Why do Austrian wines pair well with Asian cuisine?

© AWMB/Blickwerk Fotografie

Austrian wines have a compact body and climate-driven freshness which makes them an excellent match for an exceptionally varied range of cooking styles and cuisines: from Central Europe to the Mediterranean and beyond to Asian foods, and from ethnic food to fusion.

At multiple wine events and tastings in Asia, Grüner Veltliner & Co are traditionally classified as some of the best wines for pairing with Chinese and many other dishes from the continent.

The 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.

Grüner is wonderfully paired with mapo tofu, spicy prawns, steamed fish with spring onions and ginger.

This is also true for some of Austria’s regional stars like Zierfandler, Rotgipfler, Roter Veltliner, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) or Neuburger, when vinified in the same style as Grüner Veltliner. Fruit-accented wines like Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc go especially well with appetizers. And sometimes, a touch of residual sweetness can be a harmonious advantage. Of course, barrique-matured Chardonnays can be matched wonderfully with powerful meat and fish dishes.

Some well-balanced Reserve quality Chardonnay and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) are suitable to enjoy with slowly cooked caramelised pork belly.

In addition to these fabulous white wines, more and more Austrian red wines are demonstrating how they enhance Oriental menus as well – especially because intensely spicy dishes demand more fruit, but light tannins. Moreover, luscious sweet wines from Austria make impeccable partners for an array of eastern foods.

Medium-bodied wines such as Zweigelt, Pinot Noir or St. Laurent are the perfect pair to dishes like Peking duck or Sichuan beef

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