Having learned the basics of food and wine pairing, it’s time to perfect that skill. The art of matching food with wine involves experimenting on your own. While consuming meals with wine is commonly associated with western cultures and cuisines, Asian food also pairs well with fine. Sure, it’s less common to have dumplings with a glass of white than it is to have steak with a glass of red. But who says you can’t start a new trend? For your next meal, why not try to recall the basic tips of food and wine pairing, and apply them to Asian dishes?
Things to consider
When choosing the right wine to drink with your Asian meal, these are several things to keep in mind.
Identify the flavors in the food
Asian cuisine is typically stir-fried, braised, or deep-fried. While it’s often heavy on the savory side, Asian food is actually a complex combination of flavors.
Dishes such as sweet and sour pork, hoisin duck, kimchi, and chicken rice, are mainly rich and fatty. However, contain salty, spicy, sweet, and sour flavors as well. Almost every flavor can be present in a single dish, making it difficult to complement. However, if you’re able to identify the main flavor, you’ve gotten the first step out of the way.
Pair with acidic and fizzy wines
This tip works especially well with sweet and sour dishes. Try to complement the tanginess in the food with the acidity in the wine, making sure to match the intensity of the flavors together.
Acidity in the food can bring out the acidic traits in the wine, and carbonation works well as a sort of palate cleanser.
Avoid tannin-heavy wines
Tannins are qualities in wine which result in that notorious bitter aftertaste. What happens when you pair high-tannin wine with Asian food? Pairing a tannin-heavy wine with Asian dishes will actually dim the flavors of the food.
Go for wines with lower ABV
Asian food is often spicy, and therefore intense on the palate. For this reason, it’s best to serve it with wine that has lower alcohol content.
Alcohol worsens the spicy flavor on the palate, making it seem like the food is spicier than it actually is!
Wines that pair well with Asian food
The ultimate pair: German Kabinett Riesling
Just like the flavors in Asian food, this particular type of Riesling is a combination of every taste. It’s lightly sweet, high in acidity, aromatic, and light-bodied. Its qualities aren’t outdone by the more umami flavors in Asian food.
German Kabinett Riesling available at minuman.com:
Dishes containing sweet, spicy, and sour notes, such as kung pao chicken, works well with Pinot Gris. The acidity of the wine complements the flavors in the sauce, while still allowing the food to be the main character.
Pinot Gris available at minuman.com:
Any fried food like fried rice or stir-fried vegetables go well with Lambrusco. This wine is packed full of fruity and earthy flavors which are able to stand up to the saltiness of fried food. The fizziness is an added bonus.
Lambrusco available at minuman.com:
In Asian cuisine, protein will often be marinaded in sauce containing ginger, chili, rice vinegar, or all of the above. These tangy flavors go well with the Grenache’s intense strawberry and fruity flavors.
Grenache available at minuman.com: