Perusing the import section at a local Napa bottle shop I was surprised to see a bottle sporting a pop top bottle cap. Alternative bottle closures such as screw tops and synthetic corks have become prevalent in the wine industry, but I have to admit a bottle cap was new to me.
The bottle turned out to be the Austrian wine, Berger Grüner Veltliner. As Grüner Veltliner is a variety I’d been hankering to try for a while and add my intrigue in a bottle cap wine, I had to pick a bottle up. As I opened it, I realized I had even been expecting the familiar “pssh” that comes when you crack a bottle of lager, but this being a still wine there was no release of CO2.
I found the wine quite enjoyable. Light tropical fruit flavors balanced with a crisp acidity and an underlying base of minerality, made the Grüner a tasty and refreshing wine. I happened to have some left over ham from Easter brunch and made a fried ham sandwich with cheddar cheese and asparagus that was an exceptional pairing with the wine. At about $9 for a liter bottle this is a great wine to bring to a party, or with the easy pop top a great wine for the beach or picnic. Here’s some more on the wine and varietal if you’re interested. I enjoyed the wine so much I asked Christine to pick up another bottle. She put it in the freezer to chill it quickly and then forgot it. We found it the next morning. The wine was rock solid and the bottle had cracked ruining a vegetarian lasagna. (Oh no! Not a vegetarian lasagna! — Note the sarcasm?)
On the issue of closures, I say bottle wine in anything that works. Traditional corks do add a ceremony to opening a bottle of wine that adds a degree of enjoyment to drinking. I mean, this is the “uncorked” blog after all, but a screw top works just as good. There are also lots of times when you can find yourself without a corkscrew and a screw top can turn out to be quite a lifesaver or a party saver.