Ombiasy Wine Tours), Joanne Roberts Wittauer and Klaus Wittauer at the the Curious Grape
I am interested in modern art and I am interested in good wine. Well, at the recent reception at the Curious Grape in Sherlington (Washington DC area) I had it both: I enjoyed the affordable, delicious and memorable Austrian wines of Austrian “Wine Ambassador” Klaus Wittauer and I enriched my senses with the colorful, modern art of artist Joanne Roberts Wittauer.
The Artist Joanne Roberts Wittauer
Joanne’s work is colorful, smooth and often incorporates wine-related themes – a natural for her since she’s married to Klaus! Joanne and Klaus met in the Bermudas, were we has working as a Sommelier and she was visiting as a tourist.
"We couldn't be happier about displaying the art of local artist Joanne Roberts Wittauer! Bold, modern, color-splashed, Joanne's art perfectly complements and completes the decor of our store and restaurant" said Suzanne McGrath, the co-owner of The Curious Grape.
Joanne says about her art: “The world is full of Artists, many of whom I have learned from and many who I continue to create with. I am an Artist who creates in the unknown, because I never know what I will paint. For me this is exciting and challenging at the same time. It is very relaxing and I find peace while creating with no restrictions. I owe my passion to my father who was a peacemaker, my teacher and one of the great Masters.
The world to me is in constant abstraction. Through painting, I am an artist who shows feeling, movement, expression, passion and fulfillment of being able to be free. Each painting comes from the work of the unknown, for I am not a planner. I have no idea of when, what or how I will paint. I create whenever the spirit moves me. I like the process and experience of creation without knowing. Painting for me is all about spiritual connections without any constraints.
My medium of choice is acrylic, but I also like to use pen, ink, pastels and other objects that I choose at the moment. My passion in art as well as my husband’s passion for wine has proven to be delicious and wonderful creations for us. We enjoy sharing and tasting our creations with others.”
Joanne started to paint 8 years ago and had her first exhibition in 2004 - In the Cellar Gardens, Art and Wine, East Hampton, NY. Since then she had on average 4 exhibitions per year, on both sides of the Atlantic. The most recent in Europe was at the Anton Bauer Winery in Feuersbrunn, Austria.
"Wine Ambassador" Klaus Wittauer
Klaus and I go back many years. He was born in Austria and attended Hotel and Restaurant Management School in Salzburg. He then worked for many years in some of the world‘s top restaurants in Austria, Bermuda and the United States, including the lovely L‘Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls, Virginia, where we first met. Then he moved to the trade side and became the wine buyer for Sutton Place Gourmet (today: Balducci) in Washington DC before creating his own export company in Austria with renowned Austrian winemaker Anton Bauer about ten years ago. At the same time, he created KWSELECTION in the US.
Today, KWSELECTION includes top producers from most of the wine producing areas of Austria: Anton Bauer from Donauland, Leo Hillinger from Burgenland, Gustav Strauss from Styria, Martin Mittelbach from Wachau, Karl & Brigitta Steininger from Kamptal, Steindorfer from Neusiedlersee, Proidl from Kremstal , Meinklang from Burgenland, Joseph Bauer from Donauland and, this his most recent addition, Weingut Netzl from Carnuntum.
As an Austrian married to an American, Klaus has a close relationship with all of his wineries in Austria and has succeed in expanding distribution throughout the United States, with a strong focus on the East Coast.
What Klaus poured and what he had to say about his Wines
Steininger Burgunder Sekt 2009
Rich yellow color; complex scents of marzipan, pears and bananas; noble balance between the three grape varieties of Burgundy (Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir)
Tegernseerhof T 26 Grüner Veltliner 2011 (Federspiel)
The vineyard is called Frauenweingarten. When we tasted this wine the first time in 2006 it was in tank #26. Very aromatic, full of round fruit balanced with crisp acidity. The distinct soil lends a pleasant mineral and the tropical fruit play is balanced with the white pepper note typical of this varietal. Pairs well with a wide range of foods including Asian cuisine and fish with fresh herbs.
Steindorfer Pinot Gris Fuchsloch 2011
Fermented in 80% stainless and 20% French oak to achieve a balance of crisp acidity and complexity. Beautiful aromas of stone fruits, fresh butter a touch of smoke leading to a full palate with clean minerality, tropical notes and a long crisp finish - more Oregon in style than Italy. Try it with bacon wrapped scallops or fleshy fish like Mahi and Halibut.
Steininger Zweigelt 2010
This is a delicious and impressively concentrated Zweigelt. Its flavor of black raspberry is underlined by good acidity. It feels seamless and silky and ripe, supple tannins beautifully support the richness. A great value!
Anton Bauer Wagram Cuvee 15 2009
Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch blend Radiant ruby; cherry fruit with amaretto tones, red berries and herbs; on the palate again cherry fruit with dark berry aromas and a pleasant background of herbs, good extract fruit, fine tannin; finishes with dry elegance and delicately herb tones of chocolate and cherries. Although absolutely delicious on its own, it will complement beef, duck, grilled pork, tuna and rich red sauces.
The Curious Grape
The Curious Grape reopened as a wine store and restaurant in Shirlington recently. The wine shop traded its former location for a much bigger location a couple of blocks away, at 2900 S. Quincy Street. The larger space has allowed owners Suzanne McGrath and Katie Park to reinvent their store as “The Curious Grape Wine, Dine & Shop,” complete with a sit-down restaurant, coffee and wine bar, and fresh, house-made pastry selection. As before, The Curious Grape also sells wine, beer, cheese and other gourmet items retail.
Pictures: The Curious Grape
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