A misconception exists in the United States that the strong and spicy flavors of Chinese food are only compatible with light tea or beer. Of course, pairing wine with a meal of Chinese food depends on the particular dish served.
The key is to offset the strongest flavors and ingredients in the food and drink so they act as a perfect complement to one another. Below are some pairing recommendations from some of the country’s top chefs and food critics.
Bordeaux and Roast Duck Noodle Soup
Roast duck noodle soup is a common food served by food vendors in China. People who love the dish describe it as warming, comforting, richly flavored, and a complex taste combination. Since this dish is often served spicy by chefs in Chinese restaurants in the United States, it needs a wine that can retain its own flavor while still withstanding the intensity of the heat.
Bordeaux wine makes an ideal accompaniment for roast duck noodle soup since it contains spice, pepper, and blackberries that blend well with duck meat. Cabernet Franc is also an option, although it is slightly less sturdy than Bordeaux. La Croix Bordeaux is an even better choice with this meal since it is lighter and contains just the right amount of spice to match that of the duck meat.
Gamay and Cantonese Roast Pork
The people of Canton, a province in China, love to serve all varieties of pork and other types of roasted meats. Roast pork in particular blends the flavor sensations of salty, savory, and sweet in a way that delights the taste buds. A flavorful wine with a high acidity factor such as Gamay goes quite well with this meal.
Sauvignon Blanc and Zha Jiang Mian
This dish, also known by the alternative name of Beijing Fried Sauce Noodles, is a deeply rich meal containing fermented minced pork and a heavy dose of soy. It requires a wine that is both creamy and acidic to balance its strong flavors. Sauvignon Blanc makes a good choice for this purpose. Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc is another alternative. This wine offers a tangy flavor with strong citrus input and crispness.
Additional Pairing Recommendations
Fiona Beckett, the owner and author of a blog called Matching Food and Wine, provides readers with several of her own favorite pairings. Some of these include:
Testing Different Combinations is Part of the Fun
Americans often need some time to adjust to the bold and spicy flavors of Chinese food and to decide which dishes they like the best. Once that has been accomplished, trying different wine pairings can be an exciting adventure. It can be even more fun for people to test their taste buds while dining out with a friend or partner.