Grapes 8, 9: Zweigelt and Blaufrankisch

This wine bottle from Austria confuses me. I don’t speak Austrian so that doesn’t help. And even in Austria they don’t speak Austrian, so we’re really at a loss. Anyway, this wine has two grapes (50/50), so there’s no way to know to distinguish one grape from another. Both are getting mentioned in this post.

The wine’s labeled as a Zweigelt Cuvee, and cuvee is French for “we have no idea what’s in the bottle.” Zweigelt though is a grape, which the Austrians shorten to “Blauer Zweigelt.” It’s easier to pronounce that way. In fact, there was a Mr. Zweigelt who developed the grape and then blogged about it in autobiographical book form (anyone know the title?). He lived to the ripe old age of 76 and developed other grapes in his secret wine lair. Clearly though, Zweigelt is his most famous concotion.

Zweigelt

Zweigelt is Austria’s red pride and joy, similar to American Zinfandels and the Chinese flag. More acres of Zweigelt are under production in Austria than any other grape, and this particular bottle came from Niederosterreich (Austrian for “our biggest wine region”).

Blaufrankisch

The other grape doesn’t have the fame of Dr. Zweigelt to back it up so even at 50% it’s getting the short end of the vine. Still, it’s all kinds of interesting in its own obscure way. Blaufrankisch means “blue” the same way that Eiffel 65 meant blue in the early 2000s. East Europe loves blue, not just for the techno hit (which it does) but for this grape. Czechs, Slovaks and Slovenes adore this wine so keep that in mind for your next Slovene dinner date. You can call it Lemberger if that’s easier to pronounce but remember it’s not a cheese. It’s Eastern Europe’s techno grape.

Taste

As for how the wine tasted, it was pretty fruity and light. Red and fruity with some darker flavor elements but in a really light on the mouth way. Kinda like a chocolate covered cherry without any calories but all the taste where the cherry keeps the other flavors in check. Also of note is the fact that the bottle comes in 1L only. Better than your mother’s 750ml and 25% more buxom. Yes, buxom.

Detail Up!
Artner Zweigelt Cuvee Landwein trocken Osterreich Abfuller (not really sure what all those words mean) – thanks for the photo Greene Grape guys

Random Googles
* “Bull’s Blood” is an actual name of a famous Hungarian wine. Kinda awesome. Also, it has Blaufrankisch in it.
* Zweigelt is popular in titles among wine bloggers. Something about that A-Z where Zweigelt is the kid that always got called last by his teacher.
* Dr. Vino thinks that Blaufrankisch is the best red you’ve never heard of. Little does he know that you know.

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