The Floriana Grüner Veltliner 2014 is a $5.99 Trader Joe’s import exclusive, produced from vineyards in the Pannon region of Hungary. Hungary has a wine tradition that dates back to when the Romans planted vines in the 400s and more recently the Hungarians and the Austrians had empire where they were a military and economic powerhouse in Europe. The Hungarians sided with the Austrians (and therefore Germany) in both WW1 and WW2 and being on the losing side didn’t do them much good. After WW2, the Soviet Union took control of Hungary and the Soviets used Hungary to mass produce wine, it was a case of quantity over quality. Hungary broke free in 1989 and have improved their vineyards and modernized the production facilities. Grüner Veltliner is a White grape originally from Austria, but is very well suited to the soil conditions in the Pannon region of Hungary. The alcohol content is 12%.
The color is pale lemon yellow with a slight green tint. The nose is delicate citrus, grapefruit, lime, Meyer lemon and soft peach with a floral edge. This is a light to medium bodied wine, dry and crisp, with food friendly acidity. It tastes of tart lemon/lime, husky melon and apricot. The mid-palate shows unsweetened pineapple, a little green apple and late slap of kiwi. The acidity allows the Floriana to work as a food wine and the flavor makes you want to bring it to a BYOB. The finish is subtle and lengthy.
The Floriana Grüner Veltliner 2014 is a very good 6 buck wine. Any $5.99 wine that you would happily pair with a $40 meal is getting the job done and then some. It may have a tad too much acidity to use a back porch sipping wine, but paired with spicy Asian, pasta with white sauce or even fish and chips and the Floriana will find its balance.