top of page
Kopie von TV Vorlage für Miele Küche 2.png

The blog

Food Companion wanted! Wine & Spinach Dumplings

What kind of Wine goes well with Spinach Dumplings?



What kind of wine goes with spinach dumplings? In this article, I will focus on my approach and personal sommelier thought process for this wine and food pairing. A wine to go with different courses would be chosen according to other aspects.

I have loved spinach dumplings since my childhood.

Unfortunately, in almost 12 years of working in Austrian gastronomy, they have rarely appeared on menus.

In my home region of South Tyrol, this dish lives from the Italian influence that gives it the final touch: Parmigiano Reggiano, doused with hot browned butter.


I like to refine spinach dumplings with cheese cubes, as I usually have plenty of it at home. This results in one of my most-cooked recipes at home and in cooking school: fluffy spinach & cheese dumplings with parmesan and browned butter.

With a dish like this, it depends on what flavours you want to (additionally) tease out of the dish. Also in which direction you want to steer the whole flavour experience with the wine accompaniment. In this article, I will do my best to show you all the possible variations in a logical way.

In this article, I mainly discuss my approach and personal sommelier thought process for this wine and food pairing. A wine to go with different courses would be chosen according to other aspects.

So let's get started!



The detailed Product Selection for the Wine Recommendation


For those looking for a quick and easy sommelier wine recommendation, here are the exact wines from my recommendation. With a click [here] you can jump to the place further down in the post where I explain the respective wine recommendations and the final aroma play.


None of the placements are paid for or in cooperation with a producer.


The Tasting Atelier as an independent, self-financed wine and culinary school and I as its owner, have the privilege to work exclusively with those wines and foods that I consider to be either the best, the most appropriate or the most instructive examples in the context in which they are mentioned and at the current time.



Variation 1 - My Personal Recommendation for a Special Experience:


Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay or Viognier from the (used) wooden barrel. At least on the creamy, nutty side, without direct wood barrel tones.


  • Martin Pasler, Leithaberg Weiß (Chardonnay) best a more mature bottle [€ 15-20] (Link)


  • Stefan Schauer, Sand and Slate Pinot Blanc [€ 10-15] (Link)


  • Gérard Bertrand - Château l'Hospitalet Grand Vin Blanc La Clape, a cuvée with a part Viognier [€ 35-40 - currently on sale at Wein&Co for about 30] (Link)


  • Frauwallner - Sauvignon Blanc Ried Buch G STK 2019 [€ 35-40] (Link)

I also spoke about this wine in a LIVE sommelier homeschooling from the Austrian Sommelier Associations. A colleague and I had to blindly recognise and present the wines. Among others also this wine, which I was very enthusiastic about. Link to the live video recording on Facebook


What kind of wine goes with spinach dumplings? In this article, I will focus on my approach and personal sommelier thought process for this wine and food pairing. A wine to go with different courses would be chosen according to other aspects.


Variation 2 - The 'Safe' & Classic Choice


Ideal for a Down-to-Earth Choice and a Table with Different People and Tastes


The 'works always and for almost everyone' choice would be a classic STK Sauvignon Blanc from Styria. Preferably, as recommended here, from outstanding family-run wineries.


  • Gross & Gross, Sauvignon Blanc Jakobi Südsteiermark DAC [€ 10-15] (Link)


  • Sattlerhof, Sauvignon Blanc Gamlitz Südsteiermark DAC [€ 10-15] (Link)



Variation 3 - For those who are more inclined towards Red Wine


A rosé wine of the intense class with extreme punch from the Tavel region (in the Rhône) in France. Unfortunately, Tavel rosés are very rarely available in AT, so you often have to resort to online retailers or at least take what you can get at the moment.


  • If possible, a Tavel from Domaine la Morodorée - unfortunately I could not find a suitable link for this.


  • A classic would also be from Guigal, Tavel Rosé Tavel AOP [€ 10-15] (Link)


Variation 4 - If the Dish is served as an Appetizer and is allowed to sparkle a little, or in the Catering trade by the Glass.


  • Bründlmayer Brut Rosé [€ 25-30] (Link)


A sparkling personal Insider Tip


Perfect when the dish is served on the terrace on a Sunday at noon in the sunshine. In this context, there is a bottle of this wine for me alone on my terrace, which is not shared under any circumstances.

  • Steininger, Sauvignon Blanc Reserve Sekt [€ 20-25] is available directly from Steininger, at Interspar and all well-stocked wine merchants. (Link)


What kind of wine goes with spinach dumplings? In this article, I will focus on my approach and personal sommelier thought process for this wine and food pairing. A wine to go with different courses would be chosen according to other aspects.


Food Aspects for the Wine Recommendation


Basically, I think about the following aspects for this recipe for the wine combination:

  1. The consistency of the dish

  2. Browned butter and Parmesan, salty and lactic-creamy.

  3. Should (a lot of) spinach or a more intense cheese be the focus


1. The Consistency


My spinach dumplings are insanely fluffy and therefore give off a nice 'chewyness', as I call it, when eaten. So it has a tender bite, but can almost be mashed with your tongue. It's fluffy when you feel like the dumplings are releasing a bit of air when you bite into them.


This has the great side effect that you also perceive aroma through the effective airiness.


The consistency, however, becomes a real hit due to the overall package with the next point and must be considered together.



