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Dec 1, 2008 05:55 PM

ISO wine for Chinese hot pot

We're going to friends' home in a couple of weeks; she's Chinese and is fixing us hot pot. I'm really not much of a beer drinker. Could you recommend a wine for us to take please? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Hard question to answer, since there are so many different types of hot pots. Spicy or mild? Mongolian? What sort of meat/fish?

    When I don't know what to bring, I always bring a Zin. There are a couple of nice ones out now from Seghesio and Carlisle. Or you could go the opposite direction. A nice Beaujolais can pretty much go with everything, more or less. If your hosts are not big into wine, Beaujolais is usually a crowd pleaser. If you want something a bit more robust, try a Merlot. If you prefer white, a Riesling or Gewurztraminer are classic pairings for spicy Asian food.

    Hmmm...are there any grapes left? Chinese food is always a hard one. So just go with what you like.

      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        Yes. Hot Pots/Mongolian Fire Pots vary widely, but generally, Riesling with some sweetness works as a pairing. Spatlese-level sweetness or higher. As the spicy heat gets hotter, the sweetness of the wine needs to increase also. Hot Pots with Sichuan peppercorns are generally quite tough to pair; the Sichuan peppercorns kill the flavor of almost any wine. Hot tea is always an option.

      2. If it's Sichuan hot pot, I suggest Prosecco. The bubbles and acidity along with fairly neutral fruit expression do a great job of cleaning the palate of hot chilis and Sichuan peppercorns.

        1. Hi. I'll take the unconventional track as we've experimented with enough (very) spicy foods at home.

          If she will cook it authentic with enough peppercorns to make it spicy, then I'd suggest a Tatachilla Foundation Shiraz (red):

          No finesse, just muscle. You'll find that a Shiraz like this one (not all will work as well) will actually blend quite well with it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: girobike

            Since they have a four year old, I'm betting on less spicy and praying! for more spicy.