Sommeliers have been having a love affair with Austrian Grüner Veltliner for a few years now. Prized for its spicy notes and fresh acidity, Grüner is wonderfully food-friendly. This one comes from the Geyerhof estate in the Kremstal along the Danube west of Vienna. Owned by the same family since 1600, it has a history that goes back to the 12th century. Winemaker Ilse Maier and her husband, Josef, took over from her parents about 20 years ago and switched to entirely organic viticulture.
Fresh and crisp with classic notes of green apple, pear and white pepper, the 2008 Geyerhof Grüner Veltliner "Rosensteig" is a tremendous buy at less than $20 and a great introduction to this Austrian varietal. Its flavor profile means it drinks beautifully with raw shellfish, Dungeness crab, and seafood salads and pasta. Steamed mussels and clams harmonize with the wine too. For sushi, it's also a fine choice.