How To Pair Wine & Dumplings
Hold on to your chopsticks, because the festive season is just around the corner, which means many dinners and dumpling feasts. Dumplings are a symbol of luck and fortune. The saying is that the more dumplings you eat, the more money you can make in the upcoming year - so we're using that as our excuse for eating our weight in dumplings.🐷
There are dozens and dozens of varieties of dumpling styles - steamed, fried, boiled; filled with mutton, pork, beef; veggies like napa cabbage, leek, celery, you name it and someone has probably put it in a dumpling. But with so many different types, how do you know what wine would go best?
We wanted to take the difficulty out of dumpling pairing and so we decided to take this opportunity to do some "research" - as in, make and eat a truck-load of dumplings while testing which of our wines pair best with different types of dumplings. It's a tough job, but someones got to do it.😉 We had a WM Team dumpling dinner (and filled enough dumplings to feed everyone we've ever known) but these recommendations would definitely extend to delivery or pre-made dumplings as well.
Here's our guide for what wine to pair with different dumpling fillings:
With dumplings that have fish or seafood filling, we'd recommend choosing a fresh sparkling or semi-sparkling white wine such as Daydrinking Sparkling from Hörner. It's a bubbly cuvée that blends Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Muskateller, and Müller-Thurgau grapes for a wonderfully fresh and light flavour - the perfect match for seafood!
These classic (and much beloved) steamed or fried dumplings are typically made with minced pork and chopped vegetables and dipped in a soy sauce-based chilli dip. YUM. With pork dumplings, you'll want a wine that's elegant and subtle in taste like an off-dry Riesling or Pinot Gris. Our top choice is the Litre Riesling from Hinterbichler. A dry riesling that tastes refreshing, crisp, and light which will complement and help offset the oiliness of the pork dumplings. And to top it off this wine comes in a litre bottle which makes it perfect for sharing during a big dumpling dinner.
The best wines to pair with chicken dumplings would be something ripe and crisp white with fruit flavours. We chose the Save Water Drink Wine - White that has juicy plum and peach notes which are perfectly balanced with citrus flavours that perfectly compliment to chicken dumplings!
Veggie dumplings are usually a lighter style of dumpling, so we'd recommend also choosing something light and crisp like our BRDX - Blanc from Château de Lisennes. This French cuvée is from the Bordeaux region and has a combination of Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and the Muscadelle grapes which give the wine bright fresh flavours that will pair nicely with the various vegetables in the filling.
Shop all the wines mentioned in this post and other recommendations for wines that pair with other Chinese dishes on our Dim Sum Food & Wine page!