Looking for the perfect Summer Sipper? Then you need to know about Zweigelt! Wait, what’s that you ask - WTF is Zweigelt?!? We’ll tell you! This light, fruity, and fun red from Austria is an excellent Cookout wine, and pairs wonderfully with BBQ. If you like Gamay or Pinot Noir, this is a wine you really need to know! You can drink it chilled! It’s a red wine that can be paired with fish! It often comes in a 1 liter bottle and with a screw cap! C’mon, what else do you need to know - it’s like this wine is too good to be true! Wines reviewed in this episode: 2020 Winzer Krems Blauer Zweigelt St. Severin, 2018 Pratsch Zweigelt, and 2019 Berger Zweigelt.
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Episode 75: WTF is Zweigelt? 00:00
Hello! And welcome to The Wine Pair Podcast. I’m Joe, your sommelier of reasonably priced wine, and this is my wife and my wine pairing partner in crime, Carmela. And we are The Wine Pair!
Ok, a quick orientation for those of you who may be new to the podcast - in each episode we learn about, taste and give our honest review of three wines that are reasonably priced - meaning under $20 each - and should be easy for you to find. And, our podcast is made for people who love wine, but want to learn more about wine, or find new wines to explore, or just feel more confident when we talk about and order wines. So, if that sounds like you, you are in the right place - and, we invite you to taste these wines or something from your stash along with us while you listen as a fun way to participate in the podcast! And we are proud to say that we are officially recommended by the editors of Decanter Magazine from their October issue, who call us fun, irreverent, chatty, and entertaining.
Carmela, today we are finally getting back to my favorite episode series - and that is our WTF series, and in this episode, we are going to learn just what the fuck Zweigelt is. It’s been like 2 months since we have done one of these WTF episodes, and that’s just not right. It’s time to learn about a wine that is supposed to be underappreciated, and also to say the word fuck as many times as possible. And, as those of you who have been listening to us for a while know, Carmela will not say fuck, and she rarely, if ever swears. In fact, the only time she really swears is when she is mad at me.
But I digress.
Carmela, have you ever heard of the wine Zweigelt before? Well, it’s a wine that I have heard about for a while now, but have never tried, so today I am really excited to find out just what the F this wine is all about.
Zweigelt is a red wine from Austria, and it is the most planted red wine grape in Austria. So, if you know about Austrian wines, or have been to Austria, then you probably know about it. The Austrian wine we are most familiar with is Grüner Veltliner, which is a delicious white wine that is quickly becoming one of my favorites.
And, evidently, we are focused on German and Austrian wines because our last episode was on Sekt - which is sparkling wine from Germany, and this episode is about Austrian wine.
Ok?!? Today, we are focusing on this significant red wine from Austria, and one that I think if you want to consider yourself knowledgeable about wine you really need to know what the f Zweigelt is. At least, I need to know about it! So, if I need to know about it, those of you out there in listening land need to know about it, too!
Something really interesting about Austrian wine to me is that they only produce a relatively small amount of wine. They are about the 22nd largest wine producing country in the world, and make about 1% of the world’s wine. In fact, countries like Brazil, Greece, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, and Argentina make more wine than Austria.
However, Austria is the 15th biggest wine exporter in the world, and consumes the 5th most wine per capita, behind only Portugal, Italy, France, and Switzerland. Incidentally, the US is not even in the top 10!
So, Carmela, I think it is time to learn a little more about this red wine called Zweigelt, and taste and review 3 Zweigelts that we bought for this episode . . .
But first . . . we have to do our shameless plug, right Carmela? First, we want to start by saying THANK YOU for listening to us and for supporting our show, and if you have not had the chance to do so yet, now would be an awesome time to subscribe to our podcast - it is a free way to support us, and then you never have to miss a show! - and a huge thank you to all of you who have subscribed already - we really really appreciate it!
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You can also follow us and see fun pictures of the wines we are tasting and trying today on Instagram at thewinepairpodcast, and you can contact us on our website thewinepairpodcast.com with any questions or ideas you have.
