The best wines to pair with Chinese food


It isn’t always easy pairing Chinese food with wine. But, as long as you’re aware of the sweet, sour and spicy flavours in your dish, you should be able to find a wine that won’t be overwhelmed. BBC Good Food’s wine expert Henry Jeffreys has chosen a few examples of brilliant wines to pair with Chinese food below (including some top bottles to try with each dish) so you’ll know what to look for the next time you are choosing a bottle.

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Selection of white wine

Wine pairing at a glance:

  • German Riesling goes well with: chilli noodles
  • Chenin Blanc-Grenache blend goes well with: Chinese chicken wings
  • Durif goes well with: Chinese-style braised beef one-pot
  • Cala Rey goes well with: sticky salmon with Chinese greens
  • Shiraz goes well with: char sui pork

Best wine to serve with chilli noodles: German Riesling

Noodles with crispy chilli oil eggs in a ceramic bowl

Heat alert here! Not only do you have the fiery chilli oil, but also spicy Sichuan peppers. This Karp Riesling from Germany is just the thing, with a tiny bit of sweetness that will take the edge off the heat and refresh your mouth for another bite.

We recommend serving our noodles with crispy chilli oil & eggs with a bottle such as:
Karp Riesling, £13.99, Laithwaites

Best wine to serve with Chinese wings: Chenin Blanc-Grenache blend

Sticky Chinese wings & cucumber

A classic South African wine blend that combines Chenin Blanc (providing freshness) and Grenache Blanc (bringing weight). They make the perfect duo to drink with this sweet, spicy chicken dish.

We recommend serving our sticky Chinese wings with cucumber with a bottle such as:
The Forager, £12.99, Laithwaites

Best wine to serve with Chinese braised beef: Durif

Chinese-style braised beef one-pot

This is a very rich dish with a sweet edge, so it needs a wine with plenty of fruit or it’s going to get lost. Reds don’t come any bolder or plummier than the Black Duck Durif from Australia. The first sniff is like opening a jar of damson jam – it goes brilliantly with this sticky beef stew.

We recommend serving our Chinese-style braised beef one-one pot with a bottle such as:
Black Duck Durif, £12.99, Laithwaites

Best wine to serve with salmon and Chinese greens: Cala Rey

Sticky salmon with Chinese greens

Aromatic, spicy food deserves an equal in wine. Verdejo is a Spanish classic, with its fresh, floral flavours – here, it’s blended with Sauvignon Blanc to create Cala Rey. There’s also plenty of acidity to cut through the fattiness of the salmon.

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We recommend serving our sticky salmon with Chinese greens with a bottle such as:
Cala Rey Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc, £11.99, Laithwaites

Best wine to serve with char siu BBQ pork: Shiraz

Char siu (BBQ pork)

Here’s a tricky one, because char siu pork is full of fat, spice and sweetness, so it needs a robust wine. By blending Shiraz and Petite Verdot, the resulting wine is bold and rich, but with an important freshness that acts as a foil to the richness of the pork. It also adds a delightful complementary smokiness.

We recommend serving our char siu BBQ pork with a bottle such as:
Boscwood SA Petit Verdot Shiraz, £12.99, Laithwaites

More from BBC Good Food Wine Club

Find out more about the BBC Good Food Wine Club and what is in this season’s specially curated member’s boxes here. If you like discovering new bottles, receiving discounts on great bottles and learning about wine from experts, this is the wine club for you. Subscribe to regular deliveries, or choose one of three boxes (mixed, red or white wine) to give as a gift to a fellow wine-lover.

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