Updated July 18th 2023
What is the best food with Grüner Veltliner - Austria’s most widely planted white grape variety? This fresh, crisp and slightly spicy wine pairs wonderfully with lightly spiced Asian dishes as well as vegetables. Of course, it is also a great pairing to the classic Austrian dish wiener schnitzel. This wine guide will give you the best food pairings for Grüner Veltliner.
Pairing a bottle of Grüner Veltliner with food is actually not too tricky. This light-bodied, dry white wine has a pleasant high-acidity and delicious citrus flavors, which make it a very food-friendly wine. It is Austria's star grape variety and due to its growing popularity, it is now being planted in many other countries. Grüner Veltliner pairs especially well with certain foods that can be difficult to pair with wine, such as artichoke, asparagus and spicy foods. Keep reading if you want to discover this interesting Austrian grape variety and learn how to pair it with food.
Grüner Veltliner is an Austrian native grape variety that gives mostly dry, fresh white wines with bursting acidity. It has distinctive notes of white pepper, adding to fresh citrus aromas of grapefruit, lime and lemon. It almost always gives wines with a “green” profile, with herbaceous hints of green vegetables such as green bell pepper and celery. Mineral and green apple aromas are also common in Grüner Veltliner wines. These wines are often described as a spicy and more exotic version of Sauvignon Blanc. The high acidity and citrus flavors can also remind of Riesling.
Grüner Veltliner is planted all over Austria and it is grown in more than 30% of the country’s vineyards. The grape is also grown in Hungary and northern Italy. Lately, Australia and New Zealand have been planting more of the grape as well. Grüner Veltliner is gaining recognition all over the world, and wine regions are now trying to keep up with the increased demand for these wines.
Grüner Veltliner is often compared to Sauvignon Blanc, and they in fact share some characteristics. Both grape varieties give dry, fresh white wines, and both have a distinct herbaceous profile and high acidity. If you like the green and grassy profile of Sauvignon Blanc, you will certainly enjoy Grüner Veltliner.
The main difference between Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc is the characteristic peppery profile of Grüner Veltliner. White pepper aromas are common in Grüner Veltliner wines, and that is why this grape variety is sometimes called a spicy and more exotic version of Sauvignon Blanc.
Tips! Are you smelling or tasting white pepper in your wine? That is a strong indication that you are drinking a Grüner Veltliner!
Grüner Veltliner is a food-friendly wine which pairs well with many different dishes. When pairing this Austrian grape variety with food, you need to consider the following characteristics of the wine:
Grüner Veltliner should always be served very chilled. The ideal serving temperature is 7-10°C (45-48°F).
Grüner Veltliner is an excellent choice for gently spicy Asian dishes. The crisp acidity in the wine will balance fatty dishes, while its characteristic white pepper aroma will match spicy dishes with ginger, curry and other slightly spicy condiments. Also, the wine's typical citrusy profile works well also with dishes with lemon grass - an ingredient common in both Thai and Vietnamese cuisines.
Asian dishes and flavors that pair well with Grüner veltliner include:
Wiener schnitzel is a typical Austrian dish. It is a fried veal cutlet coated in egg and bread crumbs, similar to the Japanese tonkatsu. It is a rich and fatty dish that matches perfectly with Grüner Veltliner. The high acidity of the wine cuts through the fat in the dish which creates a balance.
Tips! Grüner Veltliner is an excellent wine to all types of deep-fried foods, including fish & chips and tempura.
The green and herbaceous profile of Grüner Veltliner makes it a good pairing for many different vegetables, including bitter and raw vegetables which normally are tricky to pair with wine. Grüner Veltliner is also one of few wines that pair well with asparagus and artichoke.
Grüner Veltliner pairs well with almost all vegetables, but also bitter vegetables like rucola, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts and cabbage. This makes it an excellent wine choice for fresh salads! You can also drink this wine with vegetable-based pastas, soups and risottos.
Tips! To learn more about the best wine for vegetables and vegetarian dishes, we recommend our wine guide for vegetarian food.
A light-bodied, fresh and dry Grüner Veltliner will pair wonderfully with light seafood dishes. The wine's high acidity will also balance fatty fishes, which makes it a good pairing with salmon. The refreshing citrus flavors of the wine are another reason to drink it together with seafood.
Good seafood pairings to Grüner Veltliner include:
Grüner Veltliner is a good pairing to chicken and other white meats. It pairs especially well with chicken seasoned with herbs and/or lemon, as this dish matches the flavors of the wine. This wine will also pair well with butter chicken.
The crisp acidity and green profile of Grüner Veltliner makes it a great match with goat cheese. It also pairs well with other fresh cheeses like Mozzarella, Feta, Halloumi and Brie.
Tips! Curious to learn more about wine and cheese pairing? In our extensive wine and cheese guide you will find everything you need to know!
Refreshing, dry white wines like Grüner Veltliner are very suitable as an aperitif and/or together with snacks. This wine's crisp acidity works as a palate cleanser and that is why it is suitable to drink before the meal. The green profile of the wine pairs well with green olives and other snacks with herbs. The acidity will match anything fatty and deep-fried. Perhaps serve it with potato chips, olives and some cheese?
Enjoy your bottle of Grüner Veltliner with your food!