Questions & Answers
What are the benefits of having an account with Winemonger?
What makes Winemonger special?
Winemonger offers you wines that you will not find anywhere else in the United States. And we're not just a wine retailer; we are also the importer of the wines we carry, which means we have direct access to the winery and winemaker. We share more information with you about each bottle of wine we sell than you probably even want to know. We go and meet each vintner personally and bring back videos, photos, and their thoughts about the wines they make. That's why "take it from the vintner" is our slogan: buying from Winemonger is as close as it comes to visiting the winery yourself.
How do you assure the quality of the wine?
Because we are also the importer for the wine we can control every aspect of its handling and transportation when we bring it to America. We use only temperature-controlled containers when it crosses the ocean to insure that it is never exposed to extreme weather conditions. The same holds true for our warehouse: The wines are stored at 55 degree Fahrenheit along with other requirements for a proper wine storage environment.
How do I read the label on a bottle of Austrian wine?
Austrian wines are named first for the winery, which is usually the name of the family, then for the vineyard where the wine came from, then for the grape variety, and then for the type or "quality" of the wine. An example: DONABAUM LOIBNER GARDEN GRUNER VELTLINER SMARAGD. "Donabaum" is the last name of the family. In this case, the vintner is a young fellow named Johann Donabaum. "Loibner Garden" is the name of the vineyard. "Grüner Veltliner" is the name of the grape. "Smaragd" is a term used in the Wachau region (where this winery is located) to designate its style or quality.
I've never heard of these grapes. What are they?
Many of the grapes are very typical Austrian varietals that you may not be familiar with. We have provided a fairly comprehensive grape glossary which covers not only these varietals, but all of the other “major” varietals as well. We’ll keep adding to this glossary, so keep checking back to learn more!
Can I go and meet any of these winemakers?
In many cases yes, you can. Quite a few of our vintners rent out guestrooms at their wineries. In the future we will be offering guided tours, so keep an eye out for that here on our site. Oftentimes our vintners will travel here to the States to do wine tastings. Check our site or sign up for our newsletter to be informed of these opportunities.
Is there a book or a guide you would recommend about Austrian wines?
There are a few books that are specifically about Austrian wine. One is "The Wines of Austria" by Philipp Blom. Another is "The Ultimate Austrian Wine Guide" by Peter Moser, who is an editor with the respected Austrian wine magazine and guide Falstaff. It comes out annually.
Why do you only sell Austrian wine?
We won't be selling "just" Austrian wine for long. We are already traveling around the world finding great wines from places like Italy, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Portugal... if they make great wine, we're eventually going to go there and get some. Our mission is to find rare gems, often from very small wineries, and to then present them to you along with films and photos and everything else you already see here. That takes some time, and we're working on it.
What kind of food should I pair with these wines?
We don't believe in being snobby about food pairing with wine: our bottom-line motto is to just go for it and decide whether you liked the result or not. That said, there are certainly some basic guidelines that you can follow towards successful pairing (red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat and fish). We also suggest a specific pairing for each of our wines, which you'll find on the website. These are meant to inspire, not dictate. Oftentimes our vintners have suggestions, which we have passed along, and frankly, those are probably the best to go with. We are really hoping that our customers will report on good and bad pairings they have tried in the customer review section for each wine; after all, you are your own best resource group.