Organic Wine Pairings: Chinese & Thai Food

If you’re like me, you occasionally rely on your local organic food store or restaurant for prepared takeout entrees. With our harried lifestyles, we’re definitely a nation of on-the-go eaters. But while many of us savor wine with our meals, only about 40% of wine drinkers say they’re likely to enjoy a glass at home with their takeout favorites, according to a new study from the Wine Market Council and Merrill Research.

“Wine and food are meant to be enjoyed together—and that holds true whether you’re having a five-course gourmet meal or a takeout burrito,” says wine expert and Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, author of Great Wine Made Simple and Andrea Immer Robinson’s 2006 Wine Buying Guide for Everyone. Robinson, who also hosts the new wine pairing/cooking show, Pairings with Andrea, on the Fine Living Network, has teamed with the Wine Market Council to share wine pairings for America’s favorite on-the-go eats.

Chinese Food

Whether sweet and sour or stir-fried with soy sauce, Chinese food has lots of crunchy-sweet veggies, sometimes with a kick of spice. Pair Chinese dishes with a wine made from the Gewürztraminer grape. The wine’s soft, fruity, spicy flavors complement veggies and contrast nicely with salty soy sauce and spices. Or consider a red wine made from the soft Gamay grape, which complements sweet-and-sour and hoisin sauces. The Gamay’s earthiness also brings out the subtle tastes of soy, garlic and fermented black beans in stir-fry.

Thai Food

Thai chili peppers and curries are some of the hottest, with their heat often toned down by a touch of sweet coconut milk. This makes the hint of sweetness and juicy fruit of a white Zinfandel or white Merlot a perfect choice. The wine’s acidity sets off all the complex layers of curry flavor, while its sweetness and chill cool down fiery curry flavors. Or go a little more exotic with the floral-scented, peachy-fruited and delicately sweet Kabinett-level German Riesling. Known for its delicacy and low alcohol, it won’t fan the flames of the chili peppers’ kick.

Tune in tomorrow for more pairing tips from Robinson.

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  • Richard Langley  December 25, 2007 at 11:55 am

    I have two questions. There are Chinese wines on the market in the US. Why can I not find any pairings of Chinese wine with Chinese food? How do the Chinese pair wine with food?
    Thank you.

  • Chinese food  July 9, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Almost all dishes of Chinese food are, as a rule, cooked in the kitchen by stir-frying, shallow frying, deep frying, stewing, steaming, etc. and then presented to the diners. Only the chafing dish merges the cooking and the eating processes. What is more, the cooking apparatus is placed on the table and fire is made to burn from the beginning to the end of the dinner. Doesn’t this remind you of the way of eating our remote ancestors were habituated to? Even now, in our times, those who eat together around a chafing dish must be family members or close companions. They are your good friends, if not brothers. Doesn’t this smack of a deep feeling of perfect human relationship? Especially in deep winter, when the north wind is howling and snowflakes are flying, what can surpass dinning around a chafing dish for the enjoyment of life and sincere human relationship?

  • dmsky  July 16, 2008 at 10:43 pm

    I’ve been drinking wine for a long time, but trying to discern each wine’s unique characteristics is a new challenge for me. Thanks for your insight.

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