ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

What red wine best goes with sauerbraten? The men are the beer drinkers and the ladies are the wine drinkers. What is your suggestion?

—Diana K., Boiceville, N.Y.

Dear Diana,

Mmm, sauerbraten. I checked with our staff's senior sauerbraten correspondent, Harvey Steiman, who said, "Sauerbraten is a tough dish for red wine because it's both sweet and sour. It has lots of vinegar in it, and it gets the sweetness from crumbled ginger snaps. This is not going to flatter the tannins in a red wine. Something simple and fruity might remain pleasant with the dish's flavors, so I would favor a white wine with the same level of apparent sweetness as the sauerbraten. That would probably mean a Spätlese from Germany or an off-dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc from California. But the traditional drink with sauerbraten is a nice lager."

That's right, a beer.

—Dr. Vinny


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