And, as we do every week, we’ll tell you someone we think you should tell about The Wine Pair Podcast - and this week we want you to tell anyone who has ever worn lederhosen
ARTICLES and LINKS
Topic: What the Fuck is Zweigelt? 07:10
So, Carmela, let’s find out what the Scheiße (shy-suh) Zweigelt is. And, evidently Scheiße is as close to the word fuck as you get in German, at least according to Google. If you know the real German word for the f word, will you please let us know?!?
As I mentioned a minute ago, Zweigelt is the most widely planted red wine grape in Austria, and while it is grown in some other countries, namely Hungary, The Czech Republic, and Japan (and frankly, I didn’t even know they grew wine grapes in Japan), the majority of it is grown in Austria, so that is where we are going to focus today.
White wines are actually the most planted wine grapes in Austria, and make up about 63% of the total, and while Grüner Veltliner is the clear volume leader at 32.5% of total vineyard area dedicated to it, Zweigelt ranks second at 13.7% of vineyard area. So, while about 1/3rd as much as Grüner, it is no slouch.
Zweigelt is actually a wine that was created in Austria. It was made in the 1920’s by Professor Fritz Zweigelt - that’s right, the dude who invented it was named Zweigelt - and it is a cross between two grapes called Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent, and St. Laurent is said to taste a bit like Pinot Noir. Sometimes Zweigelt is also known as Rotburger, but that is an even worse name than Zweigelt, and it is also sometimes known as Zweigeltrebe and Blauer Zweigelt.
Zweigelt is known to be a bright and fruity wine, similar to a Gamay or, as Gamay is also famously known, Beaujolais. But again, I digress. Zwegelt tends to be pretty acidic, which is good for food, and considered an easy drinker that is low in alcohol with a light body. For this reason, it is sometimes called the ultimate picnic wine, and is supposed to be a great summer sipper, and really good for cookouts. Which is really appropriate for this time of year because we are recording this in May, and because this May has been hot as balls in Seattle.
In addition to being like Gamay, which you like, it is also supposed to be a red wine that can go with fish, so this may be a red wine that you really like, Carmela!
Most of it is grown in the very far Eastern part of the country in a region called Burgenland, most of which borders on Hungary and is south of Vienna. This is considered a hotter part of the country, and so is better suited to grow red wines and some sweet wines than other areas of Austria.
These wines are also rarely oaked - they are usually fermented in stainless steel, and are meant to be drunk young.
And that, my friends is about it for Zweigelt. And by the way, if you want to read this information or get links to the articles we used as sources for this episode, you can go to our website at the wine pair podcast.com, look for this episode, and open up the show notes. Bam!
There is really not a ton more that I could find about it, and so on that note, I think it’s time to learn a little more about the specific Zweigelt wines we are drinking today. Whaddya say?
ARTICLES and LINKS
Zweigelt Wines We Chose for This Episode 12:08
As usual, all of the wines we have chosen for this episode are under $20, but I will not say that these are the easiest wines to find. You can find some of the ones we are drinking today at wine.com, and I bought one of the wines at Total Wine, and two of them at a local wine shop here in Seattle called Esquin that has a much much better selection of wine than Total Wine, but I tend to go to Total Wine because 1) it is closer, and 2) many of you listening live relatively close to a Total Wine so I figure I should try and honor that.
You do have to look around a bit, and you will most likely need to find a wine shop or grocery store with a large European wine section.
Another thing that was interesting about this wine, and I have seen this with other Austrian wines, is that two of the bottles are actually one liter bottles, so 25% larger than the normal 750 milliliter bottles. Evidently, this is something the Austrians have done for a long time, but started doing more in the early 2000’s to make their bottles standout, and they generally also come with screw caps. Which we love!
Ok, so the first wine we are drinking is called Winzer Krems Blauer Zweigelt and it is the 2020 vintage, so nice and young. It is not a 1 liter bottle, but it is a screw cap!
