I am no wine connoisseur, but I drink plenty of wine and make a variety of Asian dishes at home every week and so I thought I share my Asian food and wine pairings with readers. You might have already noticed that there is a constant debate on whether red should go with red meat and white with fish and white meat only. The truth is as long as you like how they both come together and compliment each other, it does not really matter what others say. At least that is my maxim and it has served me well. It is experimenting, and plenty of it, and be adventurous. I do that with inexpensive table wines I can get my hands on at Trader Joes, if you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joes store not too far away (sigh). Make a note of what you like with what in a notebook I write mine in a journal that has a pretty wine country landscape cover. I use it to write little reminders to myself on everything about food and wine. Do not be afraid to experiment and go off tangient as that is part of the fun. Do that often and you will be well on your way to writing your own little wine appreciation story to share with your friends….
I am excluding sushi and sashimi in my pairing notes below because sushi and sashimi have raw fish in them as you know. Pairing them with wine is quite a delicate art all together and I have not had much success thus far except with sake.
For those of you who crave for Asian food, you probably love them because they are usually very healthy, flavorful and rich in spices. Below is how I pair my food:
– Shiraz or pino Nior with very spicy Southeast Asian noodle. This may seem to many as two extremes, but try it and you will see why.
– Sauvignon blanc with lightly brown pot stickers (see my recipe on how to steam pot stickers on AC). I prefer white here, sauvignon blanc for example but that is just me, you could definitely do red here, pino noir would be a great compliment
– Californian merlot or shiraz with terriyaki rice, serve teriyaki on the side with steam rice and salad greens tossed in Asian sesame dressing from Trader Joes. Yummy.
– Sauvignon blanc (New Zealand from Marlbourough region sauvignon blanc if you can) with quickly tossed string or French beans (in olive oil) served with steam rice and grilled salmon fillet
– Curries, yes, curries are my favorites. redang, red curry, green curry, the Thai and Indonesian kind, I pair them with merlot or carbernet sauvignon and chardonnay for white.
– Then there is the Indian curry: korma, masala, yummy. Here I normally eat with pino girgio for white or pino noir for red.Of course, I have not forgotten about tandoori chicken, try it with a glass of pino grigio or champagne if you are daring to experiment with your palette. For red, go with shiraz.
As for Chinese cognac or whisky, sorry, I am just not very crazy about them even though I grew up in Asia. They never tasted good with the Asian food I make at home. Even though you might hear boisterous shouts of “yum seng” in Chinese restaurants. Those hard liquors are better off drank at the bar. For me, it is either a nice glass of wine or Jasmine tea or. My point here is that there are things I stay away from because it is simply going to ruin my dinner.
Finally a side note, if wine is not your thing, try a light beer with Asian food, you will not go wrong.