Summer Ain’t Over Yet! Skurnik Staff Picks from Germany, Austria, & Champagne

Just because it’s the end of August doesn’t mean summer is over yet. While technically the autumnal equinox is September 23rd, we all know that thanks to global warming, October basically feels like July. Our one source of respite is that while the days are hot, the nights do start to cool. The tricky thing is, what do you drink when it’s 85 degrees at noon and 55 degrees at 10 PM?

As it turns out, the team at Skurnik has all of the answers and those answers lie within the Germany, Austria, & Champagne Portfolios. So crank up the AC, toss these bottles  on ice (even the red ones!), and enjoy the rest of the summer with the always appropriate wines of our German, Austrian, and Champagne Portfolio!


Wine and Spirit Label 1

Gabriel Clary
NV Grower Champagne

Hébrart Réserve, Moussé L’Or, Péters Réserve, and Vilmart Grand Cellier come to mind immediately. Dönnhoff or Krüger-Rumpf Estate Riesling are also a perfect choice, though one bottle of these wines is never enough.

Summer means hanging outside with friends and drinking Champagne or cold, bracing Riesling at a BBQ or really anywhere outdoors cannot be beat. Both kinds of wines mix complexity and depth, with pure, lip-smacking drinkability.

They also taste great from a plastic cup, the perfect high/low balance. Perfect with dogs on the grill!”


Wine and Spirit Label 2

Matt Stinton
Schneider Riesling Kabinett 2018

When the temperature shoots up and the humidity becomes thick enough to see, I will be drinking the Schneider Riesling Kabinett 2018. A blend of the legendary Kirschheck & Rosenheck vineyards in the Nahe, this wine offers a fantastic balance of apple fruit and ginger spice and salty acidity. Combined with a touch of sugar on the palate, it’s hard to put the glass down. Luckily this beauty comes in a liter bottle, giving you an extra glass of a wine that punches well above its weight.

Be you on a stoop, your backyard (if you are lucky enough to have one) or inside an air-conditioned apartment, this wine is good for whatever the summer in the city hands you.

Carolyn Defir
Mouzon Leroux l’Ascendant Rosé de Saignée NV

I keep thinking of hearing Sébastien talk of the name of this wine… ‘L’Incandescent‘ for him it means the sun touches everything which is how he interprets his beliefs on farming. If you look up the definition of the word though it can also mean ‘full of emotion or passionate’ which I think is fitting as well! This is the perfect end of summer wine.

We are still enjoying rosé but this is more savory and mineral rather than a fruit bomb. It is still refreshing on a hot and humid day but can also be had with food. And from a sales standpoint… it will certainly be an enjoyable rosé once the weather starts to cool off, too!

Matthew Barcewicz
Schlossgut Diel

Following an unforgettable tour of Germany last month, I found a bottle of Schlossgut Diel, Pittermännchen, Grosses Gewächs 2012 at a cavist in Berlin that knocked the lederhosen off everyone in the room that evening. I find Caroline’s wines stand out from other legendary wines with an additional dimension of complexity within their remarkable clarity and verve. This bottle, with a bit of age from a great dry Riesling vintage, sent my host back to the store for more. Not only do I find myself thinking Caroline’s wines are ultra-elegant, often impeccably balanced, and refined expressions of the Nahe’s unique terroir– but they are quite simply delicious.

Caroline’s devotion to sparkling wines is a decade-long process expressed through multiple bottlings of Sekt raised en triage for 6 to 9+ years before disgorgement to emerge as débutantes of sparkling Riesling: high-class, youthful, yet mature and sophisticated personalities. The family also produces a tremendous value in the Von Der Nahe Feinherb Riesling for everyday dining and entertaining. The Grosses Gewächs are at the top of my list for world-class dry white wine that I can afford to drink and share with wine lovers (reaffirmed by the aforementioned 2012 dirndl-dropper). And the 2018 Grosse Lagen Kabinett and Spätlese tasted at the estate are poised to hit my wine fridge on release! I’ll be stashing some ’18 Goldloch GG too.

Mariel Wega
Loewen Estate Riesling 2018

I’ve been drinking a ton of Mosel Riesling this summer. Light, crisp, low-ABV— it’s great for daytime drinking at the beach or a BBQ. In particular, I’m loving the Loewen Estate Riesling: crunchy, limey, herbal, mineral, and super refreshing. It’s delicious.


Wine and Spirit Label 3

Nicole DeCicco
Kruger-Rumpf Scheurebe 2017

This wine is perfect for breakfast. Or sunny afternoons. Or late nights in a jacuzzi. It’s actually great anywhere. It’s pure passion and fruit, but like passionfruit and guava and lengthy on the palate but with enough cut that you forget that you finished the sip and need to go back for more. Fast forward to several glasses later.

Both times that others have brought it to shindigs I’ve hijacked the bottle for myself.


Wine and Spirit Label 4

Abigail Oliveras
Ott Grüner Veltliner Spiegel 2017 OR Bründlmayer Zweigelt 2015

At this time of year, I’m torn between red and white wines so it feels impossible for me to pick just one! Grüner Veltliner is always a favorite, and it feels like such a luxury to drink a wine that is both structured and elegant when the humidity is high (and my skin is maybe a touch dewier than is respectable). Bernhard Ott’s Erste Lage Grüner Veltliners are an immediate go-to for me and Spiegel is often my favorite of these single vineyards, it combines the minerality of Stein and the power of Rosenberg and is while still being super approachable considering its pedigree.

When it comes to red wine though, Zweigelt is my preferred grape, and Bründlmayer’s Zweigelt 2015 is so perfect as we make our way into fall. The combination of crunchy dark fruit, violets, and black pepper spice create distinctly woodsy aromatics. I plan to spend most of my September drinking this liquid version of autumn. In case you are worried about temperatures still being too high to drink red wine, I accidentally left a bottle the fridge a bit too long the other day and it was beyond delicious with a bit of chill.

Mike Lykens
Prieler Blaufrankisch Johanneshöhe 2017 

Prieler’s Johanneshöhe Blaufrankisch is a red wine that I can actually crave in the summer. It’s bright, fresh, and full of blackberries and black pepper— a perfect companion for any cookout where beef is making an appearance.

While sitting in the tasting room with Georg, I wondered how he was able to develop such complex flavors in his ‘basic’ wines. His response was: ‘It’s all about purity… In the winery, it begins with the fermentation— all fermentations occur in stainless steel because I like my babies to be born in a clean environment.’ And it’s in this environment that the wines Georg is producing are pure, clear, complex, and simply delicious.