What a Pair: Grüner Veltliner and Smoked Salmon Pizza at Spago

Spago's Smoked Salmon Pizza is available on its new brunch menu

Say it: Gruner Veltliner. This time, imagine you’re Wolfgang Puck and say it: Groonah-Velt-lee-Nahr.

Where: Like Wolfgang, Grüner Veltliner is a native of Austria, where some of the raciest, most exciting wines from Europe are produced. It is widely planted throughout Austria, especially in the Niederösterreich and northern Burgenland. Grüner Veltliner, Loimer,” Lois” comes from the Kamptal, one of Austria’s most successful wine-growing regions. The high summer temperatures are mitigated by the Danube River and the forested area of Waldviertel. Its long growing season and the difference in temperature between night and day give the grapes a chance to reach full ripeness and develop fine perfumes and flavors.

What: Grüner Veltliner is the most important grape variety in Austria. It delivers all quality levels from light and acid-driven wines to more riper, fruitier styles. Grüner Veltliner’s bright acidity and savory character make it an ideal partner to pair with a variety of dishes, especially mildly-spiced Asian cuisine. Fish and shellfish are accented by Grüner Veltliner’s citrus and mineral profile, and Grüner’s acidity can cut through the richness of a pork-based dish, like WienerSchnitzel. So versatile is it that it also goes with difficult-to-pair foods such as bitter greens and asparagus. Spicy and peppery versions are well sought after, as well as those showing stone fruit notes.

Weather: Austria is centrally located in Europe on the 47th parallel. Warm, sunny summer and autumn days with northerly, cool nights are the keys to the development of refreshing aromatic wines.

The Sip

Loimer “Lois” Grüner Veltliner Kamptal DAC 2018: Named after the town of Langenlois, “Lois” has a light citrine hue with chartreuse reflections. It is an easy-drinking Grüner with savory aromas, spicy flavors, and bright acidity. Discover aromas of fresh-picked apple, a touch of dandelion, citrus zest, pear, and stony minerals, while the palate portrays a gentle earthiness, highlights of citrus and salty yeast. Above all, it is light with subtle flavors and a dry finish. Lean and precise, with ample minerality, notes of spice and pepper take center stage-a perfect complement to a salmon pizza!

Note: If “DAC” appears on a wine label immediately after the name of the wine growing region (e.g. Kamptal DAC) it means that the wine inside the bottle displays the unmistakable characteristics of that winegrowing region. The acronym stands for Districtus Austriae Controllatus.

The Bite

Spago’s Smoked Salmon Pizza is available on its new brunch menu because Spago knows their clientele love a good classic. The famous smoked salmon pizza, which originated from Spago’s original Los Angeles location, is a decadent affair.Texturally pleasing with every bite, the light and crispy crust is layered with smoked salmon floating on top of fresh dill creme fraiche. Kaluga Sturgeon caviar adds an extra layer of sustainable salty-sea luxury. Add to the day’s catch with Spago’s Chilled Maine Lobster and Gulf Shrimp Cocktail-also in between sips of Grüner.

Book a table at Spago to experience the food and wine pair.

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