The Chinese New Year 2022 is celebrated on February 1, 2022, with this year being the Year of the Water Tiger, plus it is predicted to be a lucky year! Goodbye COVID, we hope.
Check out our food and wine pairings in this newsletter to plan your own celebration...either in person or virtually!
And we can't forget Valentine's Day! February is the "month of love" in which there are less days but love is more. Check out our selection of BrüMate drinking containers which would make the perfect gift for that someone special in your life.
Janice & Jason
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Pairing Chinese Food with Wine
Given the complexity of many Chinese dishes, it is important to identify wines that are high in acidity, lower in tannins and oak, light to medium bodied, more fruit forward, and in some cases, semi-sweet. This allows for much more flexibility that the standard answer of pairing Chinese food with a semi-sweet Riesling (which is rarely done in China – they prefer to drink more red wines), but at the same time Riesling is a good match for certain dishes. The following paragraphs provide some wine and Chinese food suggestions:
Aromatic Dry Whites – Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc , Torrontés, Etc.
Delicate, aromatic dry white wines, generally marked by light body, high acidy, minerality, with a range of aromas, pair well with Cantonese food, which tends to be lightly cooked to bring out the natural flavors and umami of its ingredients, while retaining rich mouthfeel. Possibilities include dry Rieslings, aromatic Sauvignon Blancs, and more exotic varietals such as Torrontés. Chinese food matches could be:
Stir fried rice with steamed seafood
Steamed crab with ginger and vinegar
Stir fried Shrimp
Crisp Stuffed Lotus Roots
Whole Steamed Fish
Semi-Sweet White Wines: Gewürztraminer, Riesling, Moscato, Etc.
The subtle sweetness of off-dry white wines makes them suitable for spicier, or even more pungent foods; the wine’s cold temperature helps to cool off and cleanse the palate. In fact, the acidity and hint of sweetness make it quite versatile to balance flavorful, salty and fattier foods. In addition to semi-sweet white wines like Gewürztraminer, Riesling. Food pairing options include:
Dim Sum appetizers
BBQ Pork Buns
Spicy Szechuan Chicken
Deep-fry Marinated Pork
Light Fruity Red/Rosé Wines – Grenache, Pinot Noir, Rosé, Etc.
Fruity, light bodied red wines with low tannins and most Rosés often pair well with Chinese cuisine. The range of fruit and floral flavors make these wines quite forgiving with many umami-rich dishes. Examples include Grenache and Pinot Noir. Most any fruity Rosé can also create a delightful pairing:
Stewed pork belly or Pork Meatballs
Braised chicken with mushrooms
Kung Pao chicken
Braised vegetables – especially cabbage and radishes, which are good luck for New Years.
Bold, Elegant Red Wines – Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec. Etc.
Though most Western food and wine pairing experts, do not recommend pairing bolder red wines with Chinese food due to bigger tannins and oak, many gourmands in China do not pay attention to this rule. The key is selecting a bold red that has a high acid and more moderate oak, such as a Syrah that is more Merlot dominant. Though the tannins will accentuate the savory components in the food, it will also cut through the fat. Furthermore, if the dish has enough salt and sour tastes, this will also help the wine to come into balance. But some Chinese say they enjoy the bold and explosive tastes of tannins paired with spicy food – creating fireworks in your mouth. Possible Chinese dishes to pair with bold yet elegant red wines include:
Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein With Oyster Sauce
Stir Fried Beef with Vegetables
Fried Chinese Spare Ribs
Braised Shitake Mushrooms with Bok Choy
Chinese New Year Menu
The family that cooks together, stays together. Take your time and give this homemade dumpling process lots of love—餃子 (jiao zi) are often made in the company of loved ones around Chinese New Year to celebrate families gathering together.
A little spice never hurt anyone.
Beef and Broccoli
Tender, juicy beef and broccoli smothered in a special glossy sauce. Who needs to order takeout when you have a Beef and Broccoli recipe.
Skinny Chow Mein
You know you always make a run for it at the mall. Now recreate it at home—without all the added oil.