Cabbage is such a diverse vegetable. It can be used to make cabbage rolls, salads (such as Coleslaw, or added to a salad for an additional crunch), as a side dish to corned beef, turned into sauerkraut, or mixed in with a stir fry.
Raw Cabbage and Wine Pairing
Eaten as a salad (such as coleslaw), the cabbage will be raw, and at its strongest in terms of flavour. A Sauvignon Blanc will pair up whether the Salad has a cream or vinaigrette base. Sauvignon Blancs are crisp, yet have a high acidity, letting them cut through the Cabbage’s flavour, or creamy dressing. The acidity in a Sauvignon Blanc will also match a vinaigrette dressing. Albariño is another favourite with cabbage, found in a salad, or perhaps a Thai Spring Roll.
A Gewurztraminer is another excellent choice for raw cabbage. Raw Cabbage seems to have a certain spiciness about it, which is complimented by the spiciness you often find in a well made Gewurztraminer.
Cabbage Rolls & Wine
With Cabbage rolls, our favourite pairings would be a Malbec or Zinfandel. Zinfandel is extremely food friendly and play well with the different components of the Cabbage Rolls, such as meat (whether it be beef or pork), the Cabbage, or any sort of tomato sauce on the Cabbage roll.
Malbec work in a similar fashion. They are a little spicier on the tongue, which is perfect for the meat component. They are also bright and mid-bodied wines, so they don’t overshadow the cabbage.
Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Wine Pairing
For this dish, a Beaujolais is our recommendation. Beaujolais are light, but high in acidity. The acidity allows the wine to cut through the fattiness of the corned beef, and the lightness of the wine does not overwhelm the cabbage, and is refreshing against the saltiness of the corned beef.
Corned Beef & Beer Pairing
The obvious pairing for this traditional Irish dish would be an Irish Stout such as Guinness or Murphy’s. And this is a great place to start! Irish stouts offer a great counterpoint to the saltiness of the corned beef. Another fantastic pairing is a Scottish Ale which offers a less bitter bite and highlights the subtle sweetness in the dish. The rich, caramel malt adds a sugary touch to the cabbage and the sweetness of the beer contrasts the corn beef’s saltiness. Finally, our favourite pairing would have to be an Irish Red Ale, which has both the sweetness of the Scottish Ale, and the contrasting bitterness of the Irish Stout.
Sauerkraut and German Wine Pairing
A Cabernet Franc is a surprisingly great match. Cabernet Franc on its own tends to have a sourness about it, that makes your mouth pop. While Sauerkraut can be overly tangy, sometimes taking away from the dish that it is accompanying. When paired together, the tangyness of each cancels one another out, allowing you to enjoy the black cherry flavours of the wine.
German Gewurztraminer and Riesling are also other excellent choices. Again, the tangy notes of these wines are cancelled out when matched with Sauerkraut, bringing out the flavours of the dish. A Riesling will also be a welcomed relief to the taste-buds if the Sauerkraut is on a spicy hot sausage.