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Mar 9, 2010 11:13 AM

Wine pairing for Asian-flavored dinner

Looking for a good match, preferably red, for a dinner that will be both grilled tuna and flank steak with a ginger cream sauce (with vinegar and Sriracha chile sauce in it). Sides will be an "Asian" slaw (Napa cabbage, rice vinegar, chiles, bit of sugar) and a noodle stir-fry (glass noodles, rice vinegar, vegetables, sesame oil).

I've read some of the other posts suggesting Brut Rose (which I like but others will not) and suggesting Pinot Noir (a favorite of ours). Any comments? The dish will be somewhat spicy, not overly so...shiraz? zin?

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  1. If pinot is your favorite, you can't go wrong. Riesling and sauvignon blanc would be some options I would look at as well if it were me. Shiraz and zin could probably work, but I am not a big fan of these with Asian spices...but that is just me. -mJ

    1 Reply
    1. If it must be red, then pinot noir or beaujolais are okay options. Or an Austrian red liek Zweigelt or Blaufrankisch. Many zins might be alcohol heavy. Ditto shiraz.

      1. Vinegar is no friend of wine, and combining it with sugar and spicy makes it even more difficult. IMHO, you need a high acid wine that will have enough stuffing to stand up and work with beef and a beefy fish (tuna). Sparkling wine is the slam dunk (in general, cuts through oil/heat/umami) and you could choose the sparkling wine of your choosing, e.g. rose Champagne would be great but just about all of them would work. Hefty riesling with some residual sugar would also work, as would Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc. A good Alsatian Gewurtztraminer would work, with the caveat that not everyone is a fan. Zesty style sauv blanc (e.g. New Zealand) but not mineral driven (e.g. Sancerre) is an option. Heat amplifies tannins, so I would stay away from big reds like shiraz and zinfandel. Pinot noir will be cut to ribbons by these dishes, IMHO. Finally, if you are willing to think far, far outside the box, good quality Lambrusco will be red, sweet, bubbly and fun (but you will have to convince everyone that there's such a thing as good Lambrusco--which there is). Just my 10 cents.

        1. I'd skip the red 100% and go gewurz all day.

          1 Reply
          1. re: invinotheresverde

            Its a tall order to work with Asian food for wines, since the flavors are usually so diverse and intense. Here's a link that may help.


          2. Not to be a skunk at the wine picnic but this pairing to me has beer written all over it. Huge flavors like vinegars, chiles, ginger, etc call for sweet sturdy malt and medium hops. I'd suggest a Belgian Dark Strong Ale, Bock, etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chinon00

              I agree with you here. Trying to find a wine to pair with spicy asian food is fitting a square peg into a round hole. You may find a wine that is OK but few to none will be a great pairing, whereas beer is a great pairing. Lately I've been experimenting with IPAs and Asian food. Both English style and San Diego style, with a preference for the bigger SD style.