Classic German and Austrian white wines like Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and Gewürztraminer are our top picks for Pork Schnitzel, but Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc are at home with this breaded pork cutlet. As for red wine, a fruity Pinot Noir (or Blauburgunder as it’s known in Austria) or a Beaujolais are delicious with Schnitzel.
Grüner Veltliner & Pork Schnitzel Pairing
Grüner Veltliner is an acidic and dry white wine that is mostly grown in Austria. Upon first sip you’ll find citrus flavours of lime, lemon and grapefruit. However, you’ll also find green and herbaceous notes that will make you think of white pepper. Pale green in colour, Grüner Veltliner is a light and zesty wine when young.
Grüner Veltliner is an excellent pairing with Pork Schnitzel as the acidity of the wine cuts through tastebud clogging breading of the pork. Pork Schnitzel is a pork cutlet that has been dusted with flour, dredged in egg, and then coated with breadcrumbs where it’s then fried in oil or butter. Breadcrumbs can soak up the oil, and this coats your tastebuds with an oily film that makes it hard for additional flavours to penetrate. With Grüner Veltliner’s acidity, this oily film is whisked away, and there is nothing but delicious pork flavours on the menu ahead.
Riesling & Pork Schnitzel Pairing
Riesling is another crisp and acidic white wine with bright citrus notes of lemon and lime. Similar to Grüner Veltliner, Riesling works due to its palate-cleansing acidity. With Riesling, you’ll find a range of bone dry to sticky sweet wines. Pork Schnitzel calls for a dry to off-dry Riesling. Dry means there is no residual sugar in the wine, while off-dry means there is a kiss of sugar that makes the wine taste sweet. Both wines will work with Pork Schnitzel, however, I myself prefer an off-dry Riesling as it complements the touch of sweetness that pork itself has.
Gewürztraminer & Pork Schnitzel Pairing
An off-dry Gewürztraminer is an aromatic white wine that smells like lychee fruit and has notes of grapefruit, pineapple and peach. Gewürztraminer isn’t as acidic as Riesling, but you’ll still find enough crispness to keep your palate clean. Gewürztraminer also tends to have a bit of residual sugar, so it will taste a touch sweet, which complements the sweeter notes of pork.
Pork Schnitzel is delicious, but it is also neutral, or middle of the road in flavour. The vibrant lychee, grapefruit and pineapple notes of Gewürztraminer add a little more zesty flavour to this classic Austrian dish.
Chardonnay & Pork Schnitzel Pairing
A full-bodied Chardonnay has a buttery texture and a toasty flavour which jives well with the breaded exterior of Schnitzel. Meanwhile, the tropical fruit flavours of Chardonnay keep your palate cleansed of any grease that the Schnitzel breading may have soaked up along with keeping your mouth refreshed in between bites.
Pinot Noir & Pork Schnitzel Pairing
Pinot Noir is a light and fruity red wine that won’t overpower the delicious flavours of Pork Schnitzel. Pork Schnitzel, while flavourful, isn’t bold in its flavours. Thus a heavy red wine, like a Shiraz or a Cabernet Sauvignon would crush those delicious pork flavours. Pinot Noir, on the other hand, is quite acidic, so it offers plenty of refreshment against the pan fried breading of the Schnitzel with its jazzy strawberry and cherry flavours.
Pinot Noir also has plenty of earthy notes, that some say smell like a barnyard, or a forest floor on a mid-autumn hike. These earthy flavours complement the deeper flavours of pork and help draw them out into the forefront.