2. Browned Butter and Parmesan Cheese


In terms of flavour, browned butter and melted Parmesan add a delicate umami note, a subtle saltiness, but a buttery creaminess. The aroma of the dumpling bread (I almost always use bread rolls) also gave it a great bready note. If you use an aged Parmigiano Reggiano, its fine salt crystals also give the dish a little crunch.


This aspect gives us a striking guidepost for wine selection that would be negligent to ignore.


We are dealing with a slightly oily consistency of butter, which, together with the lactic fat, covers the palate like a blanket.


The ideal wine here is one that has a good acid structure, so that after each bite and sip we can remove this fine layer from the palate or 'break through' it.


In this way, we also create tension in the dish, as we alternate between 'applying' the creaminess and 'releasing' it with the wine and perceive slightly different nuances each time.



3. Should the focus be on (a lot of) spinach or a more intense cheese


If you want to enhance the spinach dumplings with cheese, which I can highly recommend, this should be taken into consideration when selecting a wine. The primary decision here is which flavor should dominate. I mean whether, despite the presence of cheese (or without), the mild aroma of spinach should remain in the foreground, or whether the cheese should play a prominent role.


If you use an intense cheese variety, you should aim for a more intense level in terms of flavors and body with the wine. It's also important to consider that the cheese in the dumplings should harmonize with Parmesan..


My recommendation for cheese-filled dumplings would generally be to use a mild cheese..


For cheese enthusiasts who want to focus on this aspect, I've included a further article from "Ja-Natürlich" with their great cheese guide "which cheese to use for which dish." (Link)


My cheese dumplings always have a lower milk content because I put a lot of spinach in them.


For one thing, I love spinach and they are spinach dumplings, not dumplings with spinach. That's why I always focus on lots of spinach, a mild, milky cheese and less milk in return.


A butter cheese or Gouda works very well, because it also melts very well.


Tip:


For more excitement and pleasure when eating, I cut the cheese into not too small cubes. That way, you'll encounter little 'cheese cavities' in a few bites, which will then have more cheese flavour for a short time. Even in simple recipes, you can incorporate many facets.



What kind of wine goes with spinach dumplings? In this article, I will focus on my approach and personal sommelier thought process for this wine and food pairing. A wine to go with different courses would be chosen according to other aspects.


Before we get to the recipe:

When it comes to spinach, I keep it uncomplicated. Just raw spinach leaves, blanched briefly or, as in my household, put in the steamer for 3 minutes and then pureed very finely, either with a blender, a mixer, a Moulinette or, in my case, the Nutribullet. This gives the dumplings an intense, consistently green beautiful colour and also lots of flavour. I add the egg-milk mixture directly to the blender, so the mixture becomes fluffier.


If you use frozen spinach, the flavour is often a little milder and you must not forget the higher water content due to thawing. Otherwise, use it in exactly the same way as fresh spinach.


For direct preparation, I always use a steamer (bamboo steamer, freestanding, built-in) because the dumplings retain their colour and full aroma.


A big advantage is that the dumpling hardly absorbs any water and does not fall apart or boil over due to the fine steam.


TIP:


It is important to always roll the dumplings with slightly wet hands so that a kind of silt forms on the outside, which makes the dumplings absorb less water and holds them together well.


I'm a trained chef myself, and before I started my wine career I studied with well-known chefs. Thanks to this tactic (and let's be honest - the bread roll already has enough flour in it), I have never needed flour for a dumpling.



Recipe: Spinach Dumplings with Cheese, including Wine Accompaniment


The List of Ingredients


  • 60-80g onion, to taste

  • 250g leaf spinach, blanched or steamed (is approx. 500g fresh spinach leaves)

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 50 ml milk or vegetable milk (I often use this when the last milk has been used up for béchamel)

  • 30g cheese cubes

  • 180g dumpling bread

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 2-3 spsp. nutmeg grated (the more milk you use, the more nutmeg!)

  • pepper & salt


To serve

  • 30-50g Parmesan cheese (depending on taste)

  • 70g butter, browned


Tools

  • Steam cooker (built-in, free-standing, with sticks or bamboo steamer)

  • Steam cookware

  • Pan

  • Possibly cling film

  • Blender or whisk


To-Do Instructions


  • Finely chop the onion and garlic. First fry the onion in butter and only after a few minutes add the garlic.

  • Mix the cooked spinach leaves with the eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

  • Add the spinach mixture with sliced cheese cubes to the dumpling bread and knead through

  • Press into a compact mass (a dumpling) and leave to stand for 15-20 minutes

  • Butter the steamer dish (I rub a block of butter directly over the surface)

  • Prepare a bowl/cup of water, wet your palms and form either 10-12 small dumplings or for maximum fluffiness 6 dumplings fin tennis ball size and place on the steamer dish

  • Steam at 100°C for 15 minutes

  • Brown the butter in a saucepan on the cooker for serving

  • Arrange the dumplings on the plate, first sprinkle with Parmesan and then pour over the still hot butter to melt it

  • Serve with a drink of your choice & enjoy!

______________________________________________________________________



Feel like trying and tasting the wines for this recipe and other delicacies with us directly?


If so, then why not attend one of our exclusive courses!



What kind of wine goes with spinach dumplings? In this article, I will focus on my approach and personal sommelier thought process for this wine and food pairing. A wine to go with different courses would be chosen according to other aspects.


Comentarios


bottom of page