Chinese Food and Wine Pairings

Chinese Food and Wine Pairings

As Chinese New Year approaches, so does gift giving, red envelopes, and feasts of all different kinds of Chinese food. Of course, what goes better with a big meal than a few bottles of wine? This week we have a Chinese food and wine pairing guide to get you through the biggest holiday of the year. No matter what you’re eating, we’ve got you covered.

Szechuan Food / Spicy Dishes:

Nothing pairs better with Szechuan Cai than a nice, cold Riesling. Whether it’s sweet or not, this grape beautifully complements flavors of food while bringing the spice down a notch. An alternative to Riesling with spicy food is a nice, sweet Rosé. Both of these wines are easy to drink, simple on the palate, and sure to please just about anyone.

Try Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling or 29 Rosé

Dim Sum:

Sparkling wine takes the cake here. Whether you’re eating sumai, jiaozi, or pork buns, a nice sparkling wine is sure to break through the heaviness of the dumplings, wash down oil in the food, and refresh the palate for another bite.

Try Unspoken Sparkling

Mushroom Heavy / Earthy Dishes:

Nothing screams Chinese food like a plate full of mushrooms, am I right? Chinese food often has earthy, umami flavors throughout each bite, making it pair well with a Pinot Noir. The earthy tones in the wine pair well with earthiness in food, while still having fruit components to make sipping enjoyable. 

Try Pali Huntington's Pinot Noir

Sweet and Sour Anything:

There’s no shortage of sweet and sour dishes in Chinese cuisine — whether it’s meat or vegetables. Here, I’d go with an aromatic white blend. The combination of flavors in the sweet and sour sauce tends to complement the combination of flavors the different grapes bring to the wine. An aromatic white is also quite refreshing, washing down the stickiness of this particular sauce.

Try Eufloria Aromatic White Wine

Beef Dishes / Shanghai Cuisine:

A Cabernet Sauvignon is generally a fail-safe wine, especially when it comes to red meat. Beef and Cab are the perfect pair, and it’s no exception when it comes to Chinese food — just as long as the beef isn’t crazy spicy. Cabernet also goes well with Shanghai cuisine, which tends to be more savory than other types of Chinese food. The tannins in the Cab cut through the grease of the food, making a refreshing and delicious pairing.

Try Historic Highway 29 Cabernet Sauvignon

Something Else?

Obviously this list isn’t extensive, but if you’re still stumped on what wine to pair with your meal, pick a nice red blend. A red blend is good to have on hand as an easy drinking wine that suits a variety of palates and matches a variety of foods. Otherwise, go back to a crowd pleasing Riesling, and you’re set!

Try Blott Red Wine