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21 August 2007

Wanted: Listed Austrians

Dear B.Juice Reader:

Look, I know over the last several months I have let you down.  My per-week posting rate has dropped dramatically.  Forgive me.  However, as many out there know, it's incredibly draining to write nearly every day about wine (especially when one considers the fact that I live in #$%#$%ing Ut.).  However, my pledge to you is this:  I will go for quality over quantity.  The Juice may not be as freshly updated as it once was, but in the near future, you will see seriously good stuff.

Ok.  Now that you've been slathered with butter substitute, I've got a favor to ask:


Have you seen a good selection of Austrian wine on a wine list or in a retail shop?  And by good selection, I don't mean 1-2 bottles of G. Veltliner gathering dust on a rack.  I mean, you've visited a restaurant or shop that offers a gaggle (or at least 4-6 bottles) of tasty Austrian wine.

So, if you have a favored sipping or shopping spot for Oesterreichische Weine, please let me know in the comments!  Danke & Cheers.

21 July 2007

Weekend Hits/Misses

Ipodding iTunes Hits
The Long Blondes - Someone to drive you home: Edgy pop with a slightly gruff but bouncy alto lead singer.

Spoon - Ga ga ga (etc.):  Imagine if the Rolling Stones drank 100 pints from the Fountain of Youth, quit most mind altering substances and moved to Austin.

Wine Hits
Laurenz und Sophie Singing Gruner Veltliner 2005: I have yet to find inexpensive white wine that is consistently as good and character-full as cheerful chuggers from Austria.  Set aside Laurenz + Sophie's silly "singing" moniker for this wine, twist off the cap and be prepared for zip! sproing! and fresh!

iTunes Misses
Crowded House - Time on Earth:  "Don't Dream it's Over" is one of the greatest pop songs of all time.  Unfortunately, our gang of Kiwis squeezed for living space has graduated to the "Adult Alternative" category.  Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Discover any iTunes/Wine hits recently?

08 May 2007

The Juice Leads; The NYT Follows

It's difficult being a trendsetter. But hey, somebody has to do it. The Times, surprisingly gave Burgenland some love. Indeed, Austro Turf is a clever article. But is it as clever as They Call Themselves the Rusters? Probably.

04 March 2007

Moric Ist Da

Moric "Moric is Here."

Run, don't walk, to find these astoundingly unique wines by Roland Velich.

Last spring, I chatted with Roland and his brother Heinz.  My conversation and tasting of their wines wrought this little piece of wine writing:

Velich Seewinkel Wild

Near the southeastern shore of Lake Neusiedl lies a wine region called Seewinkel. As far as European winemaking locations go, it's a fairly wild place.  Seewinkel is dotted with numerous small lakes lying in alkaline depressions.  In fact, some of the lakes contain salty water, while others evaporate entirely during hot summer months.  Strong gusts of wind blow across low vegetation and wide open sky.  There are also herds of cattle dotting the landscape.  This ruminant, which has been herded in the region for centuries, looks like something along the lines of a longhorn-water buffalo hybrid.  This is the atypical landscape in which the Velich family produces some of Austria's best dry white and dessert wines.

Continue reading Velich Seewinkel Wild

02 March 2007

Too Many Notes

editor's note: This is an article I wrote for the fine Volks at the Austria Tourism Office.  You'll be able to see it in all its glory in finer travel bureaus and airlines everywhere.  Download a PDF preview of it here.

Austriawine Discover ‘Too Many Notes’ in Austria’s Wine Regions

Upon hearing one of Mozart’s operas, 18
th Century Austrian Emperor Joseph II famously remarked, “Too many notes, my dear Mozart.”  While Joseph II may have initially overlooked the genius of Mozart, fortunately, he understood the artistry of Austrian wine.  This enlightened monarch decreed that wine growers were permitted to sell wine directly to consumers.  Modern Austrian winemakers honor the country’s storied wine history by producing quality wines that will strike a chord with any culinary adventurer.

The miracle of Austria is that all of its wine regions are incredibly easy to visit.  In fact, once you step off the plane in Vienna, you have already arrived in one of the world’s most unique wine regions. No other country can boast of so much viticulture and wine-culture in its capitol city. During the Middle Ages, each district of
Vienna (called Bezirk in German) worked its own vineyards.  As the city grew and modernized, many vineyards were lost to concrete, asphalt, etc.  Recently, there has been a trend towards replanting vines in the city.  There are 630 wineries (that's one winery per 2,500 Viennese - my kind of town) in Vienna.  White grapes dominate these urban vineyards.  Grüner Veltliner, the quintessential Austrian grape, is common, along with Riesling and Chardonnay.  These crisp white wines are the perfect accompaniment to Wiener Schnitzel, potato salad or any manner of wurst. For those who enjoy tasting in style, visit the Hotel Rathaus Wein & Design – a hotel made just for wine lovers.  Alternatively, if you prefer surfing and sipping, take your laptop to Wein & Co., where you’ll find hundreds of Austrian wines alongside free Wi-Fi! Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind cosmopolitan wine experience.

