As wine aficionados, we appreciate pairing recommendations from the experts just as much as the next guy. But, as we all know, it really comes down to personal preference. With that being said, no wine police are going to come to drag you away if you decide to pair your vino with something out of the box. We’re breaking the mold, people! For instance, I think we all can agree that Chinese cuisine is absolutely delicious. But, did you know that some of your favorite wines can be paired with it?
Keep reading to find out all the reasons why you should try pairing Chinese food with wine. Also, check the 6 pairings you should totally try out!
Why You Should Pair Chinese Food with wine:
I mean, why not? Chinese food and all of its many drool-worthy flavors are eclectic – they are practically begging to reach their full potential with the right wine partner. Wine not only helps to draw out certain flavors and undertones in dishes, but it can also work as a palate cleanser, which helps you taste the more complex tastes. I am going to counter with, why the heck wouldn’t you pair your Chinese food with wine? Here are my choice pairings:
Crab Rangoon with Vinho Verde:
Crab Rangoon are heavenly puffs of savory crab meat, with garlic, and scallions. It’s all blended together in delectable cream cheese. Being the fried deliciousness that it is, this particular dish needs something that can counterbalance the food. Vinho Verde, with its hints of lemon zest, white flowers, and citrus provides just that.
Lo Mein with Sauvignon Blanc:
This popular noodle dish is typically made with vegetables. However, it can be ordered with an added protein popper like chicken, beef, or shrimp. A dry, white wine, with the ideal amount of sweetness, is a great option. Sauvignon Blanc is light-bodied enough to not compete with the flavors of the meal, with notes of pepper and grapefruit. It’s definitely the ideal vino pair to your lo mein dish.
Peking Duck with Zinfandel:
Peking Duck is another crowd favorite and it really is no wonder why. The rich, yet spicy, entree offers a variety of tastes, with hints of sweetness. The flavors are admittedly mouth-watering. Instead of using a Pinot Noir, I recommend meeting those intense flavors with a rich but dry, full-bodied Zinfandel. The fruity notes contrast quite nicely with the spicy sweetness of the dish.
Kung Pao Chicken with Dry Riesling:
Kung Pao Chicken obviously comes with a kick (it practically says so with its name)! So, pairing it with a dry, not too sweet Riesling will help to offset the intensity of the flavors and help to neutralize the heat. Even if you choose the milder end of the kung pao spectrum – Riesling is always a perfect pair for this specific Chinese meal.
Sweet and Sour Pork with Moscato:
With the contrasting flavors of sweet and sour, you’ll need a vino that can hold its own while not being too overpowering. A good Moscato ticks all of the appropriate boxes. Its higher acidity works incredibly well in this specific situation.
Sesame Chicken with Sparkling Rose Wine:
And now for the ultimate home run, something that can complement the flavors of sesame chicken (a personal favorite). A sparkling rosé wine like our 2017 Dream Keeper has you covered. Offered in dry and off-dry versions, I believe that a drier wine will be most effective here.
Now, this is merely a general guide, one that is not set in stone (rules schmules). With that in mind, feel completely free to play around with it all a bit. The complexities and flavor varieties of Chinese dishes tend to blend quite well with the aromatics of many different wines. There is no wrong pairing of Chinese food with wine here. Cheers!