I'm a wino, so it's no wonder the beer inspired festival Oktoberfest completely skipped my mind when it came to choosing this month's food pairings. I enjoy beer at sporting events or with something fried, but more often then not, I'm going to reach for a bottle of the good stuff, fermented grape juice! So that's when I got to thinking, why not pair brats & sauerkraut with wine? And that's exactly what I did last night after stopping by the local German favorite, Hofbrauhaus.
I decided to grab a bottle of the 2009 Hirsch Heilgenstein Gruner Veltliner from Kamptal, Austria to pair with brats and sauerkraut. Stephen Tanzer's "International Wine Cellar" gave the wine a 90 point rating saying, "Pale green-yellow. Crisp apple, marjoram and a hint of orange zest on the nose. Compact and firm on the palate, with fresh pear and green apple flavors. Lively acidity adds a racy edge to this intense wine. Apple, herbs and pepper linger long on the finish of this very appetizing wine." I'm in!
After a bite of the food and then a sip of the wine, I immediately notice the flavors of the sauerkraut and spice from the sausage intensify. The pepper and marjoram in the wine play nicely off the spicy sausage flavors and the wine has enough acidity to stand up to the sauerkraut without losing its flavor and tasting sour or unpleasant. Additionally, the fruit in the wine also adds a touch of sweetness to the dish making it that more enjoyable. I also like that the wine has enough weight to stand up to the bread and the two combined create a killer finish. Finally, the acidity in the wine acted as a palate cleanser, making me want to take another bite of the food and then another sip of the wine. Next time you have brats and sauerkraut, put down the beer and give Gruner Veltliner a try! Cheers!
Please leave your comments in the section below! How do you celebrate Oktoberfest? And how do you feel about having wine with brats and sauerkraut? Let's chat!