April 5, 2011

2008 Zantho Zweigelt Burgenland

I'm sure, like me, many of you may be familiar with certain grape names (even if you don't know they are actual grapes) - cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot grigio, pinot noir, chardonnay - this list of recognizable names goes on and on!

But some of the most impeccable wines sometimes come from grapes and places you may have never heard of! And to me, Austria is sort of one of them (not that I don't know where Austria is - I've visited Viena and Salzburg and devoured lots of streusel when in both places, but I digress...)

To me, Austria is not one of the top wine producing countries. I see Italy, I see France, I see Australia, I see the U.S. (ok, maybe California in particular), even Chile. But this is what's so enlightening about the discovery of wine. You never know what's out there that you might like until you explore and find it.

Cue Zweigelt from Zantho. Confused yet? I am. So lemme break it down for you. Zweigelt is a widely planted red grape in Austria. This particular wine is produced by a winery called Zantho which is located in the Burgenland region of Austria. This area is defined by dry, mineral soil and those attributes come to life in this particular wine, which is characterized by its deep ruby color. You'll experience a deep blend of berries, cherries and cinnamon -- almost like an autumn cherry pie -- on both the nose and palate, but the reveal of the flavors is a tad on the slow side. The smells capture your senses off the bat, but the tastes evolves as you sip in length and appreciate its long finish.

Cost: $20/bottle
Where to Buy: WineSearcher.com
Pairing: Cheese please!