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Jul 14, 2008 10:23 AM

wine pairing for asian foods

thought you might find this guide interesting to check out.

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?

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  1. >> 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.


      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

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

      2. 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. 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. 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

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