This week’s #SundaySupper theme Asian Cuisine. Yum! I love Asian cuisine! But it wasn’t always that way.
I grew up on the Midwest, and we didn’t eat very much Asian food, other than Chinese food occasionally.
Then we moved to California – the perfect place for me to taste the diverse world of Asian cuisines. And that’s just what the #SundaySupper foodies have on the menu this week.
You’re going to find diverse and delectable recipes with roots in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and more!
Pairing Wine with Asian Cuisine
Let’s face it, for most wine is not top of mind when it comes to pairing with Asian Cuisine. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to an Asian restaurant and seen a diverse selections of beer, or perhaps Sake, and usually, less than a handful of wines. There’s typically a Chardonnay (America’s favorite wine), a Cabernet Sauvignon, and perhaps another wine or two.
I think it’s because, in broad terms, wine isn’t as much ingrained in Asian cultures. Especially when compared to European or even American culture. Beer or other adult beverages typically find more favor within Asian cultures. Beer, sake and other adult beverage can be good choices. But wine can also be a great partner for Asian Cuisine.
Tips for pairing wine with Asian Cuisine
- Don’t go crazy over with pairing food and wine. It can be challenge for one wine to work with a multitude of dishes. If the wine doesn’t work with a particular dish, skip it and have a sip of water or tea to cleanse your palate. Try the wine with another dishes, and chances are you will find success.
- Try food friendly wines with high acidity and lower alcohol. Riesling, Pinot (Noir, Gris, Blanc), Beaujolais,Dolcetto, Gruner Vetliner, Muscadet, Rosés (still and sparkling ), and sparkling wines are great wines to pair with Asian Cuisines.
- Avoid wines with high alcohol and/or tannins. Such wines can overpower a dish or in the case of a high alcohol wine amplify the perception of heat in a spicy dish.
- Pair to dominant taste first, flavors second. When thinking about which wines to pair with food start with the primary tastes – salty, sweet, sour, and bitter before considering specific flavors. So, what’s the difference between tastes and flavor? Tastes are objective, whereas flavors tend to be subjective. For example, the sourness of a lemon, or the sweetness of honey are objective. A lemon is sour and honey is not. On the other hand describing the flavor of a strawberry is personal and subjective. Just as foods have primary tastes, so do wines – those being sweet, sour and bitter. This opens the door to match foods and wines, or if you desire to set up contrasts. Start with the primary taste for either the wine or the food, then decide if you want to mirror or contrast the taste before getting into the specifics of flavors. Speaking of dominant tastes and flavors, pair to the sauce because that typically dominates a dish.
- Spicy and salty foods like sweet wines. Wines come in varying degrees of sweetness from off-dry (slightly sweet) to semi-dry (medium sweet) to an unctuous dessert wine that could satisfy a sweet tooth. Wines that are off-dry or semi-dry, such as a Riesling, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, or Muscat make a great counterbalance for moderately spicy Indian and Asian dishes. That’s because the sweetness of the wine cuts the heat (unlike carbonated beverages which amplify the perception of heat). Likewise, a sweet wine can provide a nice counterbalance to salty food
- Match the “weight” of the food and the wine. Match delicate wines with delicate foods and robust wines with robust foods.
Experiment and have a sense of adventure. The tips presented in this article are suggestions that will increase your odds of finding wines to pair with Asian Cuisine. But they may or may not be to your liking. It’s a good idea to keep a track your successes (and failures!) and rely on that to build your knowledge of which pairings work best.
Here are my recommendations for this week’s fabulous Asian Cuisine menu:
Pair these Small Bites with a Rosé sparkling wine. My “house’ (everyday) sparkling wine is the Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut ($13). It’s a beautiful pale salmon color and packed with strawberry, cherry, peach and blood orange flavors, with a bit of sweetness that is complemented with a hint of herbaceousness. Rosé sparkling wine may be the ultimate wine for starters and small plates. Sparkling wine sets a celebratory tone and its color makes a visual impression.
