The 5 Best Wine to Drink with Chinese Food

Nothing beats a night in, on your couch, with your significant other, chowing down on some scrumptious Chinese food. And what makes your night in of Chinese takeout and Netflix even better is a nice glass of wine.

But how do you choose the best wine to go with your Vegetable Lo Mein or dim sum? It’s safe to say that every Chinese restaurant has their own unique way of recreating the famous dishes. Knowing how these restaurants prepare their food (spices, acids, etc) will determine what kind of wine you choose for your night of cinema!

You may have the perfect wine in your cupboard at home, or a trip to the store may in order. Either way, your favorite Chinese dish can have the ideal wine to accompany it if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Here are some general rules of thumb you can keep in your back pocket for your next night in:

1. Sweet and Sour Creations

When it comes to sweet and sour Chinese dishes, you want to make sure you pair it with a white blend. Be careful to choose a white combination that is full of aromatics so that you can get the full effect.

A suggestion would be Gentil Hugel. This wine comes from an ancient tradition of wine making where the noble grape varieties were called Gentil. This wine is a mixture of many different types of wine and flavors. You will get a combination of Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Muscat, and Sylvaner all in one glass.

This combination of flavors makes it the perfect wine for your favorite sweet and sour Chinese meal.

2. Dim Sum Dishes

Thousand-layer CakeRice noodle rolls and wheat dumplings are just a couple of examples of the dim sum dishes you may find on your local Chinese restaurant’s menu. The perfect wine for these dishes would be sparkling wines. The sparkling sweetness of the wine goes well with the heaviness of the dim sum dishes.

You could try a glass of Champagne or even a chilled glass of Sherry to top of your dim sum dish. These are both excellent choices and will provide your palate with the best flavor experience.

3. Sichuanese-style Dishes

Do you enjoy the bolder, spicier flavors of Sichuanese-style dishes? We don’t blame you! These spice-filled choices are great for giving your tastebuds a tasty kick.

So, what kinds of wine are best for these spicier dishes? Bolder wines such as off-dry rosés or an off-dry Riesling will do just the trick. These flavors will combine with the spices perfectly.

4. Cantonese Dishes

If you prefer Cantonese dishes that are less seasoned (for simpler taste buds), you will need a sweet, fruity wine. A great choice here would be a German Riesling as it will provide that fruitiness the dishes with less seasoning will lack.

5. Shanghai Cuisine

When you have Shanghai cuisine, you will typically be enjoying rich flavors such as those found in pork. This is the cuisine you should call on a high tannin concentration. The tannin refers to the texture of the wine, which makes specific wines dryer than others. If you have a bottle of wine that is high in tannin, this will cut the grease from the rich foods in Shanghai cuisines for an exceptional tasting experience.

You could go with a red Bordeaux to really pair nicely with your Shanghai dish or a nice Merlot (which also goes with Peking cuisine nicely).


As you can see, Chinese food is full of flavor. That makes it the perfect cuisine for a variety of different wines to excite your taste buds. When you understand that flavors in each of the dishes, you can easily find a type of wine that pairs nicely to finish off your relaxing night.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match your favorite wine and Chinese cuisine. You never know what kind of flavor combination you may come up with sitting on your couch!

Keep in mind that different restaurants will recreate your favorite dish in different ways. Inquire about the spices and flavors they use to ensure you find the wine that is perfect for your meal choice.

1 Response

  1. I love that you mentioned that sweet and sour dishes would be perfect food to eat when drinking wine. I’ve been craving for Asian cuisine recently and now that the restaurants around my area are opening, I think it would be great to have an intimate dinner with my husband one of these evenings in order to unwind a bit. I hope that we can easily drive by an Asian restaurant and get some savory dishes as takeout.

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