52 Weeks of Wine – Week 40: Zweigelt (July 27th – August 2nd 2019)

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When exploring new varietals, I find that I’m more likely to order a wine that I can pronounce over one that I can’t. This goes back to the historically snooty ambiance around wine tasting and a self-consciousness that I once had with wine. I’ve always found it awkward to point to a menu and say “I’ll have that one” or even worse, attempt to pronounce it and be corrected with the proper pronunciation. For these reasons, I would have never tasted a Zweigelt (pronounced Zvee-gelt) on my own terms before embarking on the 52 Weeks of Wine Training Program.

This concept is disappointing and I genuinely hope that I can help others overcome this challenge. Think of all the great wines I’ve avoided because I’d never heard of them or I couldn’t pronounce their names? A friend of mine is convinced that Malbec is as popular as it is simply because it’s easy to pronounce. 

As for Zweigelt, it’s too bad that this wine’s name makes it unapproachable because it’s a very easy-going wine. Many compare Zweigelt to Pinot Noir or a spicy Gamay. It’s light body and low tannins make it complimentary to many food pairings. And the best part – it’s often found in the affordable price category – under $15 per bottle!

This 2015 Sattler Zweigelt from Austria is an excellent representation of the varietal. In the glass, the wine is a bright ruby, average alcohol content and lighter bodied. The aromas are of dark berries and pepper. The taste is tart cherry, pepper, and mild licorice. My overall thoughts regarding this wine is that I am thrilled to have tasted it as it would not be a wine that I would typically order from a menu and is an awesome opportunity for Pinot Noir and Gamay lovers to explore a new varietal!

I gave this Zweigelt a 4 out of 5 cork rating. The 2015 Sattler Zweigelt retails from $15-20 per bottle. Cheers!

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