Welcome to our guide to pairing Italian wines with Chinese New Year dishes! As we welcome the Year of the Water Rabbit with friends and family, elevate the experience by pairing your festive meals with our selection of Italian wine!
In this guide, we'll be sharing our top picks that will complement a variety of Chinese New Year dishes, including Lou Hei, Braised Mushrooms with Fat Choy & Abalone, Chinese Roasted Pork Belly, and Braised Pork Belly.
Whether you're a seasoned sommelier or simply looking to try something new, this guide has something for everyone. Happy Chinese New Year and cheers to a prosperous 2023!
Langhe Arneis and Yusheng Lou Hei
Bring in the Chinese New Year with a festive Yusheng Lou Hei. "Lou Hei" means the act of tossing up a big plate of sashimi-grade fish ("Yu Sheng") with a variety of coloured vegetables and condiment sauces. This distinctly South East Asian dish symbolizes togetherness and hopes for good fortune in the coming year. A fresh, crunchy, and tangy dish like this calls for an equally light, fruity, and refreshing wine. Langhe Arneis of Giribaldi from the Prato della Porta vineyard in Rodello, Piedmont, Italy will make a stellar match. It's very floral on the nose and rich in peach, melon, and hints of apple on the palate.
Langhe Chardonnay and Braised Mushrooms with Fatt Choy & Abalone
Perfect for a fuss-free family CNY celebration, this mushroom, seaweed (where the dish gets its "prosperity" namesake "Fat Choy" from), and abalone are simmered until succulent, then slow-cooked with Chinese cabbage to infuse a natural sweetness into the resulting stew. Round off the deep umami flavours with a refreshing full-bodied Langhe Chardonnay. This white wine sings with notes of floral perfume, pineapple, vanilla, and sage. Just keep the simmering of the seaweed short so it will not turn to mush!
Barbera D’Alba and Chinese Roasted Pork Belly
The ultimate crowd favorite. No one can resist Chinese Roasted Pork Belly. Crispy skin on the outside and juicy meat on the inside. Serve this dish with a classic Barbera D'Alba and you're golden. Rich in fresh and ripe cherry pulp, warm with vanilla and spice notes on the palate, and refreshing acidity. You'll be surprised how addictive they are together. With a pairing like this, there is no shortage of prosperity and good luck for you in the year of the Water Rabbit!
Barolo and Barbaresco with Braised Pork Belly
Barolo and Barbaresco are full-bodied red wines made from Nebbiolo. Incredibly smooth and elegant on the palate with balanced notes of red fruit and warm vanilla. While Barolo has hints of white pepper, Barbaresco displays subtle notes of leather, tobacco, and green tea leaves. For these wines, try it with some Braised Pork Belly. The spices and aromatics in this sweet and savoury dish match well with full-bodied Italian reds.
We hope this guide has helped you discover some new and delicious pairings for your Chinese New Year celebrations. Whether you're a fan of light and fruity white wines or full-bodied reds, there's an Italian wine out there that will complement your festive meals. Remember to have fun and experiment with different pairings to find what works best for your tastebuds. From all of us at Dunstan Vintner, we wish you a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year! 祝大家在這癸卯年，新年吉祥，萬事順心。