Berger Zweigelt 2011
I used to see the Berger Zweigelt stacked chest high, one case on another, in retail stores around New York, but I never bought one. With any professional pursuit, we spend most of our time dedicated to the pay check. My wine studies those days focused on the bottles I sold. Competitor's vinos were secondary and mostly relocated to the monetary self-interest category. If a particular pinot grigio adorned the shelves in every store I entered and was priced the same as my grigio, I'd have to taste test, value compare, and figure out what my wine was missing.
Fortunately the Berger wines recently arrived in Alabama, where I can enjoy them without diversion. The white wine, grüner veltliner, and the red, zweigelt, are both good values and easy drinking wines. Don't let the liter size and bottle cap closure (no cork, no screw cap - pop this one like a brewski) turn you off. These are great every day dinner wines and good additions to the casual dinner party.
Zweigelt [TSVYE-gelt] is a red wine grape native to Austria. It tends to produce softer, lighter reds, dry but not drying, which is to say it typically has soft tannins. Of course there are always exceptions and some bold and structured Zweigelts exist. This is not one of them. Berger is an easy wine that goes with easy cuisine. You could put a chill on it and I wouldn't hate you for it. That's how easy it is. Think bright red fruits, blacker than Beaujolais and darker than pinot noir, not complex or demanding but interesting enough to finish a bottle (with a friend, of course.)
The grüner veltliner is very tasty as well, light and refreshing in hot weather, and comes in a bright green liter bottle.
Despite the usual long list of To Do's this weekend, I'm trying very hard to do very little, including drinking a fancy wine. Sometimes even a thinker has to take a break. Thank you, Berger.