Our go-to meal on a Friday night at home is a big feast of Chinese food. Generally, when we think of what to drink with Chinese food, our minds go to sake or plum wines, but those aren’t the only options! There are plenty of other delicious choices to pair with that satisfying takeout while you cozy up on the couch with some Netflix.
If you’re a dim sum fan, go for a white sparkling wine, or even a Riesling. The density of the dumpling dough plus the variety of flavors within require something that is medium-bodied and not too robust in flavor. The bubbles of a sparkling wine can balance the fatty flavors of a classic pork soup dumpling while a Riesling is a great friend to the shrimp shumai and the vegetable gyoza.
A beef dish, such as beef and broccoli, or pepper steak, is great with a Malbec. It can be hard to pair red wine with a Chinese dish because of the amazing array of spices but the hearty flavors of beef and pepper pair well with the robust palate of a Malbec.
Going for the classic lo mein? Sauvignon Blanc is going to be your best bet. You want to avoid overpowering the deliciously subtle flavors of a lo mein, especially if it’s mainly vegetables, so a delicate Sauvignon Blanc will bring some bright citrus to complement the dish.
Sweet and sour chicken is always a delicious choice so go for a Moscato d’Asti to accent the sweetness of the dish. Although the wine itself is also sweet, the gentle bubbles will help to cut through that sticky sauce.
Peking duck is one of the best and most delicious dishes on a Chinese menu. To accentuate the delicious duck fat, pair it with a Pinot Noir. Duck isn’t as intense in flavor as beef or pork might be so you want to ensure it is still the star of the show. Plus there’s that incredibly satisfying crispy skin that you always get with the Peking. The fruity and floral notes of the Pinot, as well as the high acidity, will do wonders for your meal.
Finally, if you’re a fried rice fiend (and who isn’t), pick up an unoaked Chardonnay. The unoaked part is very important as you’ll avoid the usual buttery flavors of a Chardonnay which could really clash with the soy sauce, and instead, you’ll get a nice crisp acidity.
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