Pierogi are a type of stuffed dumpling, originating from Central and Eastern Europe. They are usually doughy and can be stuffed with a wide variety of fillings. They can also be sweet and filled with berries. The most common toppings for pierogi are sour cream or fried onions, and in the case of sweet pierogi, regular cream. With the only constant thing being the dough, it can be difficult to decide which wine to pair with your pierogi. However, based on your filling, it can be narrowed down.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Pierogi
|Sweetness||Dry to Off-dry|
|Body||Light to Bold|
|Tasting Notes||Rich tangy fruits, buttery and savory notes|
Pierogi are doughy and often soaked in butter, and served with sour cream. So, before you even get to your filling, there are lots of fats and heavy carbohydrates to cut through. For this, you need an acidic wine. White wines with buttery notes are also ideal, to complement the dough. However, you also need a degree of fruity tanginess, to combat the thick sour cream topping. There really are no limits to what you can pair with pierogi, these are just some clues to narrow things down.
Best Red Wine To Drink With Pierogi
Red wine will match well with your earthier meat-filled and mushroom-filled pierogi, as well as ones stuffed with red berries. It can also be enjoyed with potato and cheese stuffed dumplings. The choice is yours, but these are some good options.
As with all things mushroomy, Pinot Noir is the optimal choice for mushroom-stuffed pierogi. It has enough acid and fruity flavors to cut through heaps of sour cream and butter but retains a nice grounded element that will complement the mushrooms beautifully. You can also enjoy Pinot Noir alongside potato, cheese and pork-stuffed pierogi, it has enough depth of flavor for a wide variety.
Supposedly, Zinfandel came from the Balkans originally, so you can make this a regional pairing if you want. With its peppery and smoky undertones, it will be perfect alongside some meaty pierogi, or ones stuffed with tangy cheeses. While Zinfandel is distinctive for its relatively low acidity, its jammy fruit flavors are the ideal match-up for dessert pierogi. They are often stuffed with similar jammy fruits, such as strawberries and various red berries.
New World Malbec is one of the ultimate pairings for rich meats. Argentinian Malbec’s high acidity and punchy fruit flavors are a great choice for chopping through buttery pierogi and complementing the rich meat inside. It is spicy and fruity enough to be paired with classic potato pierogi, and as with most of the wines in this article, cheese dumplings too.
Best White Wine To Drink With Pierogi
For white wine pairings, we’re looking for something with a buttery, velvety texture, but with enough acid to punch through the soft and slightly sweet pierogi dough. Beyond that, the choice is yours.
Oaked Chardonnay is famous for having buttery notes, gained from aging in barrels. Hints of toast and almonds will also serve this wine well, mingling beautifully with the comforting starchy flavors of a classic pierogi. Chardonnay is wonderfully round in the mouth, much like the dish, but is also acidic enough to rise above the heavy starchy and fatty components. Its flavors of lime and apple will be an excellent contrast to the chosen topping, whether it’s bittersweet onions or a tart sour cream.
Boasting refreshing acidity and hints of sweetness at the same time, Riesling is an extremely diverse and delicious pairing for a whole variety of pierogi. It has enough acidity and body to stand up to meat-stuffed pierogi but can also add something extra to a classic potato or cheese dumpling. Its strong acidity also has a cleansing effect on the palate, refreshing your tastebuds between each bite.
Viognier is another option that has a wonderfully round and buttery taste. It has a refreshing fruity profile, which is going to enhance the starchy dough of the pierogi considerably. The only place it falls down is in acidity, so it can be overpowered by some of the tarter flavors in pierogi, such as sauerkraut, sour cream, or red berries. Aside from that, it’s a wonderful wine to enjoy with earthier pierogi, such as those stuffed with potato and mushrooms.
Pairing Wine With Pierogi Prepared Different Ways
pierogi can be stuffed in so many ways. The classic iteration is filled with potato and dipped in sour cream, but they can really be enjoyed in any way that you can imagine. In this section, we’ll cover the main types of pierogi and the best wines for each type.
Pierogi With Potato
This is the stereotypical pierogi, warm, filling and hearty, with a coating of melted butter. Crisp whites and punchy, fruity reds are the way to go. An off-dry Riesling is a great choice, with enough acid to cut through all of the butter and carbs. Chardonnay is also a safe option, with its incisive acidity and complementary flavors of butter and oak. You can also try a fruity red without too much body or tannins, like a Pinot Noir or a Cabernet Franc.
Pierogi With Cheese
The addition of cheese to the pierogi brings even more fat to the plate, so although there’s a huge variety of wines that pair with cheese, ones with low acidity, like Zinfandel, should be lower down on the list. There may also be the addition of spinach to think about, so maybe go for a sharp Riesling, Chardonnay, or Sauvignon Blanc. On the red side, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Cabernet Franc are solid, sippable options.
Pierogi With Pickled Cabbage
The addition of sauerkraut to pierogi brings an extra dimension of sour tanginess, which will be doubled if you’re eating them with sour cream. You need to match this with even more tart, fruity flavors, otherwise the wine will start to taste dull. Riesling would be great, for a match made in Germany. Additionally, you can use a Sauvignon Blanc to pair the vegetable flavors or even a tart Alsatian Pinot Gris.
Pierogi With Meat
After potatoes, meat is probably the most popular filling for pierogi. Argentinian Malbec is great for anything meat-related, and it has good acid for dealing with all that dough and butter. Zinfandel will also be excellent for matching bold flavors. With pierogi though, it is not like you’re slicing your way through a dense steak. Generally speaking, you’ll be dealing with bite-sized pieces of meat, along with lots of dough, so you don’t have to stick to red wine. Riesling is also a worthy pairing.
Pierogi With Mushrooms
Mushrooms can go inside pierogi, or on top in the form of mushroom gravy. Look for an acidic wine with some complementary earthy notes, such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc. Viognier is also a great white option, with a beautiful round and mouth-filling texture to match the rubbery mushrooms.
Pierogi With Fruits
You can also eat pierogi as a dessert. Usually, they will be quite tart and stuffed with red and dark berries or fruits, matching the profile of a fruit-forward red wine perfectly. Zinfandel would be a delicious pairing, bold enough to cut through sweet cream and full of jammy fruit flavors. However, since they are a dessert, you might want something lighter. Lambrusco and Champagne are both delicious options that you can enjoy with dessert pierogi, or a sweet non-sparkling red, like sherry.
Best Wine To Drink With Pierogi
In summary, it all depends on what filling your pierogi has. The only thing that all of the possible variations have in common is a thick dough, with buttery flavors. For that, you’ll need a relatively high-acid wine, but beyond that the choice is yours. These are your best and most versatile options for pairing:
- Pinot Noir
- Sparkling Wine