Wine Information & Reviews | Vino Critic

Pairing Wine With Bratwurst

with No Comments

Bratwurst is a pork based sausage with German origins. Typically, this sausage is either fried or grilled and is commonly served with sautéed onions or sauerkraut.

Traditional spices include marjoram, ginger, nutmeg, mace, and pepper. It is this flavor profile, along with the common accompaniments that we will be addressing in this article.  

Pairing Wine With Bratwurst

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Bratwurst

Characteristic Detail
Sweetness Dry to Off-Dry
Acidity Medium + to High
Tannins Medium – to Medium
Body Red – Lighter \ White – Bolder
Notes Herbal, Spices, and Minerality

With onions and sauerkraut being common additions to the bratwurst, we want to seek a wine with the acidity to match those components. That means we are looking for something in the medium + to high acid range. By default, this will lead us towards a dry to off-dry selection.  

Since the main flavor of the sausage is obtained from the spices, we don’t want to exacerbate the spiciness to an unpleasant level by pairing with a high tannin wine. Lower tannin levels translate into a lighter-bodied red varietal. Where, conversely, if we look at whites, we will want a fuller body that can handle the spices in the bratwurst. 

This will be a rustic dish, and when served with onions or sauerkraut, choosing a wine that matches the spice profile with additional herbal and mineral notes would truly elevate the dining experience.     

Best Red Wine To Pair With Bratwurst

Châteauneuf-du-Pape (decanted). Hailing from the Rhône Valley, CDP is known for its full body, garrigue, and medium+ tannins. The rich, dark fruit flavors of plum and raspberry can add a dramatic component to this dish. Due to the fuller body and higher-end tannins, you will want to decant this selection prior to serving.

Gamay. This Beaujolais varietal has a fruit forwardness that would pair well with this table fare. With plum, cherry, raspberry, and pomegranate fruit flavors, this offering would round out the rustic spices in the dish. Complemented by light body, low tannins, and medium + acidity, Beaujolais would be a solid choice.  

Pinot Noir (Burgundy). Burgundian Pinot Noir is known for its fruit forwardness and higher acidity. These lighter-body reds with lower tannins are rounded out with the herbal and mineral notes that truly illustrate their terroir. The earthy feel of these selections would be a great partner to the Bratwurst.

St. Laurent. This medium body red from Central Europe boasts of a medium + acid level and low tannins. With characteristics of dark cherry and raspberry, it goes well with richer flavored meals. This choice works well with the bratwurst due to the hints of smoke and pepperiness on the finish this wine is known for.  

Best White Wine To Pair With Bratwurst

Grüner Veltliner. This dry white from Central Europe has the acidity to match the onions or sauerkraut and stand toe-to-toe with the fat in the bratwurst. The stone fruit and herbaceousness along with the smoke and pepper on the finish make this a solid match for the sausage.

Riesling. The high acid of a dry Riesling, along with citrus or sweet fruit flavors counter the spicy components of the dish. Riesling is also known to have solid expressions of minerality and that would be a very complementary addition to the flavor profile of the bratwurst, with enough body to handle the sauerkraut or onions.

Gewürztraminer. An off-dry offering with medium body and lower acid, this wine works because it is highly aromatic and slightly oily in texture. This provides and unexpected pairing that would get along nicely with the bratwurst. Gewürztraminer is known for it’s spices, which would balance with the additions to the dish.

Chablis. Chablis is a sub-region in Northern Burgundy that produces 100% Chardonnay grapes. They are known to be unoaked and express notes of citrus and white flowers. Their most distinctive quality is the high acidity and strong minerality. These components do well in elevating the umami flavor of the bratwurst while the acid level will cleanse the palate between bites.

Best Wines To Pair With Bratwurst

  • St. Laurent
  • Grüner Veltliner
  • Decanted Châteauneuf-du-Pape
  • Riesling
  • Pinot Noir (Burgundy)

Pairing Wine With Sausage

Pairing Wine With Pork

Pairing Wine With German Food

Pairing Wine With Schnitzel

Leave a Reply