Best Wine With Chinese Food - 11 Amazing Pairings!

wine with chinese food

Quick Answer: Riesling is our #1 choice because of its versatility in terms of pairing with all types of food. If you're looking for a red wine, choose a Pinot Noir. And when in doubt, choose a Sparkling Wine!

Chinese food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. It’s no wonder that so many people are looking for wine pairing ideas to go with their favorite dishes.

And normally, when it comes to wine and food pairings, there are endless possibilities. But when it comes to pairing with Chinese food, things can get a bit tricky. Each Chinese dish has its own unique flavor profile, which means that you can pair a different wine for each one.

So in this article, we will give you a few tips on how to choose the right wine for your next Chinese food meal!

Table of Contents

What Kind of Wine Goes With Chinese Food?

Check out our best wine pairings with these popular Chinese dishes:

Fried Rice

fried rice chinese restaurant

Fried rice is a popular Chinese dish that is typically made with rice, vegetables, eggs, and meat. It can be served as a main dish or as a side dish. Fried rice is usually flavored with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger.

Please keep in mind fried rice might be prepared in a variety of ways, therefore the wine pairing should be considered accordingly.

White wine: Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a good pairing with Fried rice because of its herbal aromas and crisp acidity. The wine will help to balance the richness of the dish and it will also highlight the flavors of the ginger and garlic.

Red wine: Pinot Noir

If you’re looking for a red wine to pair with fried rice, a Pinot Noir is a good choice. Pinot Noirs are light-bodied red wines that have flavors of cherries and strawberries. They also have a higher acidity, which will help to cut through the richness of the dish.

General Tso's Chicken

sweet and sour dishes chinese food general tso's chicken sweet and sour chicken

General Tso’s chicken is a popular Chinese-American dish that is made with chicken, vegetables, and a sweet and spicy sauce. The sauce is typically made with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chili peppers.

Red wine: Zinfandel or Syrah

When pairing wine with General Tso’s chicken, you want to choose a wine that can stand up to the spice of the dish. A good wine to pair with General Tso’s chicken is a Zinfandel. Zinfandels are typically high in alcohol, bold flavors, and spice notes which makes them a good choice for pairing with spicy food. 

Another good wine to pair with General Tso’s chicken is a Syrah. Syrahs are also high in alcohol and have bold spice flavors. But unlike Zinfandels, Syrahs also have a higher acidity. This higher acidity will help to balance out the sweetness of the sauce.

Dumplings

dumplings chinese food wine pairing

Dumplings are a popular Asian food that are made with ground meat and vegetables. They are typically boiled or steamed or fried and served with a dipping sauce.

White wine: Sauvignon Blanc/Sparkling Wine

It will make a difference whether dumplings are cooked/steamed or fried when paired with wine. A good wine to pair with dumplings is a Sauvignon Blanc.

Sauvignon Blancs are typically light-bodied dry white wines with flavors of citrus, fruit, and herbs. A boiled/steamed dumplings will work well because the wine will not overpower the delicate flavors of the dumpling.

If you’re having fried dumplings, a Sparkling wine is a good choice. The bubbles would help cut through the greasiness of the dish. And it will also help to cleanse your palate between bites.

Kung Pao Chicken

Kung Pao chicken is a famous fast food Chinese dish that is made with chicken, peanuts, and a sweet and spicy sauce. The sauce is typically made with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chili peppers. With all of these sauces and flavors, it’s difficult to pair this meal.

White wine: Riesling

When pairing wine with Kung Pao chicken, you want to choose a wine that can stand up to the spice and sweetness of the dish. Therefore good wine to pair with Kung Pao chicken is an off-dry Riesling.

Rieslings are one of the most versatile wines for Chinese food pairings. They are typically light and fruity, which makes them a good choice for pairing with dishes with a variety of flavors. And the refreshing acidity will help to cut through the richness of the dish.

Red wine: Beaujolais Nouveau

Another good wine to pair with Kung Pao chicken is a Beaujolais Nouveau. Beaujolais Nouveaus are light-bodied red wines that are best consumed young. They have flavors of cherries and strawberries and will pair well with the sweetness of the sauce.

Mu Shu Pork

Mu Shu Pork or moo shu pork chinese food

Mu shu pork is a popular Chinese dish that is made with pork, vegetables, and pancakes. The dish is typically served with hoisin sauce (a sweet and savory sauce made with soybean paste, garlic, chili peppers, and sugar).

White wine: Gewurztraminer

When pairing wine with Mu shu pork, you want to choose a wine that can stand up to the sweetness of the hoisin sauce.

And Gewurztraminers are typically high in alcohol and have bold flavors of spice and fruit. The sweetness of the wine will help to balance out the sweetness of the hoisin sauce.

