The best food pairings for Grüner Veltliner
Most wines don’t pair well with just any kind of food, but the Austria’s Grüner Veltliner does. It is a popular white wine which you can practically match it with anything.
There are of course different styles but the one you’re most likely to come across is the crisp, fresh young style that typifies most inexpensive Grüners. What makes them distinctive is an herbal note and a distinctive white peppery twist.
In Austria they would be widely drunk with cold meats, salads, light vegetable dishes and fish – think the sort of dishes you would serve with a sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling. Further afield they’re a great choice in Asian or Asian-fusion restaurants especially with Thai and Vietnamese food
Austrians love asparagus – there are whole asparagus menus in the spring and early summer. It’s mainly white asparagus served either in a salad or warm with hollandaise but you can equally well drink it with the green variety. See also this match with asparagus soup.
- Not many wines pair well with artichokes. Young fresh dry Grüner is one of them
- Smoked ham, especially cut wafer thin as the Austrians do it
- Smoked fish like smoked salmon or trout. Even smoked eel though I think Riesling is better
- Raw fish such as sushi, sashimi, carpaccio and tartares – especially with Asian seasoning like ginger or wasabi as you can see from this post.
Especially seafood salads with an Asian twist and salads with apple, kohlrabi or cucumber
Dishes with herbs
Grüner has an herbal edge itself and pairs beautifully with dishes that contain herbs especially dill, tarragon, mint and parsley. So salads as above, or chicken with an herb crust for example.
- Light vegetable dishes such as braised fennel a courgette/zucchini gratin or a vegetable-based quiche. (Like an asparagus one, obviously)
- Leafy greens especially cabbage, sprouts and kale. Think ‘green wine, green vegetables’
- Spicy but not over-hot south-east Asian dishes with ginger or galangal and lemongrass. Like dim sum, light stir-fries and mild Thai curries.
- Grüner is especially good with Vietnamese food particularly summer rolls and noodle salads.
- Fried foods, schnitzel being the obvious example but you could happily drink Grüner with fish and chips or even fried chicken.
- Fresh cheeses like goats cheese, young pecorino or mozzarella.
You can also pair Gruner Veltliner with many seafood and vegetable-based pasta dishes or risottos though for preference I’d go for an Italian white and I don’t think Grüner works with cooked tomato sauces.
By Fiona Beckett, Matching Food & Wine