Which wines go best with these Chinese 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.
Shrimp Fried RiceIf 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
Szechuan ChickenOff-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
Vegetable Lo MeinChoose 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)
Moo Shu PorkStrong 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
Pairing Wine with Chinese Dishes
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.