- Baked Turkey Lumpia – Filipino Eggroll by Food Done Light
- Crab Ragoon by Recipes Food and Cooking
- Fried Rice by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Homemade Sushi by The Freshman Cook
- Mango Pudding by Brunch with Joy
- Shrimp Rangoon Egg Rolls with Honey-Soy Dipping Sauce by The Weekend Gourmet
- Thai Style Sliders by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Venison Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce by Grumpy’s Honeybunch
I actually don’t recommend pairing wine with these soups. Besides the soups being chock full of flavor, combining hot broth and a cool wine is a tough combination. I think the wine would be best served either before or after the soup.
- Asam Laksa by Caroline’s Cooking
- Bacon Miso Ramen by The Crumby Cupcake
- Bok Choy Gai See Tong (Bok Choy and Shredded Chicken Soup) by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pork Prawn Wonton Soup by Food Lust People Love
Pair these dishes with Riesling, the white version of a “goes with virtually anything” wine. Look for 2014 Charles Smith “Kung Fu Girl” Columbia Valley Riesling ($10). It’s off-dry so it’ll handle some spice, and it fruit forward, and fresh with lychee, nectarine, peach and a bit of citrus character.
- Chicken Zoodle “Lo Mein” by Casa de Crews
- Easy Chow Mein by Momma’s Meals
- Ojingeo Bokkeum (Korean Spicy Stir-fried Squid) by kimchi MOM
- Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry by Panning The Globe
Pair these dishes with Pinot Blanc from the Alsace region of France, its spiritual home. Pinot Blanc, a mutation of Pinot Gris is a member of the Pinot family. It’s often suggested as an alternative to Chardonnay. It tends to be a medium to full-bodied wine with good acidity. I’ve found it’s a very good partner at the table with various Asian foods. Look for the 2012 Charles Baur Pinot Blanc ($13). It has a soft, creamy, and lush character with white peach, and sweet citrus aromas and flavors wrapped in spice.
- Crispy Asian Noodle Salad by Ruffles & Truffles
- Ginger-Citrus Grilled Salmon by Palatable Pastime
- Grilled Tandoori Chicken by Cooking Chat
- Nam Sod (Thai Pork Salad) by Magnolia Days
- Seven Flavor Precious Chicken by Nosh My Way
- Thai Chicken by Feeding Big
Pair these dishes with a juicy, low tannin red wine. I recently attended a fabulous Beaujolais and Japanese pairing dinner that was a great reminder of how food friendly Beaujolais wines (made from the Gamay grape) are. Look for the 2011 Chateau de Jacques Moulin-a-Vent ($14). It has a bold fruit black cherry, plum compote and cassis character with a savory undertone.
- Asian Beef and Green Bean Stir-Fry by Family Foodie
- Beef Lo Mein by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Hoisin Burgers with Peanut Slaw by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Oven Simmered Asian BBQ Chicken by What Smells So Good?
- Vietnamese Flank Steak by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
I’ve been on a bit of a Bahn Mi kick the last few months. And my top of mind, go to choice is Rose! Look for the 2014 Bonny Doon Vin Gris de Cigare (around $14). It’s a perennial favorite with an enchanting melon, peach, strawberry and spiced citrus character and lingering saline laced finish. .
Pair these dishes with a Gruner Vetliner, the signature grape of Austria. It’s an under the radar grape that’s pairs with a wide variety of good Look for Domaine Wachau Gruner Vetliner (around $16). It offers enticing aromas of tropical fruit, a bit of yellow apple, white pepper with a delicate herbal note. It’s medium bodied and harmonious with crisp acidity, juicy fruits and a spicy finish.
- Cheese Korokke by Manu’s Menu
- Copy Cat: CPK Thai Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Pad Thai by Curious Cuisiniere
- Soba Noodle Salad by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Oodles of Noodles
- Asian Noodle Types and 34 Best Asian Recipes by SundaySupper
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