A single glass of wine is typically priced at the wholesale cost of the entire bottle.
That means that a bottle that costs $10 wholesale equates to a $10 glass of wine at your bar or restaurant. Your markup depends on how many glasses you pour from the bottle. Our job at Chilled is to suggest wines for your wine-by-the-glass bar program. Each online issue will highlight a handful of wines that meet our criteria of quality and affordability. The wines chosen will please the palate on their own or when served with food. This week, we’re discussing the best wines by the glass to offer at a German restaurant.
Germany is a large country that has many food personalities. But when you think of German food, sausage might be the first thing that comes to mind. There are more than 1,000 types, but some of the most popular and well-known sausages are bratwurst, weisswurst, blutwurst, and currywurst. They are generally made from pork or veal and served grilled or boiled. A light red wine or a full-bodied white pairs nicely with them.
Red wine (normally a Pinot Noir with high acidity) pairs well with vinegar-marinated veal sauerbraten. Rinderrouladen—which is rolled veal filled with bacon or ground meat, pickles, onions, and vegetables, and topped with cabbage or potatoes and a rich sauce—needs a medium-bodied red wine, like a Montepulciano or a Merlot, to stand up to the heavy meat mixture. Wiener schnitzel—or breaded pork cutlet—thrives on Riesling and light reds, especially Pinot Noir. If you’re a fish lover, herring and pickled whitefish pair well with sparkling wines, dry Rieslings, and Chablis. As far as desserts, black forest cake is the most popular German dessert out there. Sweet dessert wines, especially Port, work nicely.
If you have only one wine to push for a German meal in your restaurant or bar, we recommend a Riesling, because many consider it to be the most food-friendly of the white wines. Alternatives could be a Pinot Gris, which typically has low alcohol and a fair amount of acidity, or a slightly tannic Pinot Noir. If you’re looking for specifics, these six bottles are perfect for serving with German food.
2017 Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling
When stocking a Riesling for your wine program, this Dry Riesling is the perfect choice. Dominant minerality and lime-driven acidity are the one-two punch for many German food choices. This wine stands up on its own and drinks above its cost.
Suggested glass price: $11
2017 Stony Hill White Riesling
Intense yet delicate, this Riesling has only one percent residual sugar. Its high acidity can handle meat dishes, while its sweet, floral notes can counterbalance and complement traditional German fare.
Suggested glass price: $14
2017 Dr. Konstantin Frank Pinot Gris
Silky, dry, and light- to medium-bodied, this Pinot Gris is made for German food. Its flavor is bright and fresh, with notes of lemon, green apple, grapefruit, and peach. Wiener schnitzel works best with this Pinot Gris.
Suggested glass price: $9
2017 Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia
Dry and medium-bodied, this white wine reveals citrus flavors and a stone-like minerality that lead to a crisp and lengthy finish. This refreshing vino loves fish dishes, spaetzle with cheese, and summer fruit.
Suggested glass price: $9
2017 Naveran Brut Cava
The purity, youth, and bright flavors of this estate-bottled Spanish cava perfectly pair with German fish dishes like herring and carp. Its crispness and elegance invites seafood to be its partner. Naveran Brut displays persistence with its long finish.
Suggested glass price: $8
2016 The Federalist Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel
Surprisingly, this Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel has soft characteristics and a medium body that picks up the nuances in German meat dishes like sauerbraten. The bourbon barrel adds notes of caramel and vanilla, and its flavor perfectly matches with German-style food.
Suggested glass price: $13