4 Rice & Wine Pairings

For many individuals, wine pairing is a fine art that elevates the taste and experience of both items. It’s all about finding the right balance between the two flavors. Examining the acidity, tannins, alcohol content, and texture of a particular wine in comparison to a dish’s ingredients can help you find the right pairing. In general, richer food items like steak match more robust types of wine while delicate food requires a lighter partner. For some unconventional yet tasty rice and wine pairings, have a look at our list below.

Sichuan Fried Rice

If you’re a fan of some heat in your rice dish, the Sichuan-style version of fried rice comes power-packed with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and chili paste. It’s typically served in Indonesian and Chinese restaurants and is known for being particularly flavorful. Wine expert and restaurant critic Fiona Beckett recommends matching Sichuan dishes with a bold, off-dry rosé. Similarly, an Australian Shiraz might have the right amount of spice to combat that fire. Note that spicy food tends to diminish the sweetness in wines, which can make dry wines taste slightly on the more sour side.
Hainanese Chicken Rice

To make this dish, uncooked rice is stir-fried in ginger and garlic, then cooked in chicken broth. It pairs exceptionally well with a sweeter Riesling. The sour nature of the wine helps cut down on the grease, and a touch of chili sauce can round off the combination of flavors. You can try recreating this relatively simple recipe at home with the help of a rice cooker. One of the best Aroma rice cookers is the 6-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker, which also doubles a food steamer. It features Sauté-Then-Simmer technology, which is able to sauté the dish at high temperatures and automatically switch to simmer mode once the chicken broth is added.


Beans and Rice with Andouille

For a French dish made from rice and with andouille sausage, smokiness and richness make this a perfect pairing with several different wines. It’s a relatively simple recipe to make, incorporating garlic, onion, thyme, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Sommelier Rachael Lowe of Spiaggia recommends pairing it with a 2014 Trimbach Pinot Gris, Sono Montenidoli Toscana Rosso IGT, or Maetierra Dominum QP Rioja Reserva. Their acidity will work well with the meat, while the fruitiness of each wine offsets some of the andouille’s spice. In addition, the herbal notes of the Sono particularly complement the thyme.


Classic Risotto

In classic risotto dishes, a half cup of white wine is typically used to create the sauce. For a simple version that’s lighter in substance, the best pairings from Vino del Vida include bright and acidic wines like the Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2014. It has notes of lemon and nectarine along with almond notes to match its creamy and rich flavor. Similarly, a lighter prosecco like the La Marca Prosecco is a budget-friendly option with hints of citrus, lemon, and apple. However, it may be an excellent fit for cheesier varieties of risotto.

At the end of the day, parking wine with food is a practice that may take a lifetime to perfect. Other factors can also throw off your tastebuds, as Rob Withrow writes how your favorite wine may taste different depending on its temperature, glassware it comes in, or its age. Exploring the best wine storage coolers curated by Wirecutter can help you prolong its shelf life. Finally, it doesn’t hurt to keep trying out different combinations to refine your palate.


Exclusively written for wtso.com

By Alessa Scott

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