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James Kendal

Chinese Food and Wine Pairing

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If you had to pair wines with Chinese food what would you consider for the following menu?

Deep Fried Crispy Bean Cake/Deep Fried Minced Shrimp Ball

Stir Fried Prawm. Cuttlefish and Chicken in X.O. Sauce

Assorted Dried Seafood with Shark Fin Soup

Live Lobster and Crab in Black Bean Sauce

Chef's Special Free Range Chicken

Sweet and Sour Rock Cod

Chef's Special Stuffed Duck (Boneless)

Selected Vegetable Braised with Bai-Ling Mushroom

Minced Beef and Green Onion Fried Rice

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Not too certain that this will be of any value to your question, but I did read this some time ago:

Chinese dishes and wines

The task of pairing wine with Chinese food can be difficult because so many of our dishes have a combination of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy sauces, and we often combine meat or seafood with poultry and vegetables. We also serve and share several dishes at one sitting, rather than ordering a pasta, seafood, or meat entree.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I know this is usually an umpopular answer, but you should try beer instead of wine.

If I had to go with wine (which would be my second choice) I would stick to whites, like gewurstraminer or riesling. Or even better, sparkling wine. A good blanc de noir goes well with most asian food.


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All the suggestions in the thread are good.

I would suggest that red Bordeaux would work well with the meat and poultry dishes.

I have had some great results matching red wine with the food at Susannah Foo's in Philadelphia (Chinese with French technique) also dishes at Shun Lee here in NYC.

I have never eaten there but--there was (still is?) a fine Vietnamese restaurant in Paris that was noted for its collection of fine Bordeaux especially its Pomerols. The food wine pairing there has been acclaimed by food and wine writers.

I would stay away from red wine with highly spiced dishes or those where there is a strong element of ginger.

Just a thought.

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There was an article in Food&Wine a couple of issues back on this subject. One thing I remember is that you can generally pick a sparkling wine if the dish works well with beer.

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Deep Fried Crispy Bean Cake/Deep Fried Minced Shrimp Ball: Californian Sparkling wine or Prosecco: something light with good acidity to cut the fat and highlight the seafood flavour.

Stir Fried Prawm. Cuttlefish and Chicken in X.O. Sauce: Alsatian Riesling with some residual sugar to balance the spicy X.O sauce

Assorted Dried Seafood with Shark Fin Soup: Trophy Bordeaux Reds, cult California Reds. Not sure it makes sense but that's what they serve in HK.

Live Lobster and Crab in Black Bean Sauce: That's a hard one. Beer might in fact be the perfect match. A tall cold Tsingtao or the HK favourite, San Miguel Draft.

Chef's Special Free Range Chicken: If you're referring to a steamed chicken with ginger and scallion dipping sauce, can't ask for a better match than a zippy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

Sweet and Sour Rock Cod: Another tough one. Do you fight acid with acid? I think only a champagne will do the trick here, otherwise go with beer. Any other wine would be overwhelmed and wasted.

Chef's Special Stuffed Duck (Boneless) A no brainer. Red Burgundy or Oregon Pinot Noir.

Selected Vegetable Braised with Bai-Ling Mushroom. White Burgundy (Montrachet)or a nice California oaked Chardonnay.

Minced Beef and Green Onion Fried Rice: Aren't you drunk by now? I think a simple Loire Valley Sancerre will complement the green onion.

Another alternative is just drink champagne throughout.

Or try a semi-dry Gerwertz or Auslese from Germany.

Finish off the meal with a shot of Louis XIII (refrain from mixing with 7-Up like some would!!), or some Ontario Riesling Icewine for dessert.

Now if I could only get an invite to this dinner......

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James,

At a recent multi-course dinner in Richmond to celebrate Chinese New Year, we found that the Millefiori (a white wine blend) from Venturi Schulze - a neighbour of yours - to be very palatable and worked well with all the courses. It is a blend of Siegerrebe, Madeleine Angevine, and Ortega. Slighty effervescent, good acidity. We have enjoyed it numerous times with Chinese food, being a staple on the small but descent wine list at J & J Wonton Noodle House.

Our neighbour at the dinner, none other than Zucchini Mama, was enjoying Obsession from Ironstone Vineyards, a very floral wine.

Your menu has some parallel to ours, Cantonese with subtle clean flavours.


Edited by shelora (log)

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BEER. Or if you are feeling expansive and generous, XO brandy with 7UP on the side.

At my family's supper table, there is always soup, which is more traditional and preferred.

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