Our personal food recommendations for Grüner Veltliner
Winemakers like to tell you that their wines go with everything but in the case of Grüner Veltliner, Austria’s best known white wine, it’s true. Short of Sunday roasts and large juicy steaks you can pair it with practically 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 a 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.
Our picnic recommendations:
- Salads - Especially seafood salads with an Asian twist and salads with apple, kohlrabi or cucumber
- Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpea Croutons
- Raw fish such as sushi, sashimi, carpaccio and tartares - especially with Asian seasoning like ginger or wasabi as you can see from this post.
- Smoked fish like smoked salmon or trout. Even smoked eel though I think riesling is better
- Smoked ham - especially cut wafer thin as the Austrians do it
- Fresh cheeses like goats cheese, young pecorino or mozzarella.
Table served meals:
- Asparagus - 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.
- Artichokes - Not many wines pair well with artichokes. Young fresh dry Grüner is one of them
- Dishes with herbs - Grüner has a herbal edge itself and pairs beautifully with dishes that contain herbs especially dill, tarragon, mint and parsley. So salads as above, or chicken with a 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- Richer styles match well with roast pork or veal especially with a creamy sauce but not with an intense meaty ‘jus’