Young vegetables and Austrian wine: a match made in heaven. The supporting actors are becoming the stars on our plates – vegetables, herbs, and pulses etc. are taking kitchens by storm. Wines from Austria are a perfect choice to accompany vegan and vegetarian dishes.

Fruity white wines, Sekt and dry rosés in particular are proving to be impressive all-rounders. TIP: lightly chilled classic red wines pair wonderfully with vegetable stews.

 

Method of cooking

Young vegetables and Austrian wine: a match made in heaven. The supporting actors are becoming the stars on our plates – vegetables, herbs, and pulses etc. are taking kitchens by storm. Wines from Austria are a perfect choice to accompany vegan and vegetarian dishes. Fruity white wines, Sekt and dry rosés in particular are proving to be impressive all-rounders. TIP: lightly chilled classic red wines pair wonderfully with vAn appreciation of seasonal vegetables and the many ways they can be prepared in the kitchen is becoming increasingly common among both top chefs and amateur cooks. A particular point to bear in mind is that each method of cooking calls for a different choice of wine. Whether the vegetables are served raw, chargrilled or in a rich sauce is an extremely important factor when recommending a wine. Thanks to their complexity and sheer diversity, Austrian wines prove to be a fascinating pairing option with this new approach to vegetable dishes.egetable stews.

 

Raw vegetables & salads

Crisp, green aromas pair well with young, fresh wines, although it is important to ensure that the acidity harmonises well in order to avoid a sharp or bitter effect on the palate. Fresh, light white wines are always the perfect accompaniment for salads.

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Braised

Stews containing pulses, mushrooms and hearty herb-based sauces can take a denser, and even a more mature, white wine – as well as a fruit-led red.

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Chargrilled

For chargrilled vegetables with lightly toasted aromas, a light, dry red wine or a fruity rosé is a good choice.

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Steamed or boiled

Aromatic white wines with a delicate acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner and Roter Veltliner, pair well with the delicate flavours of steamed vegetable dishes – or you could even try an Austrian Sekt.

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The perfect wine accompaniment

Red, fruity, classic

Dry, classic-style red wines, such as a Sankt Laurent from the Thermenregion or a lightly chilled Zweigelt from the Neusiedlersee region, go well with the lightly toasted aromas of chargrilled vegetables. Another fitting partner would be a Blauer Portugieser from Niederösterreich. Tense and fruity Blaufränkisch from Eisenberg is frequently served with stews made with pulses and root vegetables. A classic Pinot Noir, perhaps from Niederösterreich (Lower Austria) or Wien (Vienna), harmonises well with porcini mushrooms (sautéed, chargrilled or with pasta). A general rule of thumb is: the more strongly fragranced or darker the sauce, the more intense the accompanying wine should be.

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White: aromatic to mature

Crisp salads pair well with good fresh, light white wines such as Grüner Veltliner from the Weinviertel region or a fruity Sauvignon Blanc from Südsteiermark. If you are serving steamed vegetables, then it is best to choose a wine with delicate aromas. A good option would be a Roter Veltliner from Wagram, for example. Vegetables that are characterised by an underlying sweetness, such as carrots and pumpkin, pair well with wines with crisp acidity and fruity aromas, such as a Muskateller from the Vulkanland Steiermark or a Gemischter Satz from Wien (Vienna). Bitter-sweet vegetable creations, like those using radicchio or endives, harmonise with denser white wines with sweet extracts or a residual sweetness – perhaps a Rotgipfler from the Thermenregion or a mature Riesling.

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Rosé & Orange Wine: Fruit Bombs

Intensely flavoured brassicas are known for their high protein content and can easily take wines with well-balanced tannins. Rosé wines produced from Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt or Cabernet Sauvignon are ideal here, but so too are macerated wines, such as orange wine. Chargrilled vegetables – courgette, bell pepper and aubergine, for example – are also often enjoyed with a glass of rosé or a rosé Sekt. In general, whenever vegetables are paired with a light cheese, cream cheese or a mild goat’s cheese, rosé is a good choice. Rosé wines are also a wonderful alternative to lightly chilled red wines, especially when paired with Mediterranean vegetable dishes such as risotto, pasta with fresh herbs and light vegetable sauces.

