In the wine pairing with chicken fried steak topic,
cookie monster asked for more Gruner Veltliner recommendations, particularly for the Los Angeles area.
I'll lead off by saying that I've been loving the classic stylings of the 2004 vintage. Not quite as tropical as warmer years and showing more minerality and white pepper notes. Slower to show, the wines have become much more expressive in the last six months. The 2003s often suffer from low acidity and hot alcohol, so be sure to taste before you buy in quantity. The 2005s are just starting to arrive. I've tasted a number imported by VinDivino, but sadly missed the Skurnik/Theise tasting, and from this early showing would say that this will be a very good vintage for the grape variety too.
For entry-level, I favor Salomon Hochterrasen and Hirsch Veltliner #1. I just had the 2004 Salomon two weeks ago and it rocked with a chilled spotted prawn appetizer. When I have more money to spend, Brundlmayer and Nigl are among my favorite producers.
Here's a link to a discussion from three years ago for a chow dinner of San Francisco hounds.
Grüner Veltliner and Hong Kong-style Seafood -
While you probably won't be able to find the exact vintages we tasted, it will give you an idea of the relative styles and different bottlings from some of the top producers. You should have no trouble finding them in LA --- try Woodland Hills Wine Co., Wine House, Wine Ex in OC. And, please report back!
I've tried several of the '05 Gruners, my favorites were Jamek, Nikolaihof, and Alzinger (as usual!). Amazing wines. These are going to require several years to begin to open up. They are very tightly wound, with crazy acidity. The prices are going to be really high.
For drinking now and more reasonable prices I liked Schloss Gobelsburg and Soellner.
another entry level for drinking now is the loimer landwein--comes in liter bottles, super fresh, very crisp and nice bright fruit. not super varietally indicative, but certainly very pleasant to drink (a finalist for my wedding white (outdoors, nc, august)
Just out of curiosity, was that GV with the spotted prawn appetizer the one on the list at Winterland? Because we had a carafe of GV (love the carafe concept at Winterland!) with our starters there last night and it was excellent with them. More surprisingly, I had a few sips left in my glass when dessert rolled around. I expected the sweetness of the dessert to make the wine taste sour in comparison, but I found just the opposite: the wine tasted sweeter and the dessert actually brought out some tropical fruit notes that hadn't been apparent with the savory courses.
I picked up a few bottles of the 2004 Rabl GV "Spiegel" in Vancouver about a week ago, have any hounds given this a try? Waiting for our next Thai/Viet/etc excursion to pop one open.