Drinking and Pairing Austrian Reds with FoodThe category Austrian Reds actually encompasses three different grape varieties (Blaufränkisch, St-Laurent, and Zweigelt) which can be produced in a multitude of styles. Blaufränkisch, a middle European varietal, is widely planted in Austria, especially in the Burgenland region south of Vienna. Its color is deep by Austrian standards and shows medium levels of tannins. With its high acidity and almost sweet red fruit character, Blaufränkisch is reminiscent of Pinot Noir but with a slightly wilder character. The variety is mainly found in Austria's Burgenland region where the climate is relatively warm for Austria. Another significant Austrian varietal is St-Laurent. St-Laurent is grown almost exclusively in Austria and is sometimes compared to Pinot Noir but with deeper color and with rounder, softer fruit. Zweigelt is yet a third red varietal commonly found in Austria. It is a hybrid of Blaufränkisch with St-Laurent developed by Dr. Zweigelt of the Klosterneuburg research station. Its character is said to be more like St-Laurent than Blaufränkisch.
All three of these varietals offer fresh and bright high-acid fruit, making them excellent food wines. Pair them with a traditional Hungarian goulash, roasted game birds, and bread dumplings.
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