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Wine & Food Matching

Austrian Wine with Asian Cuisine

Pulau Uban
Written by Aksel Ritenis
Pulau UbanThe firm, robust Grüner Veltliner is clearly the most universal food companion. With its full, balanced body and its power and finesse, Grüner Veltliner is the ideal companion for an array of Asian dishes prepared in a variety of ways. Whether fish or meat, fish appetizers or even classic Dim Sum and spring rolls – there is perfect harmony. This wine stands up so well to sharp flavours and, with its well-integrated acidity, is incredibly refreshing on the palate. And in its full-bodied form, Grüner Veltliner with balance, mature acidity – and no oaky flavour, of course – is incomparably sublime when paired with umami-rich foods. This is also true for some of Austria’s regional stars like Zierfandler, Rotgipfler, Roter Veltliner, Weissburgunder or Neuburger, when vinified in the same style as Grüner Veltliner.

Raw Fish: Sushi, Sashimi, Umami-rich Tuna (as tartar or gently seared)
Pairs nicely with:
– Classic young Grüner Veltliner with a maximum of 13% alcohol and matured in steel tanks: the soft, cool and not quite fully-developed flavours emphasize the clarity and freshness of raw fish. The light acidity enlivens the pure flavours of the dish and lends finesse to it as well. Harmonious and animating.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls (raw) with shrimp and fresh herbs
Pairs nicely with:
– Grüner Veltliner:
light and racy with subtle fruit; current vintage. The delicate fruit tones fit so wonderfully with shrimp; at the same time, the Grüner Veltliner’s spiciness carries the intensity of the fresh herbs.

Fried Spring Rolls
Pairs nicely with:

– Medium bodied Grüner Veltliner: the distinctive fruit harmonizes so well with the sweetish taste of the spring roll. Crisp, light acidity and the typical Veltliner taste are important counterpoints that provide the final kick.
– Riesling: an exciting combination – the crisp acidity and flavours of a dry Riesling provide an interesting contrast to the mild sweetness of the spring roll.

Indian Tandoori Chicken
Pairs nicely with:
– Zierfandler or Rotgipfler with their intense fruit flavours are ideal accompaniments.

Spicy Prawn from the Wok
The character of this prawn dish is determined by the hot, sharp chillies or the peppery piquancy of the black bean sauce.
– What could fit better than the typical pepper tones and ripe fruit aromas of a robust Grüner Veltliner. The salty, mineral notes give an additional kick.

Steamed Fish, also Lobster or Jumbo Prawns with spring onions and ginger
Pairs nicely with:
– Medium-bodied to robust Grüner Veltliner (Smaragd, Spätlese): from primary rock sites (e. g. Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal) which give mineral notes to the wine. This, combined with fine acidity, is key for elegance and refinement. Ripe fruit aromas and flavours, sweetness and the typical peppery notes round out the taste. All of these components can also be found in the dish. A wonderful connection! Steamed fish also tastes excellent with a medium-bodied Riesling.

Umami-rich Beef Dishes – Szechuan Beef, Chili Beef
Pairs nicely with:
– Full-bodied Blaufränkisch or a Blaufränkisch Cuvée: a Blaufränkisch matured in large or small barrels is strong enough to stand up to the sharpness and intensity of chili dishes. But it also has enough acidity and light tannins to provide interesting accents. The distinctive fruit rounds out the flavours – and charms the palate.
– Zweigelt Reserve
or St. Laurent Reserve: these wines from good sites are convincing not so much through power as through finesse. They lend a kind of lightness and playful elegance to moderately sharp chili dishes. An exceptionally animating match.

Tempura (shrimp, vegetables)
Pairs nicely with:
– Classic Grüner Veltliner (for example, DAC wines from Kremstal, Kamptal, Traisental or Weinviertel; Federspiel from the Wachau, or Kabinett): the fine fruit romances the shrimp and refines the vegetables; the acidity and fine flavours make the dish exciting. The aromas and flavours are not obtrusive and do not interfere with tempura’s delicate flavours. Vegetable tempura agrees well with a very light Veltliner, while the characteristic taste of shrimp somehow prefers a more powerful wine.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

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