Wine pairing with a Chinese menu
I am planning a Chinese-themed cocktail party, and I'm looking for recommendations for choices of wine that might go with dim sum and some various noodle dishes. Red? White? I haven't a clue. I'm also serving a Chinese beer, but I've got that covered.
I would normally say sake, but isn't that more Japanese? I really have to stick with the Chinese theme, as it is a take on a Chinese New Year.
I would welcome any suggestions.
A dryish sparkling wine, either white or pink, would be a safe bet and would fit with the celebratory theme. Or open bottles of an easy-drinking red and white and let your guests choose. An Alsatian blend like Hugel's Gentil, a Chenin-based sipper from the Loire like Domaine de Brizé's Anjou blanc, a German Riesling Kabinett or Pine Ridge's Chenin-Viognier blend are a few affordable white options. Among reds, I'd look for something along the lines of Clos de la Briderie's Touraine-Mesland, Brun's Beaujolais "L'Ancien" or a low-endish Pinot Noir from Oregon (Argyle), California (Saintsbury Garnet), New Zealand (Sherwood) or Australia (Ninth Island).
It really depends on what your balance of dishes is like and what kind of flavorings you're using. I personally don't find reds match well with most dim sum, especially if you have a preponderance of fried dishes or high concentrations of sesame oil and soy sauce. Steamed pork and seafood dishes with mild seasonings and sauces would do alright with a light red like those recommended by Carswell. For most other types of dim sum, I prefer to drink a crisp acidic white, like a New Zealand Suavignon Blanc. A dry white sparkling wine could work particularly well too.
I would recommend relatively under-appreciated white wine variety - Viognier. I would stay away from any reds. Viognier is always recommended as specially good match with "asian" cousine. It is not uncommon to walk into some wine store and not find any Viognier but some intelligently stocked wine store should always have some.
Champagne/sparkling, especially as Carswell states, a Rosé would be my first choice. For domestic sparklers, Iron Horse's Brute Rosé would be a good choice. For Champagne, the field is wide open.
for dessert, a plum wine sparkler might be really nice! it might be too cute, on the other hand, but i'd push it and go there. i'd get some of the small heirloom plums that are seasonal right now for the garnish. use paper umbrellas at your own risk, but i bet your guests would love the whimsy, esp. if you served the cocktails with bowls of almond and fortune cookies (homemade of course).