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Top five Chinese food and wine pairings

People across China are currently enjoying the seven-day national holiday, which runs from 1-7 October.

China National Day celebrations

The National Day is celebrated in China each year, at the beginning of October. The public holiday is a chance for the People’s Republic of China to celebrate their national day, with lots of large-scale activities held nationwide. The seven-day holiday is also known as “Golden Week” and during this time Chinese people visit relatives and friends or go travelling around the country.

This week long holiday is seen as an opportunity to enjoy some special food and drink. But what wine goes perfectly with spicy Szechuan food? What do you drink with Shanghainese steamed dumpling that has just been dipped in vinegar?

Chinese food is well-known for its complex cooking style with different Chinese herbs or seasonings used in the sauces. Therefore, it is wise to avoid choosing reds with lots of tannin, which risk overwhelming the glossy textures of Chinese cooking. Generally, Chinese food is suitable for lighter and less complex wine.

Crispy Duck

Xi Chen, editor from China Luxury website recommended Pineau de la Loire pairing with this dish. He wrote: “Crispy yet greasy duck meat with a touch of sweet sauce, plus onion and cucumber rolls, which make this dish rich of flavours. Lighter white wine with acidity and slightly sweet taste like Pineau de la Loire goes wonderfully with crispy duck.”

Spicy Szechuan food

Chen also recommended pairing Alsace Riesling with Szechuan food. “With spicy Szechuan dishes,” he wrote “I’ve had luck with Alsace Riesling dry white, featuring a generous fruity character without oak maturation, while Alsace Riesling hits the spot with spicy Chinese cooking.”

Dim sum

“Champagne’s acidity and bubbles pair perfectly with dim sum”, wrote Zach Yu, the wine expert at Hong Kong’s two-Michelin-starred Ming Court restaurant. “Champagne is always at home with delicate seafood dishes and with crisp, deep-fried foods. Therefore, it goes well with dim sums because they’re a mixture of flavours and textures – some delicate and steamed (usually seafood), some more robust or fried (like pork buns).”

Yangzhou Gansi

Yangzhou Gansi is a chicken dish with soft texture, and includes ham and bamboo shoots. This southern Chinese dish is famous for its light and fresh flavour. Ding Fangfang from China New Express recommended drinking Château Pechedey Graves 2004 with this dish. She wrote: “The strong and rich taste of Pechedey goes well with the freshness of Yangzhou Gansi, which gives a two layer tasting experience.”

Sweet and sour

Sweet and sour Chinese dishes pair “beautifully” with Chilean rosés, Fiona Beckett recommended in her blog, “when a rosé’s sweet flavours and pop of carbonation hits the lips, it sets the stage well for the complex flavours of sweet and sour food.”

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