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Sparkling is always a good choice

Austrian Sekt is the perfect accompaniment to just about any vegetable dish. The carbon dioxide serves as an effervescent flavour enhancer and really brings out the fine aromas of the dishes. Some vegetable varieties demand dry sparkling wines, while others are delicious paired with pét-nat or sparkling rosé wines. Furthermore, Austrian sparkling wines prove to be outstanding all-rounders when paired with lightly steamed vegetables, as well as with cabbage and kale. Sekts produced from Sauvignon Blanc or Muskateller work particularly well with sweet vegetables like carrots and pumpkin.

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Speisen

The picture shows crispy potatoes with a runner bean salad and radishes
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Crispy potatoes with a runner bean salad and radishes

Crispy potatoes with a runner bean salad and radishes
This dish contains a number of vegetables that are very popular in Austria. The runner bean salad is a classic dish for Styria, where it is typically served with pumpkin seed oil. When choosing a partner wine, it is essential that the delicate pepperiness of the radishes be taken into account.

The perfect pairing:

  • Sparkling wine with no residual sugar
  • A dense Chardonnay, without too much wood
  • Pinot Blanc with good ageing potential
     
The picture shows Onion soup with cheese dumplings and marjoram oil.
© ÖWM / Robert Herbst

Onion soup with cheese dumplings and marjoram oil

This is an Austrian version of the classic French onion soup with cheese dumplings and a herb that is popular in Austrian cuisine: marjoram. But careful! When heated, onions lose some of their piquancy but gain in sweetness; the intensely flavoured cheese means you need a wine that can stand on its own.

The perfect pairing:

  • A premium Riesling, perhaps from a single vineyard (Ried)
  • A dense Pinot Blanc
  • Grüner Veltliner with ageing potential (large wooden barrels)
  • Rosé produced from Blaufränkisch – still or sparkling
     
The picture shows Braised and marinated Jerusalem artichoke with white endives and preserved physalis
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Braised and marinated Jerusalem artichoke with white endives and preserved physalis

The sweet, nutty flavour of Jerusalem artichokes and their lack of starch makes this vegetable an attractive partner for wines. The bitter compounds in the endive mean it also goes well with alternative wines or wines with a residual sweetness, provided they have the requisite acidity.

The perfect pairing:

  • Riesling with slight residual sweetness and good acidity
  • Pét-nat (e.g. from Traminer)
  • Rotgipfler, classic élevage
  • Pinot Noir, classic élevage and fruity notes
     
The picture shows Braised and marinated carrots with buckwheat, soft sheep’s cheese and Brussels sprouts
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Braised and marinated carrots with buckwheat, soft sheep’s cheese and Brussels sprouts

The light underlying sweetness of the carrots is the main taste sensation in this dish, and this, combined with the strong aroma and high protein content of the sprouts, calls for a wine with a strong nose and good body. 

The perfect pairing:

  • Mature Sauvignon Blanc
  • Rosé, including as a Sekt
  • Orange wine
  • Light-footed red wines
The picture shows Braised kohlrabi with mushrooms, chives and crispy emmer corn
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Braised kohlrabi with mushrooms, chives and crispy emmer corn

What matters most with kohlrabi and other brassicas is ensuring that the wine has a strong nose, as vegetables in the cabbage family give off an intense odour. The chosen wine needs to be able to hold its own in the glass.

The perfect pairing:

  • A dense Grüner Veltliner, élevage in large wooden casks
  • Pinot Blanc with good ageing potential
  • A Pinot cuvée blend with a hint of wood
  • Orange wine (e.g. from Roter Veltliner)
     
This picture shows Wild garlic ravioli with king oyster mushrooms and celeriac
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Wild garlic ravioli with king oyster mushrooms and celeriac

Celeriac is a congenial partner for vegetable dishes. It really brings wine to life and, when accompanied by young fresh wines, displays a youthful zest on the palate. Wild garlic has a very dominant flavour and odour and demands a wine that does it justice.

