Beef “Tafelspitz” enjoys cult status in Vienna as being the Emperor Franz Josef’s favourite food. Yet this boiled beef recipe, with its root vegetable and bouillon, is also a gem combination with wine.

As with other Viennese boiled beef dishes from specialised cuts, such as “Schulterscherzl” (shoulder blade), “Kruspelspitz” (part of chuck), “Kavalierspitz” (shoulder blade cap), “Beinfleisch” (shortribs) and so on, boiled beef recipes generally benefit from a sauce, gravy or side dish to enhance its flavour.

A picture shows a Tafelspitz
Tafelspitz, © AWMB / Wirz, Möbius

A rich, complex white wine with adequate structure is recommended to harmonise with the piquant spice of the apple and horseradish sauce. If you prefer red wines, then a fruity Zweigelt would be a rewarding combination, although it is recommended to select a red wine of medium body, that displays fruity characters and is served slightly chilled. Yet the perfect pairing would be a
sappy Pinot Blanc, or to complement the intensity of the horseradish in the root vegetable and boiled beef stock, a rich and mighty Grüner Veltliner from loess terroir is unbeatable.