Wine and food pairing for Asian food – Wall Street Journal
As more wine, mainly red wine from France, is being consumed by traditionally non-wine-drinking countries such as China, Japan, Singapore and India, we are gaining more knowledge and experience of what pairs well with non-European food.
Recently, I spoke with Nicolas Glumineau, technical director at Bordeaux's Château Montrose, who now visits Southeast Asia several times a year. Marvelling at the variety of recipes found in countries such as Thailand, he also explained that from his experience Asian consumers weren't as afraid of tannins as Europeans. Moreover he said that the tannins found in red Bordeaux match well with certain Asian dishes based around duck and veal. I was surprised, as I always found that spicy flavors matched with the bitter tannins of red wine can prove an unpalatable partnership. But I was falling into the trap of imagining the unknown from what I knew; most of my experience of Asian cuisine has come via Europe.
"In the Far East, people want to and expect to drink serious red wines with their food. In places such as Szechuan in China they like chilli and heat. The fact that a tannic red wine accentuates that character is a bonus rather than detraction."
"If you look at Indian food, you can eat in the north of India and the south of India, and you can almost feel that you are eating food from two different countries. It is not just about the dish being spicy, it is about how spicy it is and how it is cooked that also make it complicated."
It seems that, given the international flavor of today's wine-drinking landscape, we're learning all the time. If you would like to drink red wine with your Asian food, by all means give it a go. Just remember to ignore the quizzical look from your sommelier.