Chinese food and wine are a match made in heaven.
From the unique, complex flavors of Chinese cuisine to the delicate yet bold notes of a fine wine, combining these two culinary delights is an experience like no other.
But selecting the right wine for your favorite dish can be tricky – after all, there are countless types of Chinese dishes and even more wines to choose from!
How do you know which one will pair perfectly with your meal?
Don’t worry – I’m here to save the day!
In this blog post, I’ll share my top tips on how to find that perfect pairing between Chinese food and wine.
You’ll discover what wines go best with different types of dishes, so that you can enjoy that exquisite blend of flavors without any guesswork involved.
So, what wine goes with Chinese food?
The best wines to pair with Chinese food are dry Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Gamay. These light-bodied wines all have a slightly sweet character that helps to balance out the spiciness in many dishes.
Why Consider Serving Wine With Chinese Food?
Serving wine with Chinese food is a great way to enhance the meal and make it even more enjoyable.
Wine has the ability to bring out flavor notes in food that you wouldn’t be able to experience without it, making Chinese dishes even more flavorful than they already are.
Serving wine can also add a nice touch of elegance and class to any dinner, so you don’t have to worry about cooking too much if you want an impressive presentation.
Plus, there’s something special about sipping on a glass of your favorite vino while enjoying a delicious meal made with love!
The Best Red Wines For Chinese Food
Red wines are some of the most robust and flavorful wines, making them an ideal pairing for Chinese food. Syrahs and Shiraz can work with spicier dishes while Pinot Noirs can pair nicely with milder dishes.
Cabernet Sauvignons are a great option to pair with dark meats like duck or Mongolian beef.
Merlots can be paired with creamy sauces, such as the ones used in Cashew chicken or Kung Pao chicken.
If you’re looking for something a bit lighter but still want a bold flavor, try Zinfandels – they pair well with stir-fried dishes featuring vegetables like broccoli and mushrooms.
Malbecs also go well with Chinese food since they have notes of blackberry and plum that complement sweet garlic sauces.
The Best White Wines For Chinese Food
White wines are a great choice to pair with Chinese cuisine. The crisp, light fruit flavors and refreshing acidity of white wines make them an ideal match for the bold spices of many Chinese dishes.
The best white wine pairings for Chinese food are generally those that show off a strong mineral component, as these can help to cut through the intense flavors of the dish while also providing some sweetness and complexity. Some good choices include Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Chenin Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular whites for Chinese food, since its bright herbaceous notes complement many foods from this region.
Unoaked Chardonnay will work well too – its buttery characteristics blend nicely with sweet-and-sour sauces and spicy condiments like chili oil or hot mustard.
For something special try an Alsatian Riesling to bring out the subtle acidic nuances common in Asian cuisine or opt for a Gewurztraminer if you’re looking for something more aromatic or fruity on your palate.
The Best Rosé Wines For Chinese Food
Rosé wines are a great option for pairing with Chinese food. They can be light or bold, depending on their flavor and color, making them incredibly versatile for any meal. Rosés often provide flavors like bright strawberry, melon, and orange blossom which complement the umami of most Chinese dishes.
Older rosés offer a richer texture while young rosés tend to be more acidic. If you’re looking for something subtle yet flavorful to pair with your Chinese dinner, try a rosé from Provence or Château de Rimauresq in France. Both of these producers make excellent examples that are sure to please your guests.
If you’re serving spicy dishes like Kung Pao chicken or Hunan beef, look into the wines from Tuscany as they have great acidity levels that will help calm down any heat from the chiles used in those dishes.
For something slightly sweeter and fruitier, try Australian Shiraz-style rosés or California Zinfandel-style ones as they have bright berry flavors that go well with just about anything!
Other Wines To Pair With Chinese Dishes
Other than reds, whites, and rosés there are some other interesting wines that pair well with Chinese food.
If you want to make an impression why not try a bottle of sparkling wine? Sparkling is light, refreshing and pairs really well with dim sum dishes or Cantonese-style fried shrimp.
For more robust flavors like beef dishes or for spicy Szechuan cuisine then reach for a bigger-bodied white such as a Chardonnay from California or Australia.
These wines have enough weight to handle the complex flavors in those dishes without overpowering them.
Similarly, if you’re looking for something special to go with your Peking Duck or braised pork belly then opt for a dessert wine like Tokaji Aszu or late harvest Riesling which will bring out the sweetness in the dish while providing balance and complexity on its own.
5 Tips For Picking The Right Wine For Chinese Meals
Wine and Chinese food may go together like peanut butter and jelly, but that doesn’t mean you can just grab any bottle and expect it to be a winning combination.
To get the most out of your meal, here are some tips for picking the right wine for your Chinese dishes:
- Match flavor profiles – Choose a wine with complementary flavors to those in the dish. For example, if you’re having something spicy, try an off-dry Riesling or Chenin Blanc — they’ll provide sweetness without overpowering the spice.
- Get familiar with regional specialties –Chinese cuisine is incredibly diverse, so look into what wines are traditional pairings of each region’s cuisines such as Sichuan thanks to its chiles and peppercorns; Cantonese thanks to its steamed seafood dishes; or Hunan cuisine thanks to its intense smoky flavors from smoked meats.
- Balance richness – If your dish has rich ingredients like duck or pork belly then try medium-bodied reds such as pinot noir which will contrast nicely with the fat in these dishes while still providing enough structure by way of tannins to stand up against them too.
- Consider texture – Pay attention to how the textures in your meal interact with each other: Wines high in acidity can help cut through fatty meals while higher-alcohol wines bring out spiciness better than lighter wines do.
- Experiment! Don’t be afraid to mix things up and explore different combinations – there is no one-size-fits-all pairings!
Serving Temperature And Glassware
Serving temperature and glassware are both important considerations for pairing wines with Chinese food.
Generally, most white wines are best served chilled, while reds should be served at room temperature.
When in doubt, refer to the wine label for more information on the winemaker’s recommended serving temperature.
The style of glass you choose for the different types of wine can also make a difference in how it tastes when paired with Chinese dishes.
For instance, try using a wide-rimmed red wine glass for a full-bodied red such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz; while Champagne flutes or white wine glasses will be better suited to bringing out the aromas and flavors of lighter whites like Riesling or Chenin Blanc.
Chinese food and wine are a match made in heaven!
Depending on the type of dishes you are serving, there are many delicious wines to choose from.
Red wines work great for heavier dishes like beef or pork-based meals, while lighter whites or rosés can pair nicely with poultry, seafood, and vegetable dishes.
So, what wine pairs well with Chinese food?
The best wines to pair with Chinese food are dry Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Gamay. These wines have a light body that pairs well with the flavors of Chinese cuisine. For spicier dishes, try a medium-bodied red such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
Don’t forget to consider various factors such as the sweetness level of the dish, how intense a flavor it has, what ingredients you’re using, and more when selecting your wine pairing.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment!
Pick up some different bottles of wines and taste them side by side with your Chinese food creations – this will give you an even better idea of which ones work best with each particular dish. With a bit of practice and patience, you’ll soon become an expert in orchestrating the perfect marriage between Chinese cuisine and wine!
Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.