Veal is one of the most versatile meats to pair wine with. Since it is quite lean, tender and delicate, not only reds but even white wines pair beautifully with it. This leaves with a wide range of options. However, the way the meat is cooked and what is being served with should be considered when picking out a wine. In most cases ,it is the sauce that is packed full of flavor and therefore must be considered in order to choose a wine that will elevate the dining experience.
Wine Characteristics To Pair With Veal
|Tannins||Low to Medium|
|Notes||Citrus, Ripe Fruit, Herbal, Earthy|
When pairing wine with veal or any meat, it is best to go with a wine that is dry and has no residual sugar. In some cases, off-dry wines may work with a dish that has a sauce which has a hint of sweetness, for example, from caramelized onions. However, most of the time, it is safer to go with a dry wine when pairing with a wine that is also not sweet.
Acidity provides structure to wine. Generally, higher the fat content in the dish, higher the acid levels required in the wine. That is a good rule of thumb. With veal being quite lean, the wine therefore does not need to be high in acid. However, acidity is your friend and always helps when it comes to wine pairing since it activates the salivary glands and makes you go back for more. So don’t be afraid of acidity, 99% of the time it will do more good than bad!
Tannin levels in the wine of choice can be low to medium since veal is not protein that needs to be broken down. It is quite delicate and lean as mentioned earlier and hence more tannic structure in the wine will not add anything to dining experience.
The body of the wine including the intensity and complexity should match that of the dish. You do not want one to overpower the other. With this dish, nothing too big and bold is required, rather a light to medium bodied wine would do just fine. The aromatics of the wine can be matched with the aromatics of the dish such as sauce for example. This would elevate the dining experience and offer completing flavors between the two.
Best Red Wine To Drink With Veal
Red wines being stronger in flavor and intensity would be ideal for a veal dish which has been seasoned heavily and full of flavors rather than a lighter preparation of it. Remember, we suggest matching the intensity of the wine with that of the dish. Below are some great red wines that would go with veal.
Merlot from USA or France
Merlot offers “medium” across the board in terms of acidity, tannin, aromatics, etc. It is a great wine that does especially well in California and Bordeaux, with the earthier less fruity style coming from the latter. Highly recommended!
Pinot Noir from New Zealand or France
New zealand pinot noir is becoming more and more famous and well known in the wine community all over the world. A light, acidic and fruity style coming from the Southern Island will go great with a veal dish. If you prefer your pinot noir more earthy and mineral, then pick out a Burgundy. Pommard and Volnay are great sub regions!
Cabernet Franc from France
Loire Valley Cabernet Franc from places like Chinon and Anjou are of very high quality and would go very well with veal. Cabernet Franc when crossed with Sauvignon Blanc gives Cabernet Sauvignon . Common tasting notes include red fruits such as strawberry and cherry as well as herbal nuances like thyme and sage.
Best White Wine To Drink With Veal
White wines would work well with veal preparations that are not too peppery or smokey but rather quite light and creamy. As mentioned earlier, it is important to factor in the type of sauce being served.
This versatile grape is grown in many parts of the world. A californian chardonnay would work quite well as long as it is not too oaky. Oak tends to throw off the balance of pairing. Australian chardonnays are quite fruity with notes of peach, citrus and tropical fruits like pineapple and mango. This would work well with an aromatic sauce.
Chenin Blanc from Loire Valley
The Loire Valley white wines are predominantly made from Chenin Blanc and are a great representation of the region. A bit of fruit and a bit of minerality with beautiful acidity make this a great wine not only for sipping but for wine pairing as well.
Grenache Blanc (the white version of Grenache Noir) is seen mainly in Southwest France and also in parts of Spain. It is round on the palate with a good weight and packs a punch in terms of aromatics. This will be a great wine to pair with dishes that are quite intensely flavored and can stand up to the heavier, more powerful sauces.
Wine With Different Veal Preparations
When it comes to different veal preparations, though there are a few commonalities that we would like to keep in mind as mentioned earlier, it is possible to elevate the dining experience by tailoring the wine to the specific flavors present in the dish.
Wine With Veal Wiener Schnitzel
This is a common Austrian dish which is essentially a pan fried veal cutlet. In this case, to counter the grease and oil on the palate, it would be ideal to go with a wine that is high acid and refreshing. A cool climate chardonnay with refreshing lemon lime aromas would go great with this fried dish! If you prefer red wine, go for a young Beaujolais.
Wine With Blanquette de Veau
A french classic of veal cooked in a creamy sauce with mushrooms. In this case, a wine with high acid and some earthy undertones would be perfect. A burgundian red wine made from Pinot Noir would be our first pick. A french viognier from Rhone Valley such as the famous Condrieu would be a good white wine option. Viognier tends to be heavy and round and will match up well with the creamy weight of the sauce.
Wine With Veal & Tomato Sauce
Roasted veal covered in an herbal tomato based sauce is a common preparation in many parts of the world. When pairing wine with a tomato based sauce, it is best to go with a high acid wine to match the acid levels in the sauce, else the wine will just taste flabby. Italian wines tend to work well with tomato based sauce. A Sangiovese from Tuscany with bright red fruit and herbal characters would pair beautifully.
Best Wine To Drink With Veal
Veal, as mentioned earlier, is a light meat which does not require a strong wine to pair with it. A light to medium bodied wine, both white and red would work just fine. A few of our suggestions and favorites are mentioned below.
- Cabernet Franc
- Pinot Noir
- Chenin Blanc