You may have read the below post at my previous site, but I wanted to reprint it here for any newcomers…
The Mrs. and I took the recommendation of our favorite wine shop and bought a bottle of 2007 Zweigelt by Anton Bauer. For those who have never heard of the Zweigelt grape, join the club. For starters, it’s pronounced TSVYE-gelt. It was created in 1922 when Austrian biologist and viticulturalist Dr. Fritz Zweigelt crossed the Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent grapes, and is now by far the most widely-grown red grape in Austria.
Without knowing exactly what we were getting into, we planned a spaghetti dinner with a sauce that typically pairs well with a wide range of red wines – it is meaty and full of onions, mushrooms, garlic, and a special blend of herbs and spices.
Unfortunately, we did not have time to let the wine breathe (we generally give all of our reds at least an hour or two; more for the younger, tannic stuff), so I grabbed our handy Vinturi and poured a couple of ounces for each of us. The wine is ruby in color all the way to its edges, which is expected in a wine of this relative youth. It is similar in appearance to a Beaujolais, made from the gamay grape. I confess that Beaujolais is not usually my first (or second) choice at the local shop, so I was a little nervous at this point. However, the aroma showed layers that are hard for me to find in a gamay – ripe cherries, flowers, and a touch of oak. A sip confirmed what the nose told me, finishing with a pleasant spice laced with cinnamon.
The wine proved an excellent pair with our dinner, and now has me on the prowl for more. If Anton Bauer is hard to find (as usual, it depends on where you live), Hillinger is said to make a nice zweigelt that might be easier to track down.