Chinese Takeout & Wine Pairing

Chinese food is a special occasion staple in my family as it offers tasty food at an affordable price. Everyone has that favourite dish they are looking forward to, whether it be Chicken Balls, Stir-Fried Rice, Pork Spare Ribs, or my personal fave, General Tao Chicken.

When it comes to wine with Chinese Food, Riesling, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Sparkling Wine and Albariño are our top choices as they all offer complementary flavours. These wines also have ample acidity to cut through the saltiness and high-fat content of Chinese food.

Chinese Takeout

Albariño & Chinese Food Pairing

Albariño is a medium to full-bodied Spanish white wine that has a creamy body that is similar to Chardonnay, as well as a citrus tang. I find the creamy texture of the wine complements the rich flavours of earthy Chinese Takeout dishes such as stir-fried rice, egg rolls, pork spare ribs, or egg-based dishes. The acidic tang of Albariño ensures that it will pair up nicely with almost anything you order.

Riesling & Chinese Takeout

When dining on Chinese food you want a refreshing wine that will lift the salt and fat away, and there’s no better wine to do this than a Riesling. Riesling has a crisp lemon/lime bite that sharply cuts through flavour veil of the many dishes you will want to sample. The acidity in Riesling also adds vibrancy to every dish, putting a spotlight on flavours you may have never even noticed before.

Riesling does come in many different variants, from dry, to off-dry, to sweet, to still and then sparkling. Sweet Riesling would be too sweet for Chinese takeout (think of it as a syrupy dessert wine, but the other styles are worth experimenting with to match your own personal tastes.

Zinfandel & Chinese Food Takeout Pairing

I still remember the day I tried Zinfandel along with Chinese takeout. The experience was magical as Zinfandel has a slight sweetness that is electrified when combined with the saltiness of the Chinese food. Meanwhile, the fruity flavours of the Zin complement the flavours found in that sweet and sour sauce we love to drizzle all over our chicken balls and rice. The sweetness and slight smokiness of a medium-bodied Zinfandel also mixes well with a wide variety of dishes such as spareribs, pork fried rice, and chow main.

mixes well with everything from Sweet and Sour Spareribs, to red-sauce drenched chicken balls and pork fried rice.

Pinot Noir & Chinese Food

Chinese Food tends to have an earthy and smoky flavour due to the various soy, fish, or sesame sauces used in its preparation, along with the fact that the majority of the food is pan fried. These earthy flavours are complemented by the forest floor and smoky notes found in a Pinot Noir, making this pairing a union of yumminess!

Pinot Noir also has ripe wild strawberry flavours, along with black cherry, raspberry and plum that are refreshing against the salty and fatty nature of Chinese takeout. The acidity in Pinot Noir knocks the salt and fat right out your mouth, allowing you to taste the wine and the Chinese food with each bite.

Sparkling Wine & Chinese Food Takeout

Much like Riesling, Sparkling Wine can almost be paired with anything. With so many options, we’d lean towards Prosecco as it is ever so slightly sweet and tends to have a nutty flavour that meshes well with Asian Cuisine. The acidity and bubbles in a flute of Prosecco (or any sparkling wine), lift the saltiness and fat content of the Chinese food away, letting you enjoy the subtle flavours you may have never noticed before.

Since Chinese Takeout is often served at special occasions, there’s no better way to get the party started then popping the cork on a bottle of Sparkling!
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