Winzer Krems is a large winemaker in Austria, and is actually part of a collective or cooperative that was founded in 1938, and is made up of over 900 wine growers in the Krems area of Austria, which is just north of Vienna. Like many winemakers in Austria, they are very well known for their Grüner Veltliner as well as sweet wines.
According to several articles I found online, which you can find links to in our show notes for this episode, wine growing in this region goes back more than 2,000 years, and the climate is supposed to be relatively mild with good soil. There are some other articles we have linked to as well, but overall, there is not a ton of information about this wine specifically.
The next wine we are going to taste is called Pratsch Zweigelt, and we actually did a wine from this winery in episode 63 which was WTF is Grüner Veltliner. So, Pratsch is another big winery from Austria that exports a lot of wine. They are a family owned winery in an area of Austria that I cannot pronounce, although I have tried in the past (Niederösterreich), and they focus on sustainable wine making.
In fact, they have had an organic certification going back 30 years, which is pretty advanced for any kind of agriculture, but especially wine, and they focus on spontaneous fermentation from indigenous yeasts and uses non-animal fining agents, which also makes the wine vegan.
This wine is a screw cap and comes in a 1 liter bottle, which is kind of fun. And, they recommend serving at either cellar temperature or slightly chilled, and many of the places where they sell it online talk about it being a good summer BBQ wine that also goes well with fish, spicy meat dishes, and creamy or blue cheeses.
The last wine we are going to be reviewing today is called Berger Zweigelt and it is a 2019. The winemaker says that this wine is an incredible value, so there’s that, and that their wine is also certified sustainable, and they are also organic. They also suggest serving the wine at or just below cellar temperature, so again, a good rule of thumb is to put it in the fridge for like 45 minutes to an hour so that it cools, but you don’t really want it to be refrigerator cold.
This is also a 1 liter screw cap! Woo Hoo!
On Wine.com, there is a funny explanation in which they say that their south-facing vineyards focus on white wines, which they describe as “Riesling, Veltliner, Pinot Blanc and the “C” word” - which I assume the C word means Chardonnay? So, maybe they are Chardonnay apologists?
About 50% of the wine they create is Grüner Veltliner, but about 20% is Zweigelt. From what I can tell, I do think they ferment their wines in stainless steel, and they say that it is made in the same style as the Grüner Liter, but aged for an additional year.
I am expecting stainless steel fermenting from all of these wines, but we will find out.
But, I think that is enough information - let’s get to drinking! We’ll take a quick break and be right back. And, if you have these wines or similar wines, drink along with us!
ARTICLES and LINKS
Zweigelt Wine Pairing Tasting and Reviews 19:57
Wine: Winzer Krems Blauer Zweigelt St. Severin
Region: Austria, Kremstal
Retailer: Total Wine
What we tasted and smelled in this Zweigelt:
- On the nose: Cherry, smells like a Gamay, strawberry, smoke, match, dirt
- In the mouth: Smooth, black cherry, nice flavor, pencil, blackberry, has some Pinot Noir qualities, good body, some complexity
Food to pair with this Zweigelt: Cookout, grilled shrimp, salmon, burger, grilled pizza, grilled foods, grilled vegetables, roast, red meat, snacks like potato chips, fajitas, carnitas, spicy Mexican food, barbecue, BBQ ribs, BBQ briskets
As a reminder on our rating scale, we rate on a scale of 1-10, where 7 and above means that we would buy it, and 4 and below means that we are likely to pour it down the sink, and a 5 or 6 means we are likely to drink it and finish it, but we are probably not going to buy it.
