When my brothers and sister-in-law and I first opened up our wine store in Brooklyn, I didn’t know much about wine. Sure I knew more than the average 24 year-old girl, but I knew nowhere near what I would know after just a few months of running the store. I had grown up with a wine collecting dad and lived in France and read the entire Wine Bible from cover to cover, but I hadn’t really ever been to a wine tasting. In the months before we opened the store we met with friends in the wine business and tasted through hundreds of wines in order to choose what we would carry when we opened the doors. My wine education had begun.

In those early days we met with a nice young man who was to become one of our main suppliers, Daniel. His company carried mostly Italian wines, but Daniel himself was more interested in turning people on to the wines of Austria. He had us tasting Gruner Veltliner and Roter Veltliners and deliciously dry Reislings and Sauvignon Blancs from the get go. Looking back I realize how much this influenced my palate and my interest in different and unusual wines. Experiencing those awesome wines in my very first days of wine tasting made me always seek out unique bottles. So, thanks Daniel.

Juris is a family-run winery located about half way between Vienna and Budapest. Juris is owned and operated by the Steigelmar family which has been making wine in the area since 1571. The multiple award-winning winery is known for its reds, making mostly St. Laurent and Pinot Noir. This wine, however, is a Zweigelt and it is about as good as it gets. The 2006 Juris Zweigelt is a beautiful red-purple color with intense notes of smoked meat on the nose. On the palate the wine is full and silky with flavors of deep red fruit and earth. The finish is long with a bite of dark black pepper. A beautiful example of Zweigelt at under $18!