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Wine/chinese food


I want to stuff myself with chinese food whats a good wine to pair with that?

Hi Wu

This is a great question---and it has a complicated answer.  First of all there are many different kinds of Chinese food.  So there is no one wine that will match well with them all.  But let's take a few examples:

Generally, for spicy foods, you don't want something that is very high in alcohol or heavy.  I would suggest a lighter style white wine like Riesling or Gewurztraminer--something from Germany would be great, because the alcohol levels are low.  Or a Gruner Veltliner from Austria, or Vinho Verde from Portugal. If you want a red wine, think about something lighter and fresher--Dolcetto or Barbera come to mind, as does Beaujolais.

There are also a lot of Chinese foods that include sweeter components, from barbecue to pineapple, orange, or lemon.  In this case, a wine that is very dry and acidic will taste for too tart to be pleasureable.  This is a good time to look at Viognier, Riesling (again!) or even some of the fresher styles of Muscat.  White Zinfandel is also a possiblity.

And then there are the more flavorful dishes, rich with garlic and muchrooms, for example.  Here I would suggest a softer, fresher style of Pinot Noir.

Of course, the best wine to drink is the one you like best!

I hope that helps!

Paul Wagner


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Paul Wagner


Wines of the world, wine a food matching, wine and food service questions. I currently teach Wine courses at Napa Valley College, am an international wine judge, written many articles for publication, and have been a guest speaker at way too many wine conferences to remember. 25 years in the business. With Liz Thach and Janeen Olsen, I authored the definitive book on wine marketing: Wine Marketing & Sales, Strategies for a Saturated Market by The Wine Appreciation Guild, which won the Gourmand International Award in 2008 for the best wine book for professionals! With Rick Kushman of Capital Public Radio, I host a radio show and podcast called Bottletalk at, where I answer questions about wine and food on the air.


30 years in the business.

Society of Wine Educators, Academy of Wine Communications, American Wine Society

Vineyard and Winery Management Magazine, Fine Wine Journal, les Amis du Vin Journal, Society of Wine Educators Journal, and more.

I have taught at Napa Valley College for the last twenty years.

Awards and Honors
Spanish National Wine Fair: A lifetime dedicated to wine award. Espaderino della Castelania di Soave in Italy.

Past/Present Clients
Wineries include Caymus, Wente, Parducci, Shannon Ridge, Paul Dolan Wines, Vigilance, and others. Wine regions include the Union des Grand Crus de Borcdeaux, Union des Grands Crus de St. Emilion, Consorzio di Chianti CLassico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Consorzio di Franciacorta, Rioja Alavesa, and others.

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