An ideal complement to many dishes, German Riesling is widely considered to be the most food-friendly white wine in the world. Not to be forgotten, German Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) and Pinot Gris (Grauburgunder) offer the perfect balance of acidity, low alcohol, and fruit to match a variety of dishes. Rounding out the Pinot ‘trio,’ slightly tannic German Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) pairs well with grilled fish, smoked meats, and more.
Check out our tasting notes and pairing recommendations for Germany’s hallmark grapes below.
Light to medium-bodied with pronounced acidity and aromas reminiscent of apple, peach, and apricot. A versatile grape, Riesling can express a range of styles from dry to off-dry and sweet, and can therefore pair with diverse cuisines. Germany produces more than 50% of the world’s Riesling supply.
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Dry, slightly tannic, and mild in acidity, full-bodied with flavors and aromas of red berries, subtle earthy notes, and a long finish. Especially in cold climate regions like Germany, Pinot Noir has the ability to be delightfully lighter and lower in tannin than other red wines.
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Dry, medium to full-bodied white wines reminiscent of white peach, mango, almonds, and pear, with floral aromas. Germany ranks second worldwide in Pinot Gris vineyard area, after Italy.
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Subtle on the nose with fresh acidity and delicate fruitiniess, medium to full-bodied with notes of apple, pear, white peach, mango, and nuts. Germany is the world’s largest producer of Pinot Blanc. The grape has shown a steady upswing for several decades; its vineyard area in Germany has doubled within the past ten years.
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Spätburgunder or Dry Riesling with Pork Medallions in Tarragon Cream Sauce
Craving some comfort cooking? Bright, herby Pork Medallions in Tarragon Cream Sauce pair beautifully with food-friendly Spätburgunder or dry German Riesling. With only 5 ingredients, this duo is perfect for a winter weeknight meal with flavors elegant enough to be served to your social bubble!
Sparkling or Still Riesling with Lemon Ricotta Thyme Cake
The fresh, fruity flavor of German Riesling pairs wonderfully with this Lemon Ricotta Thyme Cake’s sharp lemon and subtle thyme. The wine’s acidity, along with its touch of balanced sweetness, compliments the moist, fluffy dessert. Sparkling or still? The choice is yours.
Pinot Noir Rosé Sekt Brut and Cranberry Brie Pinwheels
Can’t decide between sparkling or still? Savory sweet Cranberry Brie Pinwheels pair with both! A still German Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) has notes of blackberry and cranberry to add extra fruitiness and spice to the easy appetizers, while the citrusy bubbles of a Pinot Noir Rosé Sekt will cut through the rich pastry.
Dry Riesling with Sheet Pan Snapper with Potatoes and Fennel
If you like dry wine, sip Riesling Trocken (German for “dry”), with crisp notes that make for perfect pairings with all kinds of food, from sushi and seafood (like this Sheet Pan Snapper with Potatoes and Fennel) to chicken, vegetable, or pork dishes. Go ahead and lay on the herbs and sauces with this flavor-friendly varietal!
Late Harvest Riesling with Grilled Jalapeño-Honey Chicken Wings
When Riesling grapes achieve full ripeness in the late harvest, they are picked to produce Riesling Spätlese, a style distinguished by the unique balance of residual sugar and high acidity that gives the wines a zippy liveliness. For something a little heartier, pair it with sweet and spicy Grilled Jalapeño-Honey Chicken Wings, or any salty or savory dish, especially one with a touch of spice.
Grauburgunder with Apple, Radish and Fennel Salad
Pinot Gris, or Grauburgunder, offers all of the things you want in a wine: it’s light and dry with a lively acidity. Complement the crisp, yellow-toned wine with all kinds of dishes, including seafood, pasta, and bold cheeses, to name a few. Bring out the fresh, nutty notes in this wine with a super-crisp Apple, Radish and Fennel Salad with Hazelnuts and Mint.
Weissburgunder with Shrimp Pad Thai
Light straw in color and delicate on the nose, Pinot Blanc (Weissburgunder) was made for pairing. The variety can be medium or full-bodied, with a light fruitiness and fresh acidity; it stands up nicely to a flavorful Shrimp Pad Thai, and is a dream pairing with anything from chicken or pork dishes to light cheeses and salads.
Chili-Garlic Salmon Paired with Spätburgunder
Hearty dishes like pork tenderloin, duck, and Chile-Garlic Broiled Salmon with Ginger Yogurt Sauce call for an equally incredible wine. Enter Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder), which is typically dry, slightly tannic, with a mild acidity and aromas of blackberry and cherry.