Posted by: tomciocco | May 21, 2012


Two consecutive posts on Austrian wines? It might be some kind of record (for me anyway).  The last was a white (Riesling), and this one a red, and one that is VERY Austrian: Blaufrankisch. This name has got to scare off lots of folks that could potentially love this wine, but that’s the way it is – more for you and me…

Like Austria’s other noble autocthonous red grape Sankt Laurent, Blaufrankisch, whose name translates more or less as “Blue French”, is storied as having antique Gallic roots (Burgundy in particular) that have been crossed and “Austrified” since the vine’s legendary arrival with monks in the middle ages. To my knowledge, this theory has never been either proven or refuted by genetic research, and in fact some postulate that both are neither – that is they’re both actually native to Central-Eastern Europe, and not French in any which way.

In any event, Blaufrankish deserves to be a lot more famous than it is. It’s typically deeply flavored with lots of dark fruit flavors and a touch of spice, but without a trace of heaviness, and lots of fresh and bright acidity…a sort of Central European Barbera if you will – supremely versatile, but no push-over either…

So what does Austrian wine have to do with Swedish food? To my knowledge, not a damned thing, but last time I looked they don’t make wine in Sweden. The menu consisted of thin rye crisps spread with a mixture of farmer’s cheese, gravlax, dill andchives, and then a Swedish super-classic: Kottbullar (“Swedish” meatballs) with mashed potatoes and some organic whole-berry cranberry sauce, which makes a fine substitute for the more elusive (and FAR more expensive) traditional accompanyment of tart Lingonberry jam.









Weninger Mittelburgenland Blaufrankisch 2009

Bright and pretty crimson/garnet color. The nose opens with clean, sweet, and lightly spicy cherry and black raspberry fruit followed by notes of rocky, damp earth, mocha, black truffles, rubber, and a hint of dark honey. In the mouth wine is medium full-bodied with an exceptional balance, smooth, elegant, sweet tannins, and juicy, cohesive flavors of strawberry preserves, blackcurrant, and grilled peaches. Big, warm, and clean concentrated watermelon finish.



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