American wine audiences have traditionally had some hesitancy in embracing unfamiliar and hard to pronounce grape varietals. Chardonnay and Merlot — easy to say, easy to order. Assytirko and Grüner Veltliner, no matter how food friendly and drinkable they can be, not so much.
In 2007, Vienna-native Monika Caha & New Yorker Toni Silver, the pair behind the Austrian wine portfolio and marketing company Monika Caha Selections, Inc. launched the brand Grooner. By spelling Grüner phonetically, they took away all of the umlauted intimidation of Grüner Veltliner, which is Austria’s number one wine grape, and made it much more approachable for American audiences. Grooner, it’s fun to say, no?
But while the name is slightly goofy and accompanies a fun label and uber friendly price point of $12, the wine itself is serious stuff. Caha & Silver partnered with winemaker Meinhard Forstreiter of Forstreiter wines to create Grooner.
The Forstreiter family has been making wines along the banks of the Danube since 1868, and the unique terroir of this area produce fruity, spicy and peppery wines with lots of minerality. Grooner is an unmistakable and instantly recognizable expression of Grüner Veltliner, with it’s signature food friendliness, good balance and long finish. The 2012 vintage is crisp and dry with lots of apples, herbs, white pepper and minerals, along with a touch of pineapple and citrus on the nose and palate.