If you've ever assumed that the only types of wine from Austria are Grüner Veltliner, Grüner Veltliner and Grüner Veltliner, you're probably not alone. Yes, Grüner is groovy: A decade ago, the U.S. imported about 20,000 cases of wine from Austria; today we drink closer to 200,000 cases, much of it that crisp, vibrant white with the funny name we've all come to love.
But Austria can hold its own with reds, too--namely Blaufränkisch. The wine often has a spicy character like Syrah, a fruit-forward quality like the Gamay grape from Beaujolais and the elegance of Pinot Noir. Perhaps because the name Blaufränkisch doesn't sound all that appealing, you should have no trouble finding a bottle of this tasty Austrian red for under $20.
American wineries have long embraced Blaufränkisch, too, yet they call it Lemberger. That's the name the Germans came up with for the grape--which may sound equally unappealing, but the results certainly aren't if you look to cooler regions such as Washington and New York's Finger Lakes. Click here to find some American Lebergers, most of which are also well under $20.
Photo Credit: By Agne27 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons