As a foodie and an admirer of both craft beer and fine wines, I often wonder what the perfect food pairing is. What follows is a monthly debate on just that. Once a month I’ll toss out a food for pairing suggestions from my fellow beer geeks and wine nerds. Some dishes will come with a convention that popular opinion dictates a specific pairing. Other posts will present a dish that is a toss-up between beer or wine. I look forward to hearing your suggestions in this conversation. Be creative, challenge norms, have fun, and check back often to read what others have to say.
It was Vienna, Austria where I ate the perfect wiener schnitzel. In Naschmarkt – Vienna’s largest open air market – to be exact. The narrow lane that runs from Kettenbrückengasse to the Getreidemark is lined with hundreds of booths hawking everything from fresh produce to local wines to artisanal cheeses. Intermingled amongst the booths are an assortment of restaurants. We were wandering aimlessly when a waiter of Austrian descent who oddly resembled The Rock captured our attention offering us a chance to eat the best wiener schnitzel in all of Vienna. He was right.
I can’t tell you the name of the joint where we ate as it has been erased from my memory but I can tell you about the wiener schnitzel which has been forever engrained in my memory. It was perfectly breaded – not too cakey or too thin – and tender. The outside was dry without any oily resident. The bite was crisp and bursting with flavor. It was heaven on a sunny spring afternoon, and it was accompanied with a tall weizen bier. I still think of that meal.
This very well may be my most challenging Beer Versus Wine post to date. It was inspired by the slew of posts on German Rieslings I have read lately. I have to admit that most of our trip to Bavaria was void of any wine. When I think of German and Austrian wines I think sweet, syrupy, and sugary – three traits that I loathe in wine. I know some drier varieties exist which is why I present this food pairing challenge. Beer is my go to with wiener schnitzel. On this occasion, I choose a wiesen bier. The citrus notes drew out the flavors of the meat and quenched my thirst on a sunny afternoon.
What about you? What type of wine or beer is your perfect pairing with wiener schnitzel?