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.

By Anya von Bremzen and Ray Isle
Updated March 31, 2015
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Global Food Classics & Perfect Wine Pairings

China

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 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