgement.

    Austrian wines are just plainly not as visible (and amply imported) into Singapore, thus the local consumers do not have sufficient knowledge of them. This makes the Austrian Wine Experience as worthwhile pursuit, to educate and to promote.

    And, to tell someone to “try harder”… oh dear, what poor form.

  3. Wai Xin, CSW May 15, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Anton and Ray,

    Thanks for the comments. Really appreciated it.

    When I looked at the bulk of Austrian land mass, I see it on the 5 o’clock position, somewhat south-southeast of Germany and thus generalised it as southeast of Germany together with Czech Republic. But yes, you are right to point out that Austria connects with Germany on the southern edge.

    As pointed out by Ray, I have no intention to downplay the quality level of Austrian wines but the low local acceptance rate. Popularity and quality doesn’t correlate all the time. In fact I do enjoy quality Austrian wines, thus I wrote this to introduce them to our readers.

    The average Singaporean’s palate is getting increasingly sophisticated when it comes to wines, and I believe they are increasingly appreciating an increasing variety, including the Austrian ones.

    Cheers,
    Wai Xin

  4. Michael May 19, 2013 at 7:23 am

    hi all,

    just a short comment on (Austrian) wine. Taste is individual and thanks god we all have different tastes. Austrian wines are amazing. You should really give them a try. They are mouthwatering, elegant, fresh and have a huge potential to age. Just try them next to expensive other stuff and you will see how much bargain and great value the Austrians are.
    If you dont believe in ageing white wines, check out this: http://www.thebigdinner.com

    Cheers and enjoy,
    Michael

    • Wai Xin, CSW May 21, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      Hi Michael,

      Yes! You are right, the fresh acidity of Austrian (and other cool climate) wines are great for both drinking and ageing. Thank you for bringing the event to Singapore for the third time!

  5. Martin June 13, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Thank you for your expertise, Ray, and congrats as I as an Austrian support most of your statements. Since i also try to collect and share some austrian wine i was wondering if there is a list of the offered wine can be found online somewhere. Also I would like to know if you noticed the increase of high-quality Sauvignon Blanc (especially from the southernmost part of Austria) and whether you like it or not.

    • Wai Xin, CSW, FWS July 1, 2013 at 1:44 am

      Hi Martin,

      Apologies for the late reply. I would suggest you contact the nice folks at Unique Food and Wine (www.uniquefoodandwine.com) for a list of their wines. They are one of the biggest Austrian and German wines importer in Singapore.

      As for the Sauvignon Blanc, I haven’t had the chance to taste them in our market but will keep a lookout for it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


8 × = sixty four

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>