About This Wine
An Austrian wine called Zweigelt was always going to have problems taking off. Why? Because we want to be able to pronounce what we’re drinking and not look stupid when ordering in public.
Zweigelt (pronounced TSVYE-gelt) is a relatively new mutant grape, developed in the 1920s when Austrian scientist Fritz Zweigelt crossed the Blaufränkisch variety with St Laurent (the Austrian ‘Pinot Noir’). The grape was originally called Rotburger, but was changed, primarily for marketing reasons (‘Rotburger’ doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like ‘Merlot’ does) and then to honour its architect.
Here, you get a wine ripe with dark fruits. Classic Zweigelts include a whiff of violets and sometimes cinnamon (not good when you did the cinnamon test one Christmas to prove something to your brother) – although luckily not in this case. This makes them more distinctive and unusual than your standard ‘fruity red’. Zweigelts are also good value; similar to (but cheaper than) a good Côtes du Rhône and more consistent than a spicy Beaujolais.
Break the norm. Go Austrian. This is enjoyment without the hassle.
Black cherries, blackberries, violets held in tightly by the scent of a familiar leather belt
Bring along to any barbecue and immediately make new friends
Cheerful but stands-up straight