Best Recipes to Pair with German Pinot Wines

A recipe for every variety

"Pinot" may not be one of the first words that comes to mind when you think of German wine, but Germany produces three Pinot grapes: Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. In fact, the country ranks third worldwide (after France and the United States) for vineyard area devoted to Pinot Noir—known here as Spätburgunder—third worldwide for vineyard area devoted to Pinot Gris—or Grauburgunder—and is the world's leading producer of Pinot Blanc—or Weissburgunder.

Each German Pinot is unique in color, tasting notes and grape age. Translation: They all pair with different foods. Below, a cheat sheet for just the right companion for any Pinot you pick.

The Ideal Food Wine

Light straw in color and delicate on the nose, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) was made for pairing. The variety can be medium or full bodied, with a light fruitiness and fresh acidity; it stands up nicely to a flavorful Shrimp Pad Thai or a punchy Smashed Cucumber Salad with chile oil.

Your New Favorite Summer Wine

Grauburgunder, or Pinot Gris, offers all of the things you want in a summer wine: It's light and dry with a lively acidity. Complement the crisp, yellow–toned wine with a bright Dukkah–Crusted Halibut with Warm Israeli Couscous, highlighted with the nutty Egyptian spice blend, or a super–crisp Apple, Radish and Fennel Salad with Hazelnuts and Mint.

The Wine for Making Bold Moves

Hearty dishes like Roast Pork Tenderloin with Fennel–Citrus Salad and Chile–Garlic Broiled Salmon with Ginger Yogurt Sauce call for an equally incredible wine. Enter Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), which is typically dry, slightly tannic, with a mild acidity and aromas of blackberry and cherry.