Wine And Chinese Food: A Guide To Smart Pairing

China is one of the countries that is appreciated worldwide for its rich and vibrant food culture. Everyone loves Chinese cuisine because of its diversified colors, exquisite taste, and aromatic flavors. Beyond this, for some people, Chinese food is no less than a piece of art. To enhance the beauty of this cuisine and uplift the whole dining experience, you must pair the food with a glass of exotic wine. 


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Although the combination of wine and Chinese food is not an obvious choice for wine connoisseurs, with a bit of knowledge and the right choices, you can offer your tastebuds an unforgettable experience. The pairing of Chinese food with wine is a little complicated as this cuisine is packed with various flavors that might clash awkwardly with the flavors of wine. The unpleasant clash of flavors might result in bad taste in the mouth. To help you avoid such situations, we have created this article for you. Here we have mentioned some of the popular Chinese dishes and the style of wine that goes beautifully with it. It will make you learn how to pair Chinese food with wine. 


If you are booking a China vacation package and looking forward to enjoying Chinese food with wine but are unsure about the combination, read this article. It will help you learn what to drink with Chinese food by introducing you to some of the food and wine pairing you will surely love. 


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Review this article and use it as a jump-off point to find your own combinations of Chinese food with wine.


Let’s take a tour of which Chinese food tastes the best with different wines. Have a look!



A Guide To Pairing Of Chinese Food With Wine

  1. Dumpling/ Dim Sum

  2. Fried Rice

  3. Kung Pao Chicken

  4. Chow Mein

  5. Tso’s Chicken

  6. Peking/Crispy Duck

  7. Moo Shu Pork


1. Dumpling/ Dim Sum



Dumpling is a classic dish served in China. Since this is one of the most widely known dishes in Western countries, it is crucial to understand how to pair this Chinese food with wine. Dumplings are crisp or steamed pockets of all-purpose flour filled with vegetables, meat, chicken, or more. They have a mild flavor which opens plenty of options of wine to pair with. It is one dish that doesn’t require much thinking about what to drink with Chinese food.


The choice of wine you can’t go wrong with is “Sparkling Wine.” Having sparkling wine with steamed dumplings will balance out the flavors. However, if you are going for fried dumplings, then “Franciacorta” is the wine for you. It is low in alcohol and high in acidity, which gets cut through the oil. So, next time make sure you try this Chinese food with wine and have a taste like never before. 


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2. Fried Rice


Fried rice is yet another dish from Chinese cuisine that people love worldwide. It is a hearty dish that can be enjoyed as a whole meal on its own. This dish has stir-fried rice accompanied by meat, tofu, or vegetables. The base of the dish has plenty of oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, spices, egg (optional), and garlic. Fried rice is a greasy dish that cries for acidity to refresh the palate. If you want to pair this Chinese food with wine, then  Lambrusco is what you should order. 


This wine is all about fruits like blackberries, strawberries, and hibiscus tea. It also has a hint of earthiness suitable for competing with something salty, greasy, and aromatic. Lambrusco has acidity, fruitiness, bubbles, earthiness, and low tannins, which help create a balance with the flavors of fried rice. Try this combination, and you will no longer worry about what to drink with Chinese food.


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3. Kung Pao Chicken



It’s time to get spicier with Kung Pao Chicken. It is a famous spicy Sichuan dish that is a little sweet, sour, and spicy. This dish is prepared with chicken, fried peanuts, dried chili, vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar. Kung Pao Chicken is so high in spice that it can make your lips buzz. Now, people who love chicken wonder how to enjoy this Chinese food with wine. It seems like a nightmare for people because of the variety of flavors. However, Pinot Gris is the right pick for you.


If you are ordering Kung Pao Chicken, look no further than Pinot Gris from Alsace, France. This wine has sugar, fruity flavors, structure and is high in acidity. These qualities of the wine balance this dish’s aromatic and spicy qualities and offer a great taste to the tastebuds. 


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4. Chow Mein


Chow Mein is a dish from Chinese cuisine that is known to almost everyone. It is a classic stir-fried noodle dish that is skillfully prepared with fresh ingredients like onions, peppers, mushrooms, ginger, garlic, vegetables, chicken, meat, pork, and more. You can bring your own creativity to it by adding any ingredient that you love. It also has rice vinegar and soy sauce that provide it with rich flavors. 


When it comes to pairing this Chinese food with wine, you should order Pet Nat. It is a type of wine where the fermentation is done inside the bottle itself. This offers the wine delightful natural carbonation without adding any unnatural ingredients. Other than Pet Nat, you can also try Muscat or Moscato. These wines have an intuitive nature that matches perfectly with the nature of vegetables and noodles. Also, the acidity and bubbles of the wine balance out the salt and oil of chow mein. 


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5. Tso’s Chicken



If you want to pick one Chinese food with wine, then Tso’s Chicken is a great choice. It is a deep-fried, spicy, sweet, aromatic, and sour chicken dish commonly served in Chinese restaurants. If you are unsure whether to order wine with this dish, trust us; it tastes perfect with Qvevri Rkatsiteli. It is rightly said that nothing can stop you from trying Chinese food with wine.


Qvevri based wine tastes great with Tso’s Chicken because of the matching notes. The flavors of the drinks blend perfectly with the sweetness and sourness of the dish. Such wines are extremely food-friendly because it has flavors of sweet tea, orange peel, honey, spice, and stone fruit. Qvevri wines are full-bodied wines high in acidity and taste great with the dishes of heavy sauce. 


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6. Peking/Crispy Duck


If you are in the mood of spending a few extra bucks just to enjoy a luxurious meal, then this combination of Chinese food with wine is for you. Peking or Crispy Duck is a beloved duck dish that is commonly considered the same. However, Peking duck is roasted while crispy dick is deep-fried. These kinds of ducks are served with hoisin sauce, shredded cucumber, and spring onion. 


To balance out the taste, you must enjoy this dish with Pinot Noir. This wine works like magic with duck. It is a little pricey because it is hard to grow and requires a lot of devotion. However, if you want to stick with white wine, then Chenin blanc or a good old off-dry riesling is a great pick. These wines are lighter and fresh in texture that enhances the taste of the duck. So, next time when you go out for lunch, you must try this Chinese food with wine.


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7. Moo Shu Pork



The last Chinese food with wine recommendation we have for you is a Northern Chinese dish- Moo Shu Pork. It is a rich, mouth-filling dish prepared with meat and stir-fry vegetables wrapped nicely in thin-as-paper pancakes. This dish has thin slices of pork tenderloin and cucumbers and has scrambled eggs. These are stir-fried in sesame oil or peanut oil, and then wood ear and mushrooms are added to it. 


If you are confused about what to drink with Chinese food like Moo Shu Pork, then white wines and lighter-styled red are ideal picks for you. The ingredients of this dish nicely match with white wines because they have a tinge of sweetness which balances out the flavors. Other than that, lighter red wines like Dolcetto, Beaujolais, or peppery cabernet franc are perfect because they balance the flavors like no other wine. 


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