With all of the sweet and spicy complexity of Chinese food, it’s hard to know what wine is best for pairing. The expert weighs in for these 4 common dishes.
Whether you prefer to order from your favorite take-out joint or whip out the wok, Chinese food offers the perfect opportunity
to reach for bargain bottles with big fruit and hints of sweetness. The richly-layered spicy, sweet, and salty dishes can
easily flatten more delicate and nuanced wines.
If you've ever had fried rice with coconut, mango, or ginger, you know how these exotic flavors enliven this staple dish.
An American gewürztraminer adds complementary fruity flavors and sweetness. Plus, this aromatic white stands up to scrambled
eggs (often found in fried rice), which challenge many wines.
Fetzer Gewürztraminer California Valley Oaks 2008 (California, $9) Spicy, honeyed, tropical, and a tad sweet (pictured)
Hogue Gewürztraminer Columbia Valley 2008 (Washington, $12) Lychee and citrus with rose petal aromas
SPLURGE: Hermann J. Wiemer Gewürztraminer 2007 (New York, $19) Exotic and floral with melon and mineral flavors
View Recipe: Shrimp Fried Rice
Off-dry rieslings are perfect matches for Szechuan peppercorns, which combine aromatic spice and earthy undertones. The wines'
fruity sweetness is balanced with acidity.
Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling 2008 (Washington, $10) Lingering, sweet apricot meets crisp acidity (pictured)
Dr. Frank Riesling Semi-dry 2008 (New York, $15) Honeysuckle aromas with apple and tropical fruit
SPLURGE: Gunderloch Riesling Spätlese Diva 2007 (Germany, $25) Peach nectar flavors are bright and fresh
View Recipe: Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry
Choose a wine with acidity or effervescence to cut through the noodles' oily coating. Sauvignon blancs and sparkling wines
are great choices.
Mionetto IL Prosecco (Italy, $10) Fresh and fizzy with a shot of citrus
Brancott Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2008 (New Zealand, $14) Zesty citrus with a zippy finish
SPLURGE: Frei Brothers Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2008 Russian River Valley (California, $20) Generous body, plus hints of pink grapefruit and papaya (pictured)
View Recipe: Vegetable Lo Mein with Edamame and Mustard Greens
Strong flavors of cabbage, mushrooms, and hoisin sauce can conflict with dry reds; the potent fruit punch of a slightly chilled,
low-tannin Beaujolais muscles into the mix well.
Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Villages Nouveau 2009 (France, $9) Juicy, grapey, berry, and cherry (pictured)
Pierre-Marie Chermette Domaine du Vissoux Beaujolais 2007 (France, $19) Refreshing with tangy red fruit
SPLURGE: Guy Breton V.V. Morgon 2007 (France, $23) Medium-bodied with tart cherry and smoky plum
View Recipe: Moo Shu Pork With Mandarin Pancakes