- Joe: 8/10
- Carmela: 7/10
Wine: Pratsch Zweigelt (Click here to learn more about this wine on wine.com. Affiliate link)
Region: Austria, Niederösterreich
Price: $17.99 (for 1 liter)
Retailer: Esquin Wine Merchants (Seattle
What we tasted and smelled in this Zweigelt:
- On the nose: Smells stronger, tart, hot, sour cherry balls, licorice, spice, cinnamon candy, paprika, a little musty, orange or citrus, leather
- In the mouth: Tart cherry, raspberry, tart red fruit, not as complex, cranberry, unoaked, nice outdoor cookout wine, serve cold! Summer sipper
Food to pair with this Zweigelt: For picnics! For cookouts! Grilled foods, grilled hot dog, fish and chips, salmon, Ivar Dog
- Joe: 6/10
- Carmela: 6/10
Wine: Berger Zweigelt (Click here to learn more about this wine on wine.com. Affiliate link)
Region: Austria, Gedersdorf Wachau
Price: $18.99 (1 liter)
Retailer: Esquin Wine Merchants
What we tasted and smelled in this Zweigelt:
- On the nose: Potpourri, earthy, vinegar, vegetal, not a great smell, tart, basement dirt, mushroom
- In the mouth: Tastes better than it smells, sour, tart, not a lot of fruit, lemon? Sour pixie stick candy, tart, sugary, Fun Dip, sweet and tart, cheap perfume
Food to pair with this Zweigelt: Needs to be paired with food, grilled food, hot dogs, burgers, sausage, potato chips, nachos, jalapeno poppers, game day wine
- Joe: 5/10
- Carmela: 5/10
Which one of these are you finishing tonight?
- Carmela: Winzer Krems Blauer Zweigelt St. Severin
- Joe: Winzer Krems Blauer Zweigelt St. Severin
Taste profiles expected from Zweigelt 35:19
- Wine Folly: Red Cherry, Raspberry, Black Pepper, Licorice, Chocolate
- Blog Suvie: Berry-based fruit such as cherry, blackcurrant, and raspberries. Additional flavors include cinnamon, pepper, and floral notes. It’s not uncommon for certain bottles of Zweigelt to be slightly effervescent
- Winzer Krems Blauer Zweigelt
- Winery; This nicely-balanced and easy drinking red boasts bright, fresh cherry flavors and is reminiscent of Beaujolais
- Also winery, translated: Delicate, fruity and vigorous red quality wine. Velvety, a bit pungent, very mild and salubrious, dry; typical fruit aromas of sour cherries, cinnamon and strawberries, fine differentiated, full-bodied red wine of very disarming, mild manner, and dry, uncomplicated
- Winery: raspberry, cherry, spices and black pepper
- City Vino: Aromas of raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, raspberry jam. The palate further expresses sour cherry, white pepper, prunes, black cherry and slight hint of red licorice. Fairly intense concentration of juicy, fruit flavors with a tart finish of medium length. Medium body, with medium plus acidity, and soft medium minus tannins.
- Asheville wine market: Aromas of wild strawberry and plum, framed herbal notes, and hints of balsamic. The pleasingly dry palate features supple tannins and flavors of red berry, red currant, and strawberry with hints of black pepper and tobacco leaf.
- Winery: Loaded with crunchy red fruit, tart cherry and cranberry
What is your verdict on Zweigelt? Winner. Convinced that this is a nice summer, cookout sipper.
Outro and how to find The Wine Pair Podcast 38:15
Ok, so, Carmela, it is just about time for us to go, but before we do, we want to thank you very much for listening to us - AND if you haven’t done so yet, now would be the perfect time to subscribe to our podcast AND also a fantastic time to leave us a nice rating and review on our website or Apple podcasts or other podcast service - and it is an awesome and free way to support us and help us grow listeners.
We would also love to hear from you about a wine you would like us to taste and review. You can, leave a message for us on our website thewinepairpodcast.com, or you can just email us at email@example.com and tell us about a wine you are curious about, or curious what we think of it. And, follow us on Instagram so you can see pictures of all of these wines we are tasting and reviewing.
And, next time you listen to an episode, drink along with us and see if you are tasting and experiencing the same things we are - it’s like a date night! And if you do that, we’d love to hear what you think!
Alright, with that, we are going to sign off, so thanks again, and we will see you next time. And, as we say, life is short, so stop drinking shitty wine.