Classic Pairing for Gruner Veltliner

With the heat of summer behind us, we welcome the balmy days and cool nights of autumn and harvest season! And, what better theme for September’s 5 Star Makeover Challenge and this beautiful time of year than cooking with wine!

But, I cannot tell a lie – somehow, over the past month, I got it in my head that the theme was a wine pairing dinner – don’t know exactly how that happened – maybe it was the wine tasting we did in Paso Robles on the way back from dropping College Girl off in Santa Cruz or the Girls Day Out in Temecula wine country that has been in the works for the past month, but it happened and I never thought to refer back to Lazaro’s email (or Facebook) to double check.

So allow me to introduce you to my new favorite wine: Grüner Veltliner [GROO-ner Felt-lih-ner] is a white-wine grape grown principally in Austria and is their most widely planted variety. This grape produces pale, crisp, light to medium-bodied, slightly spicy wines of good to very good quality. It can be fresh and lively to concentrated and intense and typically shows nuances of grapefruit and citrus, with a touch of fresh cracked pepper.

In my online reading, Grüner Veltliner was referred to as THE hip wine (a blog post from 2007) and my Total Wine Guide to Wine and Spirits noted that Austrian white wines have become the darling of sommelier’s across the country. Years ago a few sommeliers thought to offer it as a creative pairing with Asian cuisine – it’s now considered a classic pairing. Dr. Vinny at Wine Spectator says, “Grüner Veltliner’s bright acidity and appealing spicy quality pair it very well with all types of food. The most eye-popping match is how well it goes with Asian food—anything from Vietnamese to Thai to spicy Chinese flavors. Next, try it with seafood. Grüners also go very well with bitter greens and salads. Then have your favorite pork tenderloin dish. And finally, enjoy how that acidity can cut through salt and fat, like in a smoked ham.”

While there are many expert tips on pairing food with wine, a good basic rule that I’ve learned in various wine classes is that the wine of a particular region pairs well with the foods of the region. Sure there are other pairings that are more inspired and exciting because they bring together more unusual tastes, but if you’re a bit tenuous and still learning about the characteristics of wine, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to the classics.

As Ray Isles states in An Expert’s Pairing Advice:  “there’s a kind of default logic at work here: The wines of a certain region go well with the foods of a certain region because they’ re both from the region and everyone has always eaten and drunk them together. That said, climate and culture do seem to work together to create felicitous food-and-wine combinations; the rosé wines of Provence do taste awfully good with bouillabaisse, and Tuscany’s arista di maiale(pork loin roasted with rosemary and garlic) is a natural with Chianti Classico—the wine’s firm tannins and slightly herbal character just seem to go naturally with the herby roasted meat.

In part this is because these are regions that have hundreds of years of culinary and viticultural history, where the cuisine and the wine have grown up together, in a sense. Saying that the wines of Napa Valley are particularly suited to the cuisine of the Bay Area is, on the other hand, probably a bit more of a reach. But in general, it’s hard to go too wrong matching the wines of a region to the cuisine of that region.

 Although, I’ve been enjoying Gruner Veltliner since tasting several in the Wines of the World Class I took at UCI last winter, I decided to cook a classic Austrian dinner of Wiener Schnitzel to pair with a bottle of Heidel 2009 Grüner Veltliner  which was included in a wine tasting of German Rieslings  at Wine Lab Newport. For the makeover I served classic Wiener Schnitzel with a warm potato salad and a fresh, seasonal (apples) take on sauerkraut which added a bright acidity and lovely crisp freshness to each bite :-)

Enjoy :-) Thank you for visiting and don’t forget to check out all of the other cooking with wine creations done by the group by clicking the 5 Star Makeover link above.

40 Responses to “Classic Pairing for Gruner Veltliner”

  1. patty September 27 at 6:14 pm #

    Very Lovely Priscilla! I’ll look for this wine as I would love to try it. I wonder if this grape is grown anywhere in California? You’ve out done yourself with your classic Austrian dinner, I think I gained about 10 pounds when I spent a Summer in Austria years ago, eat and drink, eat and drink- what a way to spend a Summer;-)

    • Priscilla September 27 at 8:33 pm #

      Hi Patty!
      Thank you :) I’ve never seen a California Gruner Veltliner – probably has to do with the fact that the grapes seem to thrive in rocky soil and similar climate to Burgundy, France!

