Austrian Wine & Food Pairing 101
The Austrian wine world is a literal playground for us foodies here in Tucson. There are seemingly countless styles and varieties to select from, and with every Austrian state boasting a unique terroir expression, each variety takes on its own personality and flavor profile.
We love how food friendly these wines can be, and in this post will offer some suggestions to pair with our classic dishes here at Time Market, featuring our new rotation of Austrian wines by the glass.
What are Austrian wines like?
Austrian wines range from mineral-driven bone dry whites, to playful and fruity rosé wines, to structured, elegant reds. The country even produces traditional method sparkling wines and lusciously sweet dessert wines, most of which never make it out of the country. In total, there are 40 registered grape varieties in Austria (26 white and 14 red), a staggering number for such a relatively small wine producing country, amplifying the fact that Austria’s versatility in wine is paramount.
The signature of Austrian wine is its unrelenting acidity, acting as the perfect accompaniment to a meal. Thanks to the country’s cool climate growing regions, the wines demonstrate an electric energy, vigor, freshness, and vibrancy, with perfumed aromatics and length.
A basic takeaway regarding Austrian wine is to remember that no two regions are alike. Each grape variety expresses itself differently, depending on where and how it is produced.
Take for example Grüner Veltliner, comparing those from the Weinviertel to those of the Wachau: the former exhibiting a leaner texture, more pronounced fruity aromatics, and zippier acidity, while the latter demonstrating a rounder viscosity, intense mineral tones, and oftentimes, higher alcohol levels.
Now that you’ve got a firm grasp on Austrian wine from our previous posts, let’s talk about how our current wine list can complement your Time Market experience.
This post will re-introduce you to what we’re pouring by the glass, and will also offer some menu suggestion pairings that you can try next time you’re dining-in!
Austrian Wines by the Glass at Time Market
Huber 'Vision' Grüner Veltliner 2020
This mineral driven white wine exhibits a focused, bright acidity, balanced by peppery tones that are layered over notes of white peaches and golden apples. Since this wine leans towards a fresh, angular style, we suggest trying it alongside our classic Reuben sandwich. The Grüner’s peppery acidity will cut through the Boar's Head corned beef, house thousand island and Swiss cheese, while simultaneously playing off the acidity in our house made sauerkraut.
Another suggestion is to enjoy a glass alongside our Tonno Capero sandwich, which we serve with our housemade preserved lemon and marinated fennel on our fresh baked baguette. There is truly something magical about pairing lemons with Grüner Veltliner, letting the wine mimic that tangy, citrus pop on the palate.
Johanneshof Reinisch Rotgipfler 2019
Tattendorf, Thermenregion, Austria
Rotgipfler is one of those wines that may be hard to pronounce, but is incredibly easy to enjoy. A natural crossing of Traminer and Roter Veltliner, Rotgipfler is an Austrian variety that is a specialty of the Thermenregion.
With just over 100 hectares dedicated to this variety in the entire world, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to try it here in Arizona!
Aromatic, textured, and powerful, this wine should definitely be paired with a dish that matches the wine's weight and bright acidity. Our first suggestion would be our Chicken & Bok Choy Salad, as we feel the crispy fried chicken with five spice, ginger, and sesame seeds would complement the pronounced aromas of lychees, white peaches, and peppery spice.
If you're more in a pizza mood, we would suggest our specialty phig pizza, served with Prosciutto, organic Turkish figs, house ricotta, caramelized onion, arugula, Maldon sea salt, & olive oil.
Schlosskellerei Gobelsburg Rosé 2020
Zweigelt, Sankt Laurent, & Pinot Noir Rosé
In our last blog post, we spoke about Austrian red wines and their versatility in terms of food and wine pairings. Zweigelt is a true Austrian creation, a crossing of Blaufränkisch and Sankt Laurent, developed by plant breeder Dr. Fritz Zweigelt in 1922 at the Klosterneuburg Viticultural School.
This Zweigelt is brimming with red forest berries, hints of cocoa and cracked black pepper, with soft tannins and delicate acidity. Thanks to this wine's velvety mouthfeel, we would suggest pairing it up with our classic Margherita pizza, featuring our house made mozzarella cheese.
If you're packing a picnic, we would suggest pairing it with our house BLT, served with Diestel turkey breast, Niman ranch bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, served on our crusty house made levain bread.