German Food Guide
German Food Guide
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Wine & Food

German wines are the lightest wines produced - they are both lower in alcohol and calories - making them suitable for a large variety of dishes. Although there is no specific rule in selecting a wine for a meal, we provide below some recommendations and guidelines for selecting a wine.

Quick links to wine recommendations:
General Dishes
Wine & Chocolate
Wine & Cheese

General Dishes

Style of Dish Wine Recommendation
Light and mild
(mild salads, soft vegetables, steamed fish, boiled veal or beef, poultry )
Dry to medium-dry, white Kabinett wine (such as Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder )
Light and spicy
(tender ragouts, lamb, game)
Dry to medium-dry, white Kabinett wine (such as Müller-Thurgau, Grauburgunder, Scheurebe); Rosè or light red wine (such as Spätburgunder, Schwarzriesling)
Hearty but mild in taste
(seafood, salt-water fish, veal- pork- or lamb-roasts, rich mild cheese)
Dry to medium-dry white wine and Spätlese (such as Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder); Dry, ripe Riesling Auslese; Smooth, mild rosè wine or a light red wine (such as Spätburgunder)
Hearty and spicy
(rustic pot-pies, backed seafood, roasts, steak, game with a concentrated sauce, grilled meats)
Dry to medium-dry white and red wine, Spätlese and Auslese (such as Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Gewürztraminer, Spätburgunder)

Wine & Chocolate

Chocolate Wine Recommendation
Milk Chocolate Sweet Auslese and Beerenauslese Riesling wines; Fruity, spicy red wines
Semi-Sweet or Bitter Sweet Chocolate Dry, full-bodied red wine
Chocolate containing hazelnuts or almonds Sweet white wine; Dense, full-bodied red wine

Wine & Cheese

There are 6 guidelines to follow to pick the best wine for cheese.
1. The creamier the cheese, the more acidic the wine can be.
2. Acidic cheese fits best to medium-dry to sweet wines.
3. Combine salty cheese with sweet wines - try also an acidic wine.
4. For cheese platters with a variety of cheeses, select a wine that would fit to the strongest tasting cheese.
5. Pair wines and cheese from the same region.
6. Tastes of the cheese and wine should not be the same. For example, sour cheese should be paired with sweet wine.

Cheese Wine Recommendation
Soft Cheese with Flowery Rind (such as Brie or Camembert) Dry to medium-dry Riesling; Young, fresh Grauburgunder; Spätburgunder
Soft Cheese with Washed Rind (such as Limberger, Munster) Dry Riesling or Gewürztraminer
Fresh, Unripened Cheese (such as Quark, Cottage Cheese, fresh Mozerella)

Unripened cheese harmonizes best with a wine that is not too fruity or acidic.

Light, lively Weissburgunder; Spätburgunder
Blue Vein Cheese (such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola)

The sweetness of the wine pairs well with the saltiness of the cheese.

Auslese, Beerenauslese
Goat's Milk Cheese

Goat's milk cheese pairs well with a dry, fruity white wine with a mild acidity.

Dry to fruity Riesling or Weissburgunder
Semi-hard to hard, sliced Cheese (such as Edamer, Gouda, Butterkäse) Medium-dry Riesling wine for young, mild cheese; Gewürztraminer for stronger cheese varieties; Light Spätburgunder
Extra Hard Cheese (such as Emmentaler, Gruyère, Parmesan, Cheddar)

Aged, hard cheeses, in which the salt conent has already crystallized, pair well with sweet wines.

Riesling or Scheurebe Auslese

Wine and Food
Photo: © tigera -

Wine & Food Pairing Guidelines

Picking the perfect wine for a meal is something that many people feel unsure about. Below we provide some guidelines with the goal of creating a harmony between food and wine.
Guideline #1 - Trust your own taste
Anyone who has had a glass of wine with a meal already knows his or her taste preference. If this is you, don't second guess your preference if it is right or wrong. If you like a particular wine and food combination, then enjoy it. If having guests over, don't rely completely on your own preference.
Guideline #2 - Follow the season
What applies to foods, applies also to wines: they fit better to one season or another. Heavy red wines fits better to late autumn and winter times when its cold outside. A light, fruity wine fits better to summer.
Guideline #3 - Sour + Sour =
Sour x 2
A sourness from both wine and food multiplies. This means that combining a sour, dry wine with a sour, acidic dish creates an overwhelming sourness. Also, a dry or medium dry wine does not go well with a sweet dessert. For dessert, its best to stick with a Beerenauslese or Eiswein.
Guideline #4 - Spicy food with fruity wine
For spicy Asian foods, select an aromatic fruity wine, such as a Gewurztraminer or Riesling.
Guideline #5 - Everything's possible with meat
The old rule - pair red meat and roasts with red wine / pair poultry and fish with white wine - works fine, but don't be limited to this. One must also take into consideration how the meat was prepared. For example, grilled chicken or fish go very well with a red wine. Boiled or stewed beef or pork goes very well with the acidity from a white wine.
Guideline #6 - Don't cook with a cheap wine
When cooking with wine, be sure to select a wine of good quality and taste otherwise your food will taste of bad wine.
Guideline #7 - Some advanced tips
To emphasize the sweetness or spiciness of a meal, select a wine with a higher alcohol content.
Pair dishes, with bitter undertones, with sweet wines to soften the bitterness.
Heavy, rich meals pair well with acidic, alcohol-rich wines.
Sparkling wines taste sweeter when paired with meals due to the carbonation.

Wine in the garden
Photo: © Brenda Carson -

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