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Light in style and easy to drink, there are treasures aplenty in Austria’s maze of delicious reds

Once you nail the consonant-heavy names of Austria’s star red grapes, Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt may well become regular go-to treats

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A selection of Austria's delicious red wines

A selection of Austria's delicious red wines

A selection of Austria's delicious red wines

If Grüner Veltliner is the gateway into Austria’s maze of delicious local wines — as I suggested in last week’s round up of its local varietal white wines — then Blaufränkisch is a treasure hidden at its heart. Austria’s red wines tend to be relatively light in style, although, as with its white wines, a diversity of terroir, winemaking approaches and unique local grape varieties alongside international grapes, is reflected in a range of styles and price points.

From my recent sampling of some of those available on the Irish market, they fall into three general brackets: nuanced Blaufränkisch that would bring real panache to a dinner table; impressive Blauer Burgunder (Pinot Noir) that sits between Burgundy and Germany’s Spätburgunder in both price and style; and juicy, easy-drinking Zweigelt, which is more approachable in price.


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