When we think of Austrian wines, whites come to mind, and for good reason. At least 70 percent of the country’s wine production is white. But beyond its Grüner Veltliner, Riesling, remarkable sweet wines and other whites is a wealth of lesser-known reds. They are wines made from grapes only occasionally grown in other countries, such as Zweigelt, the most widely planted red; Blaufränkisch, one of Austria’s finest grapes; St. Laurent; Blauburgunder; and international grapes, including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
In fact, at a blind tasting I recently attended (at blind tastings, wines are served in numbered glasses and not identified until after the judging) in which Austrian reds were matched against comparable French reds, Austria’s wines were prominent among the top scorers. The spicy Pittnauer St. Laurent Alte Reben, for example, tied with a Côtes du Rhône as best of its group. Dark, intense and ripe, this St. Laurent had an incredibly long aftertaste. A silky Austrian Pinot Noir, Johanneshof Reinisch, edged out the Burgundy entry, a Clos de Vougeot. And in a flight of Merlot-based wines, the one garnering the most votes was the Austrian Markowitsch M1, a combination of Merlot and Zweigelt.
Weninger Veratina, a blend of Blaufränkisch, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zweigelt, carries a hint of dark fruits and a whiff of chocolate along with good structure and acidity. In its group of wines, it received a score that was more than twice that of Château Margaux.
And in a flight that perhaps best emphasized the quality that Austrian reds can achieve, Arachon T.FX.T. Evolution, a wine made of 50 percent Blaufränkisch plus Merlot, Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon, came in first, garnering twice as many votes as the second-place wine, Château Mouton-Rothschild. Arachon, a rich and elegant wine, was ruby in its color, blackberry in the nose, concentrated in body and long in its finish. And, by the way, Arachon Evolution costs $55; Mouton-Rothschild is $100. Both wines were from the 2004 vintage.
Overall, Austria produces only 1 percent of the world’s wine, and Austrians themselves drink three-fourths of their country’s production. That leaves little to be exported. From that small quantity, however, it seems clear that we’re getting some of the best.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.