Bratwurst: German Riesling

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In Milwaukee, beer and brats are king and according to my colleague who attended Marquette, everyone has a different style when it comes to smoking brats. Whether its boiling them in a bottle of Schneider- Weisse, smoking them on the grill or a little of both, there’s no doubt that brats are a staple of the cookout scene. As the weather starts to warm up and the smell of charcoal and smoked meats fill the air, large crowds will follow the scent and occasionally not everyone will want what’s on tap at your makeshift biergarten. But don’t sweat it, there is a wine alternative that will work well. Really well in fact.

Those skeptical of sweet wines as fine wines will inevitably find that pairing Riesling with brats may very well just change that perception. As off-putting as the pairing sounds, its effects on the senses are quite on the contrary.  The acidity of German Rieslings cuts right through the fatty proteins of the brat and the residual sugar is quite the complimentary counterpoint to the sauerkraut and gourmet mustards commonly served alongside the main dish. And if you still find yourself a little skeptical, just stop and think about where German Riesling comes from. And Brats? There’s an old saying, “If it grows together, it goes together.” And while beer is the popular beverage of choice for brats, German Riesling isn’t too far behind.

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