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    An Intro to Austrian Wines: 5 to Try

    From fruity-fresh white wines to rich reds to distinct sparkling wine: Austria’s wine landscape offers a wide variety. But where to begin?

    5 to Try

    Grüner Veltliner

    What it is

    Probably Austria's most significant white wine is Grüner Veltliner, a wine that grows in many Austrian wine regions and is a go-to choice in restaurants. Mostly known to be dry, peppery and high in acidity, there are also the highly ripe “Prädikat” variations.

    Grüner Veltliner in its many regional varieties is a versatile companion to fine cuisine.

    Pairs well with

    • Summery salads with fresh herbs and fresh sheep or goat cheese
    • Cold starters of ham, bacon, roast pork and hearty sausages
    • Grilled chicken
    • Fish (poached, grilled or made into a light terrine)
    • Fresh shellfish
    • Asian wok dishes with crisp vegetables

     

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    Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Domäne Wachau

    Zweigelt

    What it is

    It’s been around since the 1920s, but only became popular after World War II: Created by Professor Fritz Zweigelt, the Zweigelt is now the most wide-spread red wine in Austria and can be found in almost all wine-producing regions.

    Zweigelt is violet-reddish in colour and has soft tannins. Mature, full-bodied and long-living wines deliver tones of Morello cherry.

    Pairs well with

    • Italian pasta dishes and spicy casseroles
    • Fish
    • Shellfish
    • Poultry

     

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    Type of grape Zweigelt

    Riesling

    What it is

    Sometimes called the “king of white wines”, Riesling is thought to derive from a wild vine in the Rhine Valley. In Austria, this varietal ripens along the Danube.

    Young Riesling wines are fruity and flavourful, but can develop into very complex wines through aging. Notes can include peach, apricot and exotic fruits; slowly ripened Riesling will exhibit a rose-like scent.

    Pairs well with

    • Summery salads with fresh herbs and fresh sheep or goat cheese
    • Cold starters of ham, bacon, roast pork and hearty sausages
    • Grilled chicken
    • Fish (poached, grilled or made into a light terrine)
    • Fresh shellfish
    • Asian wok dishes with crisp vegetables

     

    Learn more
    White wine and bread

    Blaufränkisch

    What it is

    Widely planted during the Habsburg Monarchy’s reign, the Blaufränkisch is a thoroughly central European red wine.

    In Austria, Blaufränkisch is predominantly grown in the Burgenland region and displays remarkable independence and individuality. It is rich in tannin and may exhibit a pronounced spicy character.

    Pairs well with

    • Italian pasta dishes and spicy casseroles
    • Fish
    • Shellfish
    • Chicken
    • Wine, tomato or vinegar-based sauces

     

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    Wine tasting

    Sekt (Austrian Sparkling Wine)

    What it is

    With a tradition going back to the mid-19th century, Austria’s sparkling wine (called Sekt) is a classic aperitif and accompaniment to a great many dishes, from hors d’oeuvres to desserts.

    Perhaps most commonly used to toast at special occasions, Sekt is an absolute must on New Year’s Eve in Austria, and is often served as a welcome drink at dinners or parties.

    Pairs well with

    • New Year’s Eve
    • Appetisers
    • Fish
    • White meats
    • Finger foods
    • Summer vegetables
    • Desserts

     

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    Champagne breakfast

    Austrian Wine Growing Regions