The Grapevine

Food & Wine Pairing: Chinese Food

June 3rd, 2016

Maybe you’re still recovering from the big blowout holiday weekend. Maybe you’re wiped out from trying to squeeze five days of work into a four-day week. Whatever the reason, you just might be ordering in tonight. [level-members]

And if it’s Chinese food you’re ordering, you might be tempted to give up your wine and just pop the top off a beer. But you don’t have to. The best piece of advice we’ve come across recently for pairing wine with Chinese food is this:

Forget the old rules about fish and meat, white and red. In fact, ignore the protein altogether and concentrate on the sauces and spices that are the real flavor profile of the dish.

That’s interesting advice for foods beyond Chinese takeout. (Or homemade Chinese food.)  If the spice and heat are heavy, a slight sweetness is the way to go. Think German Riesling. If there’s a real richness to the sauce, you can move toward a full-bodied red – probably more of a new-world style than classic French/Italian style. And don’t forget the bubbles. Sparklers can be a really great accompaniment to complex dishes like many you’ll find on the local Chinese takeout menu. Enjoy your night on the couch! [/level-members]