The Ultimate Refrigerator Door White

ecklabelMercury is in retrograde. My best friend pointed it out to me, as did my colleague Pete. What does that mean? As best I can understand it, communication gets all messed up. Perhaps this explains why on Wednesday the Wine House email database had to be rebuilt or why on my day off, with a list of 10 really important things to complete, I couldn’t get a dial tone on my home phone. This wouldn’t have been such a big deal except that my cell phone does not get reception near my house. I had to go over to my best friend’s house to use her phone; thankfully she was there. Turns out she was waiting for the repair service to fix her Internet connection. So how does this relate to the 2007 Grüner Veltliner from Ecker? Well it reminds me that having a wine that you can count on to deliver flavor and pleasure becomes all the more important.

grapesThe Grüner Veltliner from Berger (which is available for purchase) is wildly popular and elicits exclamations like “oh, I love that stuff!” or “I’ll take a case of that”. I echo that sentiment. As I reached for a bottle, I couldn’t help but wonder about the other bottle of Grüner Veltliner stacked up next to it. David, our Austrian/German buyer, is always finding new, tasty treats, so I figured it was time to try something different. The Ecker, bottled in a tinted green bottle that could be mistaken for mineral water, made its way to the lower right spot on my refrigerator door. After proper chilling, it was time to twist off the cap and pour a glass. I am always amazed at the range of flavors that Veltliners show from herbal, green earthy flavors to riper, more succulent and unctuous flavors. The Ecker has a sweet smelling floral aroma like mimosa or tree blossoms. That delicate floral aroma moves from the nose to the palate. Next a spicy green, mineral note comes rushing in on the floral qualities. This combination is jolly and refreshing. The importer of this wine, Terry Theise, describes it as having “spring-water clear honesty”. At 12% alcohol, you can enjoy this wine any time of day without feeling like you’ve been run over by a freight train. AND, it comes in a liter bottle, prolonging the pleasure! The versatile, adaptable Grüner Veltliner is particularly food-friendly and works magic with artichokes, pungent bitter salad greens, and asparagus. On this occasion, I drank the Ecker with grilled chicken breasts that I served with a salsa composed of mango, cantaloupe, cucumbers and lots and lots of lime juice and a bunch of cilantro. The grassy cilantro with the Grüner Veltliner made a celestial match. As my candidate for the ultimate refrigerator door white, I found that this wine held up nicely after opening. I finished off the bottle on Day 3 and it was still fresh and lively. The long weekend looks to be promising especially after a rare night-on-the-town date with my husband. However, I am not convinced that the fog will burn off early enough to make it enjoyable swimming in the Russian River, where I’m headed. I am also quite certain that I will have little success in convincing my daughter of this! Oh dear! My clan is planning to make ribs three different ways. Who do they think they are, Michael Mina? I’ve got salad and sides duty, and the wine of course! Anya Balistreri

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