The perfect pairing:

  • A chilled, light red wine (e.g. Sankt Laurent, traditional élevage, or Blauer Portugieser)
  • ekt Austria Reserve (e.g. from Pinot Blanc)
     
The picture shows Slow-cooked egg with baked cauliflower, leaf spinach and lemon
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Slow-cooked egg with baked cauliflower, leaf spinach and lemon

Cauliflower, commonly referred to as “Karfiol” in Austria, harmonises well with macerated white wines (orange wine). When it comes to wine, leaf spinach is a big challenge – wines with a strong mineral character and mild acidity are a good match, however. White wines with a warm aromatic character are also recommended. Reds are more problematic with spinach as these result in metallic components on the palate.

The perfect pairing:

  • A dense Rotgipfler (not aged in wood)
  • Zierfandler with good ageing potential
  • Chardonnay, with a mild acidity
  • Orange wine
     
The picture shows Pizza bianca with pumpkin, bitter salad leaves, walnut pesto and marinated apples
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Pizza bianca with pumpkin, bitter salad leaves, walnut pesto and marinated apples

Sweet kinds of vegetables such as pumpkin pair well with wines with a crisp acidity and fruity aromas. Aromatic white wines or rosés fit the bill very well, but so do chilled lighter red wines.

The perfect pairing:

  • Gemischter Satz
  • Muskateller
  • Rosé from Zweigelt
  • Fruity Blaufränkisch, traditional élevage
     
The picture shows Stuffed cabbage with quinoa, shimeji mushrooms, preserved asparagus and tarragon
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Stuffed cabbage with quinoa, shimeji mushrooms, preserved asparagus and tarragon

Savoy cabbage is a brassica and demands a wine with a strong nose and good ageing potential. Mushrooms and tarragon ensure an interesting experience for the palate, with the cabbage taking care of the acidity. This calls for a wine that can measure up as a partner.

The perfect pairing:

  • A mature Sauvignon Blanc
  • Sekt Austria (e.g. Reserve) or pét-nat
     
The picture shows Lentil stew with root vegetables and bread dumplings
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Lentil stew with root vegetables and bread dumplings

This is a down-to-earth stew with pulses and intensely flavoured root vegetables, which pairs well with a fresh white wine or a classic-style red wine. 

The perfect pairing:

  • Grüner Veltliner, traditional élevage
  • Fruity Zweigelt
  • Sankt Laurent, classic élevage
     

Vegan wine

“Vegan wine” means that no animal-based products (e.g. gelatine, chicken egg white, milk protein, etc.) have been used in the vinification process. These wines are marked as vegan with the V label (note: European seal of quality; www.v-label.eu). Vegan wine lovers can identify them easily on the shelves from the label.

 

What the experts say

The picture shows the chef Sascha Hoffmann preparing a dish in the kitchen.
© Austrian Wine / Robert Herbst

Sascha Hoffmann
Schubert | Wien

“Vegetables have successfully transitioned from being a mere side dish to being the main stars on the plate,” explains Sascha Hoffmann from Restaurant Schubert in Vienna. He is always happy to recommend Austrian wines to accompany his vegetable creations.

 

The picture shows a portrait of Paul Ivić
© Ingo Pertramer

Paul Ivić
TIAN | Wien

“Obviously, vegetables take on the main role for us. We use produce that our regional partners deliver to us fresh from the field, depending on the season. Often, I think a dish tastes perfect as it is, but when we pair it with the right wine, we discover completely new notes in the flavour. It’s as though the wine gives the dish that final kick. But you have to have the right team players,” says Paul Ivić of TIAN Restaurant.

 

The picture shows a portrait of André Drechsel.
© Ingo Pertramer

André Drechsel
TIAN | Wien

“Our wine cellar is mainly stocked with natural wines from Austria. Ultimately, we believe we have a responsibility to support regional small businesses that share our philosophy and have been able to convince us with their quality,” says André Drechsel, sommelier at TIAN Restaurant.

 

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