Let's do a little word association. Italy: Pasta. Greece: Lamb. Austria: Von Trapp Children.
Clearly, I'm missing something here. There has to be more to Austria than Rodgers & Hammerstein.
October 25th – November 22nd is Austrian Wine Month in Manhattan and Brooklyn, brought to you by the Austrian Tourist Office and the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. Austrian…wine? I consider myself a wine lover, and I'm saddened to say that I don't think I've ever tried Austrian wine. I mean really, who knew? But apparently, according to Kurt Gutenbrunner, Austrian chef and wine-advocate (and owner of four of the participating restaurants during Austrian Wine Month) says that "80% of high-end restaurants in New York offer Austrian wine." Really? Well, flying under the radar will be no more after this. Nine restaurants in Manhattan and four in Brooklyn will be offering wines from Austria's three major wine regions: Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Vienna. If you haven't tried their wine (or their food for that matter), now would be a great time to do it. A lot of the participating restaurants are offering prix fixe menus and wine pairings. From their press release:
restaurants Blaue Gans, Café Katja, Café Sabarsky, Café Steinhof,
Delmonico’s, Demel at the Plaza, Klee Brasserie, L’Ecole, Seasonal Restaurant
& Weinbar, Stone Park Café,
The Upholstery Store, Thomas Beisl, Wallsé and Watty and Meg
will offer Austria’s famous Rieslings
and Grüner Veltliners, red
varietals such as Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch, and the country’s renowned
dessert wines. Select restaurants will also offer special prices on wines,
pairings, flights of wine, and prix-fixe menus. Here is a sampling:
At Wallsé and The
Upholstery Store, guests can design their own four-course
tasting menu for $68. For an additional $45, Austrian sommelier Leo
Schneemann will pair each course with Austrian wine.
Café Katja offers a mixed flight: a trio of Austrian white,
red, and dessert wine for $18. With 24 hours’ notice, Café Katja will also set
up a wine tasting with meat, cheese, and Schnapps, for $42 (minimum four
& Weinbar will pour a rare 2001 Smaragd wine by the glass: Prager Riesling Smaragd, Kaiserberg ($19/glass).
Klee Brasserie will have
a special three-course menu featuring
the rare Austrian Mangalitsa Pork, with an optional pairing of three Austrian
wines ($93 with wine; $58 without).
At Thomas Beisl, guests
can design a three-course meal
that includes a choice of soup, wiener
schnitzel, paprika chicken, cucumber salad, fresh strudel, and white, red, and dessert wines
($28/person, including wine).
Café Steinhof will offer
$4 glasses of two Lower Austrian
wines: Fritsch Grüner Ventliner and Berger Zweigelt (check website for times).
On Mondays, the restaurant serves goulash ($6) and apple bread pudding ($3).
I have heard from a few people now that Austria makes a nice dessert wine, so I'd probably try to get to Cafe Katja and Thomas Beisl. I've heard from an insider that Beisl's has great white and dessert wines too; and $28 for a 3-course meal with wine included is a pretty sweet deal.
At the close of Austrian Wine Month on November 22nd, a drawing will be held for a nine-day trip for two to Austria's wine regions. Participants can enter the drawing at www.austria.info/wine
by completing a brief three-question quiz about the three featured Austrian
wine regions. No purchase is necessary to enter.
Wine, food, free trips…and schnitzel with noodles. These are a few of my favorite things.
Click here for more info/main page and click on "Austrian Wine Month." And see below for a picture of strudel for no apparent reason.