Zahel orangetraube (or “orange t”) could be described as a pinot gris that went over to a dry riesling’s house in Vienna and had a threesome with a New Zealand sauvignon blanc. It might also be described, less colorfully, as a pinot gris would taste like with some light acidity, spice and a wee bit of fruitiness (think peach perhaps). There isn’t too much citrus going on here but you may find some of the lighter fruits with pits lurking in the background. The wine is a unique and subtle in its various flavors and qualities.
This wine will pair well with Asian food such as Thai cuisine and probably white fish dishes (again, I don’t eat meat so for meat so that last comparison isn’t from personal experience). I’d personally drink this with oli oli pasta, maybe some richer white pasta or gnocchi. Hell, I generally have just busted it open and drank it by itself.
I recommended this wine to some folks recently and couldn’t come up with exactly the right term for the vaguely sweet flavor in it—the woman hit it immediately “honeysuckle.” That is a good term to describe an aspect of this wine.
And that is always the thing; wines are complicated and the person tasting is going to pick out something that hits them. What I want to eat with a wine may not jibe with what YOU want to eat with a wine. There is a level of subjectivity when it comes to pairings
As far as I have been able to find Zahel’s Orangetraube is pretty much the only one commercially available. Sources say there are other places in both Austria and Germany growing the grape but I couldn’t find them (admittedly with some rather limited searching). The basic story of the grape is that it was found in the wild by a German, Johann Phillip Bronner, a pharmacist and an area pioneer in viticulture. He was a significant figure in improving the quality of wine in South Central Europe. It is interesting “his” grape now seems to have found a home in Vienna.
This is a crowd pleasing wine that will appeal to the wine snob in its uniqueness and to the box wine drinker in its accessibility. Part of the reason for this is its exquisite balance.