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wine pairing for asian foods

alkapal Jul 14, 2008 10:23 AM

thought you might find this guide interesting to check out. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASI...

i know the asian flavors are unusual to match with wine.

do you usually pair to the predominant sauce note? e.g., earthy oyster sauce gets.....X...?
fish sauce gets....Y...? rice wine vinegar & lime juice get....Z...? and these are se asian. not to even mention indian food, with cardamom, cumin, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, etc.

i often end up defaulting to a good lager instead. have you had success pairing wine and asian food flavors?

  1. j
    jadea3 Jul 16, 2008 06:50 PM

    For Asian, spicy cuisine, I reach for a Riesling from the Mosel or Gewurztraminer from New Zealand or Alsace. Try it out...

    2 Replies
    1. re: jadea3
      whiner Jul 16, 2008 08:59 PM

      jadea, I have never had a NZ Gewurz, but I am intrigued. Is there one in particular you might suggest? (I'll spend up to $40 -- if you think it is worth it -- to see if this is an area I should persue.)

      1. re: whiner
        jadea3 Jul 17, 2008 05:18 AM

        Lawsons Dry Hills makes a phenomenal Gewurz. Kim Crawford and Villa Maria as well. They should all be far below $40, and they're definitely worth a try.

    2. Bill Hunt Jul 15, 2008 08:12 PM

      Some years back, Chef Mark Miller (Coyote Cafe and others) led a tasting of Oriental food and beverages. We tasted about eight different cuisines, from around Asia. These were tasted against Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Harp ale, sake and Champagne. While some of the beverages went well, the Rosé Champage was the hands-down winner in all catagories.

      While I still reach for a fruit-forward SB, with sushi and most tempura, if I want to pair with a broad spectrum of Asian cuisine, it's Brut Rosé Champage, or sparkling.


      1. t
        tmso Jul 15, 2008 05:46 AM

        Some asian cuisines match wonderfully with wine. Japanese stands out in this regard in my mind. Sukiyaki and a burgundy-style pinot noir, for example. I also like central and northern Italian reds; something about Japanese food reminds me of some common themes in Italian.

        I wouldn't dare try matching Hunan food with wine, and I think a number of Sichuan dishes would be .. problematic. But I had an excellent fish/parsley/ginger soup at a restaurant in SF that went perfectly with the Muscadet I brought in.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tmso
          chuckl Jul 15, 2008 11:54 AM

          muscadet would be a good choice, I would also lean toward a dry reisling, like a kabinett

        2. maria lorraine Jul 15, 2008 12:14 AM

          You pair wines based first on the level of spicy heat. Chilies, wasabi, etc.

          And then to whatever flavors are dominant -- the spices you list above, the use of citrus, main protein ingredient, oyster sauce, hoisin -- and to a lesser degree, other flavors.

          Match intensity, consider salt, heat-sweet, pungency, etc.

          If you're thinking of buying Ed Soon's book, I'd wait for his book in Oct, 2008.
          He's a wine writer based in Singapore.

          1. c
            Chicago Mike Jul 14, 2008 10:26 PM

            As for beer with Asian foods, next time try a wheat beer instead... especially nice are domestic microbrew wheats but good imports are also nice with spicy Asians... I've hosted a few "asian and beer/wine" tastings and Paulaner wheat was our import standard.

            As for wines, in general riesling and rich gewurztraminers are my faves with this cuisine. Scheurbe is also a great varietal with this food but you may not find it as abundantly on vendor's shelves as you will riesling.... Enjoy.

            1. w
              whiner Jul 14, 2008 06:49 PM


              Particularly roses work well with spicy, moderately hot (but not very hot) Asain foods.

              As do off-dry Riesling, Gewurtzraminers, and Scheurebes.

              1 Reply
              1. re: whiner
                brandygirl Jul 14, 2008 09:25 PM

                I'll second whiner's Champagne suggestion. Sparkling wine is my favorite drink with Asian food.

              2. o
                olasek Jul 14, 2008 04:12 PM

                >> i often end up defaulting to a good lager instead. have you had success pairing wine and asian food flavors?

                Lager is always good bet. But I found out that semi-sweet wines work well with Asian (often spicy) foods. For me personally full bodied & semi-sweet Gewurtztraminer work exceptionally well in this area.

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