Renowned wine journalist and author Alexander Rabl takes on the role of Star Wine List's new ambassador in Austria. He has updated the guide to the best wine bars and wine restaurants in the country and the capital of Vienna.
"I feel proud and humble to join the Star Wine List team. I look forward to giving Austrian wine lists the attention they deserve," says Alexander.
Born in Vienna and raised on the outskirts of the city, Rabl succumbed to the magic of good restaurants at an early age. His culinary passion was sparked by two language stays in France, a country he first learned to love because of the cinema, and then because of food and wine.
Later, he studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and at the same time worked as a copywriter for the most well-known advertising agency in the country, which made him earn the money needed for his new hobby: Exclusive restaurants.
Rabl has also worked as an inspector for the Austrian restaurant guide GaultMillau and had a permanent position at an Austrian daily newspaper on the topics of food and drink.
Now, Alexander Rabl has been a freelance journalist and author for several years, working for German and Austrian newspapers and culinary magazines, as well as writing books about cooking, restaurants and chefs, wine, culinary culture and travelling. His latest book, about the famous Viennese coffee house "Café Landtmann", was published in July 2023.
What makes "a great wine list", in your opinion?
"Variety and diversity, curiosity – and wines off the beaten tracks."
Describe the wine scene in Austria as of today?
"In urban areas, there has been a lot of exciting development, particularly when it comes to Champagnes as well as natural wines."
Natural wines have become more mainstream, especially in the urban regions
And what about Vienna?
"In Vienna, there is a great diversity, with lots of wines and places to discover. Apart from that, there are some good winemakers based in Vienna too."
Any specific trends on the Austrian wine scene right now?
"Natural wines have become more mainstream, especially in the urban regions. And provinces like Carinthia or Upper Austria deserve to be watched."
Anything you would like to see more of when it comes to wine places in Austria in general?
"In the western part of the country, many wine lists all look the same, I would love to see more individuality."
Anything you would like to see less of?
"I’d like to see less expensive wine lists and also fewer old-style wines with too much alcohol and fruitiness."
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