  2. Stephanie Miskew September 27 at 8:22 pm #

    Love your post and I am a big fan of Gruner Veltliner! The dish sounds positively delicious too – I think wine is such a wonderful extension of food & love what you’ve done here – Bravo:)

    • Priscilla September 27 at 8:36 pm #

      Stephanie, I couldn’t agree more! I’m glad you like the pairing I chose – Cheers :)

  3. Christine September 27 at 9:27 pm #

    Looks and sounds good.

  4. Sandra's Easy Cooking September 28 at 1:39 am #

    Oh my goodness, that is full delicious meal..I love potato salad the way you made it..I usually just use plain vinegar, but your recipe sound perfectly delicious..really tasty meal!

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:28 pm #

      Thanks, Sandra :-) The potato salad is what we call a German style potato salad – no mayo and served at room temperature. I would imagine the type of potato salad you grew up with would be similar.

  5. RavieNomNoms September 28 at 6:20 am #

    I LOVE that potato salad. I am sure that is just so delicious. Everything looks amazing though, such a pretty meal!

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:26 pm #

      Hi, Raven! From one potato lover to another – it was super delicious! Thank you – the whole meal was a big hit :-)

  6. Linda September 28 at 10:17 am #

    Learned something new today! That varietal sounds so interesting… and what a beautiful meal you prepared to pair with it! Looks absolutely delicious!

  7. Angie's Recipes September 28 at 11:18 am #

    One of my favourite Austrian white wine 😉
    The Schnitzel looks so crisp and I love your cabbage slaw!

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:30 pm #

      You have great taste :-) I’m sure you have access to more producers of Gruner Veltliner than we have here. I like crispy and using panko made for a super crispy Schnitzel!

  8. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts September 28 at 12:06 pm #

    Such a fun idea to pair wine with food! This whole meal looks delicious. My husband would love that potato salad!

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:22 pm #

      Hi, Erin! My husband is a potato fan and he loved these! It’s a very simple recipe – you should make them soon :-)

  9. Faith September 28 at 1:47 pm #

    When Oktoberfest time comes around each year I always find myself craving a good schnitzel! What an incredible meal this is, Priscilla! Your pictures are gorgeous too!

  10. Tanantha September 28 at 4:26 pm #

    Such a lovely dish, Priscilla! the way you described your wine makes me want to try it. Your execution is beautiful!

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:20 pm #

      Thanks, Tanantha – I think you’re a genius in the kitchen, so that means a lot to me 😉 Yes, give Gruner a try!

  11. deana September 29 at 6:48 am #

    I didn’t eat veal for years and was heartened to read that a Viennese restaurant got in uber trouble for passing of turkey as veal and getting away with it for years. As a result, I’ve made it with turkey ever since (cheaper too!) I’d love to try it again now that I have an ethically raised veal supply! Love the wine info (don’t see enough of that in the blogs) and your sides are just perfect. I need to check out this wine, don’t I? Great submission for the makeover!

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:18 pm #

      Deanna, I too quit eating veal for many years. I loved your recent veal tenderloin recipe using ethically raised veal purchased from D’Artagnan. I’m glad you found the wine info helpful – you should definitely try Gruner Veltliner :-)

  12. Thomas September 29 at 6:49 am #

    Hi, great post right pairing!!
    We are about to stage an event where we compare 5 different Grüner Veltliners with a Wiener Schnitzel. The goal to come up with suggestions which style of Grüner Veltliner fits best > (will be held in Vienna though)

    Results will be published …

    Cheers Thomas

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:13 pm #

      Thanks for visiting, Thomas! I would love to make the trip to Vienna, but I’ll have to be satisfied with checking the results of the event online 😉

  13. kita September 29 at 6:50 am #

    I love your pairings. I need all the help I can get some days and this Wiener Schnitzel looks amazing!