Red wine: Amarone

If you’re looking for a red wine to pair with Mu shu pork, Amarone is a good choice. Amarone is a dry red wine that is made from partially dried grapes. It has flavors of cherries, plums, and spice. And the higher alcohol content and fruitiness will help to stand up to the sweetness of the hoisin sauce

Sweet and Sour Pork

sweet and sour dishes chinese food

Sweet and sour pork (or sweet and sour chicken) is one of the most popular sweet and sour dishes. It’s made with pork, vegetables, and a sweet and sour sauce. The sauce is typically made with vinegar, sugar, and ketchup.

White wine: Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris or Chenin Blanc

When pairing wine with sweet and sour pork, you want to choose a wine that can stand up to both the sweetness and sourness of the sauce.

Pinot Grigios/Pinot Gris are typically light-bodied white wines with flavors of citrus and fruit. The acidity in wine complements the sauce’s tartness, and the fruitiness really helped bring the flavors together.

Sweet and sour foods complement Chenin Blanc’s acidity and naturally sweet flavor.

Red wine: Zinfandel

Another delicious wine to pair with sweet and sour pork is a Zinfandel. Zinfandels are typically high in alcohol and have bold flavors of fruit and spice. And the spices of the wine will help to balance out the sweetness of the sauce. 

Beef Pepper Steak

Beef Pepper Steak chinese food

Beef pepper steak is a popular Chinese dish that is made with beef, peppers, and onions. It is typically served with a soy sauce-based gravy. 

White wine: Chardonnay

A good wine pairing with beef pepper steak, is one where the wine can stand up to the bold flavors of the dish.

Chardonnays are typically medium to full-bodied white wines with flavors of oak and butter. And the creamy texture and full body of the wine will help to balance out the heaviness of the dish.

Red wine: Cabernet Sauvignon

If you’re looking for a red wine to pair with beef pepper steak, Cabernet Sauvignon is a good choice. Steak and Cabernet always a good pairing!

Cabernet Sauvignons are typically full-bodied red wines with flavors of blackberry and cassis. And the tannins in the wine will help to cut through the steak fat of the dish.

Beef and Broccoli

beef and broccoli chinese food

Beef and broccoli is a popular Chinese dish that is made with beef, broccoli, and a oyster sauce-based gravy.

White wine: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

When pairing wine with beef and broccoli, you want to choose a wine that can stand up to the bold flavors of the dish.

Sauvignon Blancs are typically light-bodied white wines with flavors of citrus and grass. And the acidity in wine cuts through the richness of the dish, while the grassiness really helped bring the earthy flavors out of the dish.

Red wine: Merlot

A good red wine to pair with beef and broccoli is a Merlot. Merlots are typically medium-bodied red wines with flavors of blackberry and plum. And the fruitiness of the wine will help to balance out the heaviness of the dish.

Peking Duck

peking duck chinese food

Peking duck is one of the most famous Chinese dishes. It’s made with duck, vegetables, and a hoisin sauce, normally wrapped in a bun.

White wine: Riesling

A somewhat off-dry white wine pairs well with Peking Duck because of the sweetness of the sauce. A dry white wine with bright acidity and moderate to low alcohol content will allow the flavors of the duck to shine.

Red wine: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir has low to moderate tannins and the acidity is a good match for Peking Duck by not overpowering and covering the flavors of the duck. And the hearty and sweet flavors of the sauce will go well with the dark fruits in the wine

Steamed Fish

steamed fish chinese food strong soy sauce flavors

Steamed fish is one of my favorite Chinese dishes that is made with fish, green onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and a light soy sauce-based sauce.

White wine: Sancerre

When pairing wine with steamed fish, you want to choose a wine that can stand up to the delicate flavors of the dish.

Sancerre are typically light-bodied white wines with flavors of herbs, minerals, and a hint of saltiness. The salinity of the wine really helps to bring out the delicate flavors of the fish. 

Chow Mein

Chow Mein

Chow Mein is a dish made with noodles, vegetables, and a sauce-based gravy. Proteins are often added to the dish.

White wine: Pinot Grigio

When pairing wine with chow mein, you want to choose a wine that can stand up to the bold flavors of the dish.

Pinot Grigios are typically light-bodied white wines with flavors of citrus and apple. And the acidity in wine helps to cut through the heaviness of the dish.

Red wine: Merlot

A good red wine to pair with chow mein is a Merlot. Merlots are typically medium-bodied red wines with flavors of blackberry and plum. And if protein is included, the fruitiness of the wine will help to balance out the heaviness of the dish.

What Do You Drink With Chinese Food?

Wine is a fantastic pairing with Chinese cuisine, but it isn’t the only option. Baijiu (Chinese liquor) or beer are other alcohol beverages that pair well with Chinese food. And tea is a classic non-alcoholic match with Chinese dishes.

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