In recent years, the end of Dry January has coincided with the Chinese New Year celebrations (it’s the Year of The Rooster this year, just in case you were wondering). This means that many of us rediscover our love of Chinese food at the same time we rediscover our love of wine!

What’s not to love about this combination? Well, not much, really, but it does help if you get your wine and food pairings right so you can really enjoy both.

Conventional wisdom dictates that…

Chinese food goes best with aromatic whites like Riesling and Gewürztraminer. However, there’s not just one type of Chinese food. A seafood dish can be very delicately flavoured and so ends up being bullied out of existence by the Gewürztraminer, whereas a heftier duck dish can hold its own against it. When it comes to Cantonese food, the Riesling will work well as it’s off-dry, but it won’t pair up quite so snugly with the chillified Sichuan dishes.

What, no reds?

Many people wouldn’t consider drinking a red alongside Chinese food, but it’s becoming increasingly common to pair up a full-bodied red with the meatier, spicier dishes. It also matters where you’re getting the food from – if it’s from a top-notch restaurant, you want to honour it with a decent bottle. If you’re just getting street-style noodles (which are still fab, of course), then you can be a bit more carefree.

Here’s a quick cribsheet for you

Dim sum – you need a sparkling wine or a very chilled fino sherry.

For sweet and sour dishes – you should drink an aromatic white, even a blended wine. If you’re stuck, a Torrontes will meld quite happily with a wide range of flavors.

For Sichuan dishes – these are generally spicier than most Chinese foods and so you need an off-dry Riesling or a plucky off-dry rosé.

For crispy duck – you need a bit more heft here, so a decent Pinot Noir or a cru Beaujolais. If you like heartier reds in particular, then you could try a younger Merlot instead.


Image Credits;

Copyright for the image within this blog post is owned by ‘Kzenon’, and has been licenced for use on this blog post through Big Stock Photo for editorial use (stock photo ID: 52625860). For questions relating to this image please contact the copyright owner directly.