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:11 pm #

      Thank, Kita! Feel free to ask for assistance at any time. We drink a lot of wine over here :-)

  14. Trix September 29 at 8:20 am #

    I LOVE Gruner!!! In fact, I have a bottle of it that I got at Weinhof Wieninger in Vienna that I am saving for a special occasion … and of course after reading your post I realize I should have it with a Wiener Schnitzel! A really lovely plating and great post.

    • Priscilla September 29 at 12:10 pm #

      Thanks, Trix! Yes, you need to break out the Gruner! If I had interpreted the challenge correctly, I would have made a pan sauce or used it as an acid component in one of the sides, but it all went down the hatch 😉

  15. Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen September 29 at 6:04 pm #

    I love a good Wiener Schnitzel, and must’ve eaten tons of it when I spent 3 weeks working in Vienna once! It’s very interesting to learn about how well Gruner Veltliner pairs up with Asian food too…you see, I never knew these things. Ad that potato salad with the Champagne vinegar sounds positively decadent. Thanks also for your warm words, Priscilla, I’m so happy to be part of this cooking group!

  16. Magic of Spice September 30 at 1:13 am #

    The Gruner Veltliner sounds like a beautiful wine and seems to pair perfectly with this dish. Such a wonderfully balanced meal and I am so intrigued by the add of caraway in that delightful slaw :)Wonderful addition to the theme :)

  17. Laz September 30 at 8:58 am #

    You aced it. Beautiful dish. Love the wiener schnitzel. One of my all time favorites.

    Great job.

  18. Lori Lynn September 30 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Priscilla- love your post, we are big fans of GROOVY too!
    Your dish sounds terrific, love all the elements, very harmonious. Especially like how you plated the dish with wiener schnitzel over the slaw.

  19. Marisa September 30 at 7:00 pm #

    There are so many great things going on here. The slaw, the wiener schnitzel, the potato salad–now that’s a meal! Everything sounds like it pairs perfectly with the wine,too–I can imagine how much it enhances the dish even further.

  20. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } October 1 at 5:49 pm #

    I was introduced to Gruner Veltliner at a wine tasting course I did a while back. It is a great fun wine. Love your entree for the dinner party – I am sure that is was divine!!! Have a great weekend!

  21. Daily Spud October 2 at 4:02 am #

    I’ve only sampled grüner veltliner once or twice but I’ll definitely be on the look out for more! And love, love, love the salad and slaw that you’ve made to go with the wiener schnitzel – I’ll take a bucketload of each :)

  22. Bren October 2 at 10:19 pm #

    I love that you found a wine you now are addicted to and found a way to incorporate it into your dishes. It sounds like a great wine. Have to say I’ve not had it! So many wines! I also adore your plating and styling. Very inviting and warm. And though Riesling was not part of this dish, let me know just it’s my favorite white wine! 😉

  23. angela@spinachtiger October 5 at 8:58 pm #

    Priscilla, This is second dish I”ve seen today featuring veal. You have me so hungry and also wanting to try that wine.

  24. Nancy October 6 at 10:58 am #

    Priscilla, this looks and sounds so delicious! I love the color tone in your photos too:)

    Thanks for participating in September’s YBR :) Sorry I’m so late in getting here.

  25. Kelly @ EvilShenanigans October 6 at 11:10 am #

    Wow, that looks like the perfect fall meal for me! That crispy coating has me in a serious case of food lust!

  26. Barbara | Creative Culinary October 6 at 11:20 am #

    Love everything about this…something about fall maybe but I have seen three German dishes this morning that all remind me so much of my grandparents and what we could always count on being served at their home. Great food and great memories.

  27. Nancy@acommunaltable October 6 at 12:41 pm #

    This looks like the perfect fall dish Priscilla!! I am not familiar with Gruner Veitliner and am bookmarking this – pairing wine with Asian dishes has always stumped me so I am thrilled to finally have a go to wine for asian dishes!!

  28. Tickled Red October 11 at 8:46 am #

    The meal looks delish! Thank you so much for the white wine review. White has never been my first choice, I’m a red girl 😉 but we eat so much fish that I need a few good go to white wines. So whenever I stumble upon a good one I take note. This one is now on my must try list.

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