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Wines Without Borders: A Global Pairing Guide

French food tends to pair naturally with French wine, Italian food with Italian wine, and so forth. But what to drink with Russian food? Or Thai? Finding matches for cuisines without a tradition of winemaking can be a challenge. Here, writer Anya von Bremzen offers eight inspired recipes from around the world and F&W’s Ray Isle creates the perfect pairings.

Global Food Classics & Perfect Wine Pairings

China

Clams with Black Bean Sauce
Pairing Note: Unoaked, fruity white blend
Perfect Tip: 2004 Wild Bunch White

Moo Shu Pork
Pairing Note: Lively, low-tannin Dolcetto d’Alba
Perfect Tip: 2006 Pio Cesare

Peking Duck
Pairing Note: Silky, cherry-inflected Pinot Noir
Perfect Tip: 2005 Truchard Napa Valley

Cuba

Chicken with Rice
Pairing Note: Earthy, oaky Rioja
Perfect Tip: 2004 Ramón Bilbao Crianza

Cubano Sandwiches
Pairing Note: Smoky, ripe Malbec
Perfect Tip: 2005 Navarro Correas Colección Privada

Pernil (Slow-Roasted Pork)
Pairing Note: Spicy, curranty Carmenère
Perfect Tip: 2005 Calina Reserva

India

Coconut Fish Curry
Pairing Note: Spicy, full-bodied Gewürztraminer
Perfect Tip: 2006 Thomas Fogarty

Lamb Curry
Pairing Note: Ripe, berry-rich Zinfandel
Perfect Tip: 2005 Clos du Bois North Coast

Tandoori Chicken
Pairing Note: Medium-bodied, fruity French Grenache
Perfect Tip: 2004 Ey Vigne Las Collas

Japan

Beef-and-Scallion Rolls
Pairing Note: Earthy, aromatic French white
Perfect Tip: 2005 Château d’Epiré Savennières

Sashimi
Pairing Note: Light, vibrant Torrontés
Perfect Tip: 2005 Michel Torino Don David

Sukiyaki
Pairing Note: Light-bodied, fragrant Pinot Noir
Perfect Tip: 2005 Vincent Girardin Bourgogne Rouge

Mexico

Chicken Pozole Verde
Pairing Note: Rich, peach-inflected Pinot Gris
Perfect Tip: 2005 Gustave Lorentz Réserve

Pork in Adobo Sauce
Pairing Note: Dark-fruited, spicy Petite Sirah
Perfect Tip: 2004 Parducci

Seviche
Pairing Note: Citrusy, unoaked Sauvignon Blanc
Perfect Tip: 2006 Babich

Morocco

B’steeya (Shredded-Chicken Pie)
Pairing Note: Off-dry French Vouvray
Perfect Tip: 2006 François Pinon Cuvée Tradition

Lamb & Vegetable Couscous
Pairing Note: Plummy, spicy California Merlot
Perfect Tip: 2005 Blackstone Merlot

Lamb Tagine
Pairing Note: Spicy, powerful Syrah
Perfect Tip: 2005 Porcupine Ridge

Russia

Caviar with Blinis
Pairing Note: Crisp, complex brut Champagnes
Perfect Tip: NV Pol Roger Brut Réserve

Chilled Borscht
Pairing Note: Berry-scented, crisp rosé
Perfect Tip: 2007 Mas de Gourgonnier Rosé

Shashlik (Marinated Lamb Kebabs)
Pairing Note: Soft, raspberry-rich Spanish Grenache
Perfect Tip: 2005 Las Rocas de San Alejandro

Thailand

Chicken with Basil
Pairing Note: Light, crisply fruity Beaujolais
Perfect Tip: 2006 Clos de la Roilette Fleurie

Pad Thai
Pairing Note: Tart, lightly sweet German Riesling
Perfect Tip: 2006 Urban

Seafood Noodle Salad
Pairing Note: Crisp, minerally Spanish Albariño
Perfect Tip: 2006 Bodegas Fillaboa

Published May 2008
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