Now Pouring, 30 May 2006

Good evening. I am MonkeyBoy, your wannabe sommelier. Tonight we are having a nice medium-bodied wine from the land of do-re-mi and hills that are alive.

Please hold out your glass and have some Paul Lehrner Claus zweigelt, 2003, from Mitteburgenland in Austria.

This wine is a deep, deep purplish red in color. Very drinkable with food or without. It is a little bit fruity, just a tad smoky, and very soft on the palate.

Zweigelt is not a varietal that you often see in typical wine stores. The grape is grown mainly in Austria and Hungary. Maybe it was a favorite grape of the Hapsburgs? Eh, I'm just guessing. Some vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of New York also grow this grape, but for the most part when you hear zweigelt you think Austria.

It's a good regular wine. Easy to drink, easy to appreciate, not very strong alcohol-wise, and easy on the wallet.

$18 from the Vintage Wine Merchants in Santana Row.