A Guide To Pairing German Dishes With Wine

The world of food constantly shifts. New food experimenters play with flavor, color, spice, and so much more. Just take a look at the variety of food shows on all the streaming platforms—there’s always a new way to recreate old dishes.

So how do you find the right wine to pair with creative meals? It’s always best to have a starting point—begin with the wine traditionally paired with your chosen meal and then go from there.

Today, we’re going to discuss pairing wine with German cuisine, whether the food is prepared traditionally or experimentally. We’re giving you the starting guide to pairing German dishes with wine. Read on to learn more!

Germany’s Shift in Cuisine

For many people, German food stereotypes prevent them from trying it. They think German food is nothing but vinegar and sausages—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A slew of genius chefs created Germany’s “new cuisine.” In fact, Germany is only second to France with the number of Michelin-starred restaurants!

So, below, we’ve laid out some of the traditional dishes as well as some with modern flair. Take a look!

Fish Dishes

The people in the northern regions of Germany are huge fish eaters. Things like herring and Alaskan pollock are treats; they can be pickled or flavored with dill or beer.

No matter how the fish is prepared, stick with a light white with an acidity level to match the fresh taste of the fish.

Tip: Try out a dry Riesling or a crisp Champagne

Sausage-Forward Food

We still have to mention sausages, of course. There are more than 1,000 different styles produced throughout the country, all with their own flavor, name, and eating time. You make think beer is king when it comes to sausage pairing, but there are actually quite a few wines that can stand up to the test.

Tip: Try out a full-bodied Chardonnay (not super oaky) or a spätburgunder (pinot noir)

Traditional Dishes

Below are two traditional German dishes that you may find pair wonderfully with wine!

Rinderroulade

Rinderroulade is a rolled veal dish quite common in Germany and Austria. The meat is filled with ground meat and onions, but different restaurants can fill it with their own concoctions. When you’re eating something this bold, we suggest a red that can handle the flavor.

Tip: Try out a Merlot or a red blend

Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel is a dish you’ll find all over Europe, although it’s a classic in Southern Germany. Traditionally, this dish is a thin breaded pork cutlet often paired with potatoes. Modern versions of this dish can embrace different flavors, spices, and side offerings. We recommend a white light wine.

Tip: Try out Grüner Veltliner or Riesling

German Wines To Pair

There you have it: a brief guide to pairing German dishes with wine. Here’s the main thing to remember: match style with style. If it’s a heavier dish, you’ll need a fuller wine. If it’s a light dish, get a light wine. And of course, you can’t go wrong with pairing any German dish with a German wine (such as Riesling, Spätlese, or Gewürztraminer.)

Want to know about German wine regions? We have a blog about it. And we also have a wine tasting box set so that you can really explore German wines. Explore our site now!

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