3. White wines – classic and refreshing
Austria’s classic white wines are beloved for their refreshing nature, fine acidity and conspicuous elegance, as well as their knack for conveying authoritative character in a middleweight structure. Their typically understated nature grants any delicate aromas rising from the platter the necessary space to unfold themselves.
Grüner Veltliners – ranging from Steinfeder and Federspiel in the Wachau to regionally typical wines such as Weinviertel DAC, Traisental DAC, Kremstal DAC and Kamptal DAC – are all enormously versatile table companions to fine cuisine. Delicately spicy Welschrieslings, fresh Rieslings, elegant Weissburgunders or Chardonnays (Morillon in the Steiermark) work wonders as nearly universal matches. Connoisseurs find particular appeal in the «Schmeckerten» – the aromatic varieties – among them Muskateller, Muskat-Ottonel, Müller-Thurgau and Traminer. Junger Österreicher or Junker from the Steiermark – these first heralds of the new vintage – are the first choice in autumn, soon after the harvest.
All of these wines display marvellous versatility at the table: delicious flavour alongside an amuse-bouche or a light appetizer – perhaps a summery salad with fresh herbs and fresh sheep or goat cheese, or with cold starters of ham, bacon, roast pork and hearty sausages; perfect alongside grilled chicken. Fish especially – whether poached, grilled or made into a light terrine – harmonises beautifully with Austria’s classic whites, as does fresh shellfish, or Asian dishes from the wok with crisp vegetables.