Today is the first Friday of February, which means it is National Wear Red Day in the US – a day created to show support for the fight against heart disease in women.
Weather you remembered to slip on your finest pair of red shoes this morning or not, remember it’s not too late to get in the spirit with what you put in your glass tonight – though, we must admit, we don’t recommend wearing these suggestions. After all, red wine is said to have heart-healthy benefits.
Naturally, we thought it would be fun to provide a mini lesson on the great red wines of Austria.
There are 13 varieties of red wine classified for quality wine production in Austria, which is quite a lot considering red only makes up about 34% of total production in Austria annually. The top red wines of the country are, first, Zweigelt (14%) followed by Blaufränkisch (7%) and from there, the quantity of each grape dwindles to below 3%.
Zweigelt is a grape that originated as a crossing of Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent. Born in 1922, the grape is celebrating its 90th birthday this year! Zweigelt can come in many styles, but typically, it is a grape full of both red fruits, particularly cherry, and spice. Wine styles will range from light and fruity to deep, concentrated flavors and oak influence. Likewise, the wines can range in price from $12/bottle upwards of $50.
Blaufränkisch is another indigenous variety to Austria. The grape is typically found in the Burgenland and Carnuntum regions of Austria and offers a more rustic wine than Zweigelt does. It is a DAC classified variety in Leithaberg DAC and Eisenberg DAC as well. It is a late-ripening variety, that boasts, cherry, forest, and spicy notes and features high acidity and a good bit of tannin. Blaufränkisch is a great red wine for aging and is often blended into Austria’s top cuvees.