Austrian Wines

2010 Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste Riesling Kabinett

2010 Gunderloch Jean-Baptiste Riesling Kabinett NACKENHEIM, GERMANY

Monday, 28 May, 2012, 12:00am

Sweetness and light: the best of Austria

Some of the images that Austria evokes include Mozart, the Viennese waltz, Wiener schnitzel and strudel. Then there's glass manufacturer Riedel and, of course, the wines.

17 May 2012 - 12:00am

Sweet / fortified

On Decanter's list of '100 Wines to Try Before You Die', 16 are sweet or fortified. High-quality sweet wines tend to be more expensive due to low yields and high labour costs. For Chateau d'Yquem, it is said that one vine produces one glass of wine; vines for other wines provide between six and 42 bottles. The wine is not even made every year.

9 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Europe's minor players

Outside of the most famous and prolific producers, Europe is home to a number of producers of quality wines. Here's a look at some key contenders.

Austria - Although the packaging and labelling of Austrian wine is similar to that of neighbouring Germany, the wine itself is probably closer to those produced in Alsace in France.

15 Dec 2011 - 12:00am


Germany was once known for cheap, sweet wines known as liebfraumilch. Some of us may remember Blue Nun. The industry has since modernised, and vast improvements have been made. Beset by complicated labelling regulations and unpronounceable names, German wines still struggle to make their mark.

1 Dec 2011 - 12:00am


Looking for an elegant white wine that won't get you too tipsy and pairs beautifully with delicate fish and seafood dishes?

10 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Perfect match

Steamed mussels in lemongrass, saffron and black peppercorn broth is a dish that was invented by yours truly - although whether anyone else had come up with it previously, I do not know. Most mussel preparations are predictable. This one takes three flavours often paired with the bivalve and combines them for an easy and palate-stimulating dish.

16 May 2010 - 12:00am

Light whites

The harvest has almost finished in France but in Germany's Mosel Valley, the work is just beginning. The Mosel grows many grape varieties but its forte is riesling. The simple mass-market varieties, such as sylvaner and muller-thurgau, are harvested first, followed by riesling, which most producers will begin gathering this week.

11 Oct 2009 - 12:00am

Perfect match

Salted ma yau (threadfin) fish is intense and powerful, with a rich, deep ocean taste. Just a sliver will coat your mouth and stay on your breath all day. Pan-frying is the simplest way to prepare it, and the flavour is probably something only adults can enjoy.

2 Apr 2009 - 12:00am

Perfect match

Salt and pepper milk fish is usually ordered as part of a meal, but should be eaten immediately, while it's hot and crisp. Its texture is difficult to describe politely - it's more slimy than milky, but soft and delicate. The best drink with this dish should respect its delicacy, but be mindful of its spice and short-lived crispiness.

29 Jan 2009 - 12:00am


From the steely acidity and bone-dry finish of a top Alsace wine such as Trimbach's Clos Ste Hune to a lushly textured trockenbeerenauslese from Germany's dynamic Dr Loosen, riesling has many faces. The grape has a surprisingly low international profile, due, in part, to the 'is it dry?' or 'is it sweet?' conundrum.

3 Jun 2007 - 12:00am

Perfect Match

Can one wine successfully match all the different tastes and textures of Thai appetisers such as fish cakes, shrimp cakes, sugar cane prawns and pandan chicken? It may seem impossible, but since enjoying food and wine is rarely an exact science, it's possible to have a middle-ground, versatile wine that complements a similar range of taste intensities and textures.

4 Aug 2005 - 12:00am

Whites with a dash of sparkle

Sitting in a leafy courtyard in a Viennese suburb, I asked for a glass of champagne. 'Sparkling wine?' asked the waitress. 'You make it yourself.' She was right. It is simple. First, order a bottle of spritely white wine made from the gruner veltliner grape; this produces more than a third of all Austrian wine. Half-fill a large goblet with wine. Then add sparkling water up to the brim.

4 Sep 1999 - 12:00am

Rust with a bit of polish

The small gem of a town called Rust has had many rulers, some good, some indifferent, most of them bad. It has been ruled by Turks, Magyars and Germans. It was part of the Austo-Hungarian empire until its demise in 1918, when it became, briefly, Hungarian before ethnic sanity prevailed and it returned to Austria.

31 Jul 1999 - 12:00am

Variations on a liquid theme

When Austrian Jost Hopler tried to get his range of vintages into Beijing's hotels, he wasted many hours knocking on many unresponsive doors. He had interviews with officials who knew, vaguely, that there was a country in Europe that raised cows. They made wine, too? How nice.

10 Jul 1999 - 12:00am