Organic Wine Pairings: Chinese & Thai Food

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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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