Hosted by the company restaurant: some hints on beverage etiquette

“Wine before beer will make you feel queer” – a saying we’re probably all familiar with. But what about some more specific guidelines on choosing the right beverages and in what order? What wine goes with what food? And what’s the best drink to serve with dessert? I talked to the restaurant’s manageress, Sonja Pellkofer, about how to choose the appropriate beverage.

First of all, though, a brief explanation for those readers who are not yet familiar with the company’s restaurant: it’s located on the firm’s premises in Neutraubling, and is tasked with treating Krones’ visitors to the appropriate culinary delights – all of them on the house, of course. The contact person concerned uses the internal online portal to reserve a table – “because a reservation is absolutely essential”, explains Sonja – and accompanies his/her guests into the restaurant.
The restaurant can be booked on workdays from 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. The kitchen team is totally committed to ensuring that their guests enjoy a superlative dining experience. And because Krones AG’s clients and associates are so international, cultural eating habits and idiosyncrasies also play a significant role. Every day there’s a new three-course menu to order, always with a suitable wine recommendation. “Most of our guests opt for the wine we recommend to go with the meal. If a guest prefers to drink a different wine, then the wine list provides 15 vintages to choose from.”

As an aperitif, the servers offer the guests two different types of sherry. The dark sherry tastes sweetish, while its light counterpart is dry – so there’s something there for everyone. Sherry is a popular choice as an aperitif, because it’s an ideal accompaniment for almost every type of food. Thanks to its low alcohol content, sherry is ideal for kicking off a three-course menu.

“The rule of thumb here is this: red wine goes with dark meat, white wine tastes best with white meat and fish. Quite generally, the beverage should never overpower the food,” says Sonja, who has a degree in hotel and catering management.
The wine to accompany the main course should accordingly always be matched to the dish concerned. When rich sauces are involved, serve a full-bodied wine – and for country-style Bavarian dishes a beer is quite suitable as well.

But you shouldn’t take the “rules” for choosing drinks too seriously: “Naturally, the guests get what they want. If someone wants to drink white wine with roast pork, then we’re happy to oblige.”
When it comes to wine, there are nonetheless a few basic rules from the catering trade that deserve to be borne in mind: the wine’s temperature plays an important role in allowing the taste to unfold to perfection. White wine should always be kept chilled at a temperature of 9 to at most 14 degrees. The rule here is: the fruitier, younger and lighter the wine, the lower the storage temperature should be. Red wines taste best at room temperature, from 16 to a maximum of 18 degrees. But a wine should never be stored at temperatures of more than 20 degrees.

The shape of the glasses, too, is a significant consideration. “Red wine is served in large-bowled glasses, so that the wine comes into contact with as much air as possible. This is essential if the bouquet is to be properly savoured. White wine tends to be drunk out of slimmer, higher glasses,” explains Sonja.

With their dessert, most guests drink espresso or cappuccino. Sometimes, though, it’s a schnapps. The advantage of this is that the stomach expands a bit, and so there’s more room for the sweet course to finish up with. In order to show our clients from abroad a bit of regional authenticity, the restaurant mostly recommends to its guests a typical Bavarian herbal liqueur called Blutwurz (bloodroot).

Well, that’s enough about wine and schnapps. You should at least be optimally prepared with a wide choice of drinks for the next evening you spend cooking with friends. One or other of them will indubitably be able to shine with his/her newly acquired knowledge! 😉