Continue reading "Too Many Notes" »

30 October 2006


Doc Vino brings up a question near and dear to my heart as it involves Austrian wine.  Weingut Leth, along the Danube in Austria's Donauland region (not too terribly far from the Wachau), follows an unusual practice with its well-aged wines:

"Franz personally uncorks all of the older vintages as they are withdrawn from the winery's cellar. If they are bad, he discards them. If they are good, he tops them up with the current vintage, adds a shot of SO2 and recorks them.

On the one hand, this is amazing for the consumer since it brings the risk of buying an older vintage of Leth to near zero. This is as close as you get in the wine biz to a guarantee. Buyers would no doubt be willing to pay a premium for it. And Leth probably demands it since they must pour lots of wine down the drain that other wineries might be happy to sell to cnosumers who didn't know any better."

The comments on this post begin with..."it is adulteration"  But, is it?  I would imagine that the topping up adds less than 5% to each bottle's volume.  Thus, for example, a wine that is 97% 1989 and 3% 2006 is still by any definition an '89 vintage.  Or is it?


Bonus photo: Vineyards along the Danube, May 2006

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15 September 2006

Reminder: It's Wine Lent

Goblet A reminder to all the pious Juiceites out there.  Don't forget to drink juice of the rarer grapes this weekend, and all month long.  My initial lent sip will be.....(drum roll)

Blauer Wildbacher! 


What's on your weekend Lent list?

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08 September 2006



Bright, juicy, bold statements at Winemonger Talk.

Inspired by Jameson's ode to Veltliner.

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05 September 2006

The Best White Under $15

By Guest Author Jameson of Le Wine Blog 

Sglabel 2005 Schloss Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner Gobelsburger
(Imported by Terry Theise for Skurnik Wines)

OK, here's what the Wine Advocate says:

"Moosbrugger's 2005 Gruner Veltliner Gobelsburger once again represents a sensational value. Scents of flowers and hay introduce a clear, bright, juicy, melony, limey mouthful of wine that is a touch lush, a tad invigorating, carpets the palate with flowers, herb, melon, and pepper, yet ultimately, soothingly, simply thirst-quenchingly satisfies. To obtain results like this for the price demands keenly honed agricultural and artisanal skills..."

Rating: 89 points

Beau has challenged me to find an 85-90 point wine, break down the review, and give it a "yea" or "nay." I was tempted to pick from a sea of highly rated Aussie Shiraz, but then I realized I hate those wines. So since he so rarely writes, blogs, podcasts, etc. about Austrian wine, I thought I would break the seal on Basic Juice (editor's note:  Jameson's a funny guy).

First of all, this is a sensational value; it retails for about 12 bucks. I am going to say something very provocative: This is the best white wine in the world that retails for under 15 bucks.

As far as scent, I don't know what "flowers" smell like. Is this an amalgamation of all floral aromas into a catch-all term? Ok, well, if pressed I would it smells like a flowery, hay-strewn field. One that I am frolicking in.

clear, bright, juicy, melony, limey mouthful of wine

Yes, yes, yes, yes ,yes, and absolutely.

I enjoyed the phrase "carpets the palate", but I prefer "hugs the tongue."

It is super thirst-quenchingly satisfying. I am not sure, however, that "quenchingly" is a word. (I do like it, though.)

I did get a lot of dried-herb, melon, and lime on the finish. It also had a little spritz when first opened that blew off.

I could go through a couple cases a month! If you do not like this wine, I do not want to be your friend.

Verdict: Recommended

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01 September 2006

Need More Juice?

Soundofmusic_1 I'm confident there is at least one person in blogland who can't get enough of Basic Juice (hopefully, other than family members).  As you know, I go coo-coo for Austrian wine.  However, I didn't want Basic Juice to become Einfacher Saft.  So, the nice folks at Winemonger Talk invited me to drop by every so often and yodel the praises of Austrian wine.  If the mood, or weather strikes you, head on over and check out the latest, Autumn Anticipation with a special appearance by some of my favorite Stephencooks creations.

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