You may have noticed that we have been all about Austria and its wines this past week – well the country is in the spotlight again with one of its signature grapes, Blaufränkisch. Everything about this Austrian red is fascinating: the balance, the fruitiness, the spice… The velvety wine can definitely hold its own against a Pinot Noir or a Syrah – and we’re going to prove it to you!
What is Blaufränkisch?
Its name might scare some away, just like the Alsatian Gewürztraminer, but Blaufränkisch is one of those wines you cannot miss. The black-skinned grape is grown widely in Austria as well as Hungary (where it is known as Kékfrankos) and is Austria’s second most popular red varietal behind Zweigelt. Although Blaufränkisch wines have gained popularity in the last few years, they still have a hurdle to overcome on the international market: Austria is still strongly perceived as a white wine country, which explains why its reds are not as popular. But Blaufränkisch is certainly becoming a tastings star and restaurant favorite.
How to pick your Blaufränkisch?
Blaufränkisch wines range from light-bodied, subtle wines to denser, richer, more complex ones with an exceptional finesse. All Blaufränkisch reveal a characteristic rippling acidity and a citrus-like spice, with structure and impressive tannins. To pick your Blaufränkisch, you should first determine what you are looking for: for a versatile and food-friendly red, prefer a lighter-bodied wine that will pair beautifully with most dishes, and will remind you of a Pinot Noir, with its vibrant acidity and peppery profile. On the other hand, a fuller-bodied Blaufränkisch is best when aged – while the young wines are fruitier, Blaufränkisch becomes much more complex and supple with age. Although Austrians usually drink their wines young, this red’s ageing potential cannot be denied.
How to pair your Blaufränkisch?
Blaufränkisch wines pair beautifully with rich grilled foods – grilled meats, burgers, a rich lentil soup, a roast beef… These will all do!
2006 Muhr-van der Niepoort Spitzerberg Blaufrankisch, Carnuntum
2007 Weinbau Uwe Schiefer Reihburg Blaufrankisch, Sudburgenland
2007 Moric Blaufränkisch
2012 Weingut Weninger Hochacker Blaufrankisch, Mittelburgenland