Sausage is one of those foods that has so many variations. It may be stuffed with beef, pork, turkey, venison, or heck it may even be a vegan sausage. Plus you have the spicy Italian versions, your ‘everything but the squeal’ hotdogs, and Bratwurst sausages you cover with mustard and sauerkraut. Plus, Sausages can be eaten on a bun, tossed in a pasta dish, cooked up with peppers and sausage, or crumbled on pizza, leading to even more variety.
Thus, in this blog, we’ll try to cover the basics to make sure you’ve got a good pairing no matter what type of sausage you are dining on. However, be aware that our pairing database, has even more recommendations and combos.
In general, crisp and dry white wines like Riesling, Grüner Veltliner and Chablis work fantastic with sausages loaded with condiments as the acidity of the wines cuts through the rich protein and fat flavours of the sausage. For red wines, acidic Reds, like Pinot Noir, Dolcetto and Gamay Noir work best with Sausage loaded with condiments as they complement the acidity of ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut or pickles.
White Wine and Sausage
For Sausage in general Grüner Veltliner, Chablis, or a dry Riesling are all great pairings. Even if the sausages are loaded with condiments such as mustard, onions or sauerkraut. These three white wines are crisp with citrus and mineral flavours, backed by a strong acidic backbone. This elevates the meaty flavours in your bun without fighting with any vinegar used in the mustard, or the acidic sauerkraut.
Red Wine and Sausage
Always go for an acidic Red, such as Pinot Noir, Dolcetto, or Gamay Noir. Anything that is tannic will fight with sausage condiments, such as the vinegar in Mustard, the acidity in ketchup, or the zing of Sauerkraut. If you are putting ketchup on your sausage, a Zinfandel will work well as it plays great with the sweetness of ketchup.
If your sausage is on pizza, pick a Chianti, which has plenty of acidity to pair with tomato sauce. Dolcetto and Barbera will work well with pizza and the sausage. Primitivo is another exceptional choice as Primitivo is acidic enough to handle the tomato sauce on your pizza pie, as well as the spiciness of the sausage you might put on. Wines that are high in tannin and alcohol do not go well with spicy foods as they make the spice taste even hotter.
Bratwurst and Wine
Bratwurst sausages are usually cooked in beer, and smothered with spicy mustard and Sauerkraut. Again, Grüner Veltliner, and a dry, or off dry Riesling will go great as the acidity will stand up to the condiments. An Austrian Grüner Veltliner may have a white pepper smokey nose to it, which just adds a new layer to this pairing. Another great suggestion is a dry Lambrusco which is lightly fruity and contrasts the sauerkraut without overpowering it.
Hot Dogs & Wine Pairing
Hot dogs are quick, easy and fun, and the wine you drink should be inexpensive and fun as well. That’s why we’d suggest a Rosé which is refreshing, but dry. You don’t want anything overly sweet with hot dogs as neither food will shine. If your hot dogs are slathered with Ketchup, then it’s safe to get silly with sweeter wines, making Zinfandel and Gewürztraminer excellent choices.
Grüner Veltliner, Off-Dry or Dry Riesling, Pinot Grigio, and Beaujolais (slightly chilled) also make excellent companions. If you’re celebrating with a backyard BBQ, a sparkling wine, or a Prosecco makes for a fun and great pairing.
Spicy Italian Sausages & Wine Matches
Lighter bodied and acidic reds make great choices, so Docetto, Barbera, and Chianti make lovely companions. After all, it only makes sense to combine an Italian Sausage with Italian wine. Peppery reds are also great, such as a Californian Syrah.
Sausage and Beer
With so many types of Sausage, the types of condiments, and the number of ways to prepare it, well it’s awful difficult to make an all-encompassing recommendation as your choices in beer are also crazy with the rise of the craft beer industry. But heck, we’ll try our best for some suggestions, and to be honest, you can’t really go wrong.
We feel that an English Porter is excellent with grilled Sausage, as the chocolaty flavours of this beer just go well with charred flavours. The fruity flavour of an English Porter will also complement any sausage made from venison, as well as mask any gamey flavours.
For spicy sausages, pick a beer that is refreshing and low in alcohol, such as American Wheat Beer or a Pilsner. Pilsner is also an excellent choice with hotdogs, which is why you’ll commonly see this pairing at baseball games.
For Oktoberfest Sausages – well, we’d recommend Märzen or Märzenbier, which is a lager that originated in Bavar.