When is the Chinese New Year?

Celebrations are upon us once again! Sunday 10th February 2013 marks the start of the Chinese New Year of the Snake. It is believed that people born during this snake year will share similar traits to that of the snake. These traits differ from the Western world’s perception and association with ‘snakes’.

The Chinese consider snakes as careful, acute and cautious; these people will plan out all the details before committing to any action and usually prefer working alone. They will also have an extremely charismatic personality that will easily seduce you or others to do their will. Yes it does sound familiar, echoing resonances with the biblical snake. In addition, those born during previous snake years such as 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965 etc. can expect good fortune throughout 2013.

Over a billion and a half people celebrate the Chinese New Year and we are planning on doing so too! It is an incredible time filled with festivities, food and a real sense of community. From the traditional dragon dancing to the lighting of fireworks the Chinese New Year is great to be part of.

Gung hay fat choy” is a Cantonese phrase that will serve you well; wishing prosperity for the year ahead!



What wines goes well with Chinese cuisine?

The key to pairing food and wine in general is to remember wine should never overpower the food (and vice versa). In China, Chinese food is not traditionally paired with wine however the Western world has very much taken to this.  We know it can be difficult knowing what wines complement which dishes best and therefore we have produced this blog to help you effortlessly match your Chinese dishes to wine.


Pairing Chinese food with wines


Dish (Photographs taken from BBC Good Food) Wine

Vegetable based dishes


Barbera Blanc, Chardonnay or Sauvignon 



Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera Blanc, Pinot Noir or ChardonnayRemember to consider how delicate the seafood dish is in comparison to your choice of wine. For instance for clams served in a black bean sauce we would recommend Pinot Noir however for Kung Pao Prawns we would suggest a Chardonnay: a dry and fruit based Chardonnay which will not overpower the food. Crab pairs especially well with Alsace Pinot Gris.
Chicken  Fumé Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling


Barbera Blanc, Muscat Cannelli or Pinot Noir
Beef Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Gewurztraminer or Barbera BlancGewurztraminer is a good choice if you choose a spicy flavoured dish.



GewurztraminerThis is a delicious combination of flavours (especially with Peking duck)!

Sweets and savouries

Sauvignon Blanc or Fumé Blanc

Perhaps you would prefer a refreshing and cool beer to accompany your meal; Tsing Tao is an extremely popular choice and goes extremely well with Chinese cuisine. Tsing Tao beer has a well-balanced taste; high-malty flavour and well-hopped.


Important points to remember

  • Consider whether the flavours of your wine will clash with the salt and spice ratios in the dishes.
  • Consider changing wines during the meal as most (but not all) Chinese meals are served in order of their complexity of flavours.
  • Dry to sweet Rieslings can match most types of Chinese food. The refreshing fruity taste pairs well with the dishes.
  • Fruit dishes such as bananas, mangoes or peaches generally pair well with Riesling, Pinot Noir or Merlot.
  • No one wine will be able to accommodate the vast range of flavours of Chinese cuisine so trial and error is our best advice. See what works for you and your taste buds.
  • Wine with Chinese food is delicious (we certainly think so).


We hope you can make great use of our Chinese food and wine suggestions. If you have any mouth-watering combinations or pairings you would like to share with us then contact us via Twitter. So all that is left to suggest now is, Chinese food anyone?

Ganbei! (We’ll let you work that one out).