Sauerkraut is a traditional dish from Alsace, a region located in eastern France. It is made with fermented white cabbage and different types of meat, such as pork, beef and pork. It is of course often accompanied by wine, red or white, but the choice is always a headache. We will see how to choose a good wine to accompany this dish.
History of sauerkraut
The history of sauerkraut dates back to Roman times, when the Roman legions discovered the preservative virtues of fermentation to preserve food. Sauerkraut became popular in the Alsace region in the Middle Ages, where it was produced from cabbage grown in home gardens and served as a main course.
Over the centuries, sauerkraut has been eaten by peasants, artisans and traders, who valued it for its long shelf life and economical food. It was also adopted by Alsace soldiers during the wars, because it was easy to transport and store.
Ingredients of sauerkraut
Traditional sauerkraut is made from white cabbage, salt, pepper and water. The cabbage is washed, cut into thin strips and mixed with salt to promote fermentation. It is then pressed to remove excess water and potted to ferment for several weeks. Fermentation develops lactic acid bacteria that give sauerkraut its characteristic flavor.
Sauerkraut is usually served with meats such as sausage, ham, and bacon, and accompanied by potatoes, mustard, and white wine.
What white wine to serve with sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is often eaten in the winter and is considered a comforting and nourishing dish. It is therefore important to choose a white wine that perfectly accompanies these flavors and aromas.
It is generally recommended to serve a dry, full-bodied white wine with sauerkraut, which has enough body to counterbalance the sour flavor of the sauerkraut. Here is a list of five white wines that go particularly well with sauerkraut:
- Riesling d'Alsace: This dry white wine is full-bodied and aromatic, with aromas of stone fruit, apple and lemon. It is also slightly mineral and spicy, which gives it a nice length in the mouth.
- Gewurztraminer from Alsace: This white wine is also full-bodied and aromatic, with aromas of exotic fruits, rose and cinnamon. It has a nice acidity that counterbalances the sauerkraut.
- Pinot gris d'Alsace: Another full-bodied white wine, with aromas of stone fruit, pear and apple. It has a nice acidity and a touch of minerality that accompanies the sauerkraut.
- Sylvaner d'Alsace: This white wine is dry, fresh and aromatic. Its acidity goes wonderfully with sauerkraut.
- Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley: A dry, fresh and aromatic white wine, with aromas of passion fruit, grapefruit and gooseberry.
- Jacquère de Savoie: This typical grape variety is used to make dry white wines from Savoy. It will bring freshness to this comforting and rich dish.
- Roussette de Savoie: From the Altesse grape variety, the scent of Roussette de Savoie will sublimate the sauerkraut thanks to its aromatic and fruity character. Ideal with the vegetal profile of cabbage.
It is very important to note that these wines are produced mainly in Alsace, but there are also other white wines that would go well with sauerkraut, such as an Austrian Grüner Veltliner, a German Riesling, a Chenin Blanc from Loire or even an Aligoté from Burgundy or a Muscadet from the Loire. It is therefore important to taste and trust your personal tastes to choose the wine that will best accompany your sauerkraut.
What red wine to serve with sauerkraut?
It is generally not recommended to serve red wine with sauerkraut, as red wines are generally more full-bodied and tannic, which can mask the delicate flavors of sauerkraut. However, there are light, fruity red wines that can go well with sauerkraut. Here is a list of five red wines that go particularly well with sauerkraut:
- Pinot Noir d'Alsace: This light and fruity red wine is balanced, with aromas of cherry, strawberry and blackcurrant. A beautiful marriage with sauerkraut!
- Gamay du Beaujolais: Again a light and fruity red wine, with aromas of cherry, strawberry and blackcurrant.
- Austrian Zweigelt: This red wine is still light and fruity, with aromas of red fruits, ideal to accompany this dish.
- German Spätburgunder: Just like the Austrian Zweigelt, this light wine with aromas of red fruit will be perfect!
- Côtes du Rhône: A classic on our tables, but at the same time it is well worth it!
- Gamay de Savoie: This light red wine will be perfect for bringing freshness to your sauerkraut!
- Trousseau: This light, fruity and spicy red Jura grape variety is a perfect ally to this emblematic dish of Alsace
What wine to serve with sea sauerkraut?
What is sea sauerkraut?
Sea sauerkraut is a dish similar to traditional sauerkraut, but made with fish and seafood instead of meat. It usually consists of white fish, seafood such as mussels, scallops, crabs, and prawns, and fermented white cabbage.
Sea sauerkraut is a newer version of traditional sauerkraut, which was developed to satisfy the tastes of consumers who prefer fish-based dishes. It is prepared in the same way as traditional sauerkraut, using fresh ingredients and letting the cabbage ferment.
Sauerkraut from the sea is usually served with sauces made from cream, white wine and herbs, as well as potatoes or rice. It is often eaten in summer, as a light and refreshing dish.
It is important to note that sea sauerkraut is considered a more modern dish and is not as widespread as traditional sauerkraut. It is therefore more difficult to find it in traditional restaurants.
It's generally recommended to serve a dry, chilled white wine with sea sauerkraut, which has enough body to counterbalance the sauerkraut and seafood flavors. Here is a list of five white wines that go particularly well with sea sauerkraut:
- Muscadet: This dry white wine is produced in the Loire region, it is fresh and aromatic, with aromas of stone fruit and lemon. It is also slightly mineral and spicy, which gives it a nice length in the mouth. It will go perfectly with white fish and seafood.
- Sancerre: Another fresh wine from the Loire! Its beautiful length goes perfectly with white fish and seafood.
- Vermentino: This dry white wine is produced in Italy, not very common here, it is still a must for tasting seafood!
- Albariño: In Spain, we find this dry white wine! Just like the Vermentino, it is a safe bet to put on the table.
- Sauvignon Blanc: An internationally recognized wine to complete this top. Sauvignon Blanc is a dry wine, with a good length in the mouth.
- Chenin Blanc: Choose a dry Chenin blanc wine from Anjou. Slightly fruity and oily enough to blend with the sauerkraut.
- Jacquère de Savoie: This typical Savoy grape variety will bring tension and minerality. A perfect dry white wine from Savoy!
- Chignin-Bergeron: Roussanne or more commonly known as Bergeron in Savoy produces dry white wines from Savoy, very fruity and bold. To bring a little greediness to your sauerkraut!
It is important to note that these wines are all dry and fresh, they also have a nice acidity that accompanies the flavors of sea sauerkraut and seafood.