Domäne Wachau Federspiel Bruck Riesling 2018

Wachau, Austria, $25

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Domäne Wachau is a certified sustainable winery producing wines from grapes grown in the cool climate of Austria’s Wachau Valley. Named after the steep Ried Bruck vineyard within, this dry riesling is a versatile pairing partner for Oktoberfest fare. Opting for plant-based Bavarian bites? Guzzle this wine guilt-free; it’s vegan. 

Shimmering light gold, this wine has all the aromas associated with a classic riesling. Its nose brimming with petrol, with subtle notes of apricot and peach in the background, this slightly weightier federspiel riesling is lush and mouth-coating. Citrus peel joins peaches and apricots on the palate, carrying through to a lightly pithy finish. Acidity is kept deftly in check in this ample and well-balanced wine.

Pair it with: Cabbage strudel, a traditional savory strudel. Skip the bacon bits for a vegan version.

Loimer lois Grüner Veltliner 2019

Kamptal, Austria, $24

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The name Fred Loimer is synonymous with high-quality grüner veltliner, Austria’s signature white grape. Known for his commitment to being a champion of the land, Loimer has been practicing biodynamic farming since 2006. This wine is produced from 100 percent USDA-certified organic, estate-grown grapes. It is also vegan.

The youthful grüner veltliner opens with a slight spritz, immediately revealing the white-pepper notes characteristic of the variety, accompanied by a core of yellow apple and lime. The palate is complex, combining spicy, vegetal and fruity flavors, led by honeydew melon and pea shoots. A tangy salinity begins a finish that is long and ends with juicy pineapple.

Pair it with: German weisswurst, creamy white sausage of veal and fresh parsley.

HuM Hofer Zweigelt 2018

Weinviertel, Austria, $16

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The Hofer family’s vineyards are located just north of Vienna in the Weinviertel, where they have been practicing certified organic farming for 20 years. Austria’s largest winegrowing region, this area is often associated with more mass-produced wines. The Hofer’s young and easy-drinking wines stand out here for their quality.

The Hofer Zweigelt’s cherry-red hue sets the stage for what awaits. Aromas of sour cherries and red raspberries greet the nose, eventually ceding to an herbaceous back note. Silky and straightforward, the palate is fresh and juicy, like a homemade cherry wine sauce. The wine is dry with refreshing acidity and a tingly black-pepper finish. Bottled in what was the original “Bio-liter,” this simple yet satisfying wine comes with plenty to share.

Pair it with: Stelze, the Austrian version of the German eisbein, a crispy knuckle of pork.

Renée B. Allen, CSW, FWS, CSS, is a wine and spirits expert and the director of the award-winning Wine Institute of New England, which offers wine and spirits education and events. Allen is a professor at the University of New Haven, a wine competition director and judge, and can be seen on WFSB’s Better Connecticut.

This article appears in the October 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.