It's starting to get hot here in L.A. That somewhat scary “I don't know if I'm ready for summer yet,” kind of heat that happens in Springtime. Some might think that L.A. doesn't have seasons so Spring wouldn't be so apparent. It is, but it feels different than Spring in say, New York. In L.A. Spring is the end of the best season with the most pleasant weather, and the beginning of stifling, desert heat. Sure Summer here is fun, but it can get crazy hot. Entire areas bursting into flames kind of hot. In New York, Spring is the end of the most horrible, miserable season and the beginning of the most pleasant weather. It's a time for shedding clothes, listening to music outside and one of my personal favorite activities- drinking on a stoop.

We don't have a lot of stoops here in L.A. so it's difficult to recreate that feeling- turning up the stereo inside and opening the windows, gathering friends for an impromptu party that consists quite simply of drinking and sitting and watching the world go by. I bring all this up because the wine we are pairing this week is one of the best wines for such an activity. It is a dry, crisp and incredibly refreshing white from Austria called Gruner Veltliner. It is perhaps the perfect white, because almost everyone loves it. Even men can feel safe in their masculinity cracking open a bottle. The cheap ones come in liter bottles and many have bottle caps. They are perfect with bratwurst or other grilled pork or chicken products. Heck, even the name sounds manly- Gruner Veltliner sounds like something a Viking would drink.

The Hofer is the first Gruner liter bottle that I fell in love with. There are a few others on the market now, most notably Berger, but the Hofer started it all. The importer, Theirry Theise, had to convince the guys at Hofer to allow him to import the wine in the Austrian bottle with the bottle cap. They didn't think that Americans would drink something without a cork! Boy were they wrong. This stuff flies off the shelves in the warmer months, and with good reason. The Hofer Gruner Veltliner is slightly floral on the nose with hints of lemon and peach. On the palate the wine is beautifully crisp with refreshing citrus and apple fruit. The wine is minerally with an acidity that leaves you begging for another sip. And, to top it all off Hofer is an organic winery, so you can feel good about drinking it. The perfect warm weather wine? I think so.