Food Pairing

  (Last Update:2018.10.4)

Wine Pairing: Jumilla Monastrell x Xinjiang Stir-fry

Chinese food presents a unique challenge when wine pairing. For a start, you’ve got a wide spectrum of flavours: the chilli heat of Sichuan cooking, the sweet/sour tastes of Cantonese flavours, and the deep umami flavours of Fujian cuisine. None of these are great for wine. Still, we like a challenge and if you’re cooking at home, you can certainly pair an individual dish with a particular wine.

VINUM Chinese-wok

In this case, we’ve chosen a Chinese dish that’s pretty popular in Japan also: Xinjiang stir-fry. Inspired by the far western region of China that has many Turkic and Middle Eastern influences, the dish, unusually for Chinese recipes, makes heavy use of cumin. A rich, heavy dish with beef and a decent hint of chilli spice, it needs a similarly, deep, wine with a hint of sweetness to meet that heat.

VINUM-Chinese-book

Image: ‘Every Grain of Rice’ by Fuchsia Dunlop

Step up Monastrell! The Spanish name for Mourvedre, which is usually a part-player in Southern Rhone blends, in the region of Jumilla, it is the star. And the wines are usually great value.

Today’s Wine Pairing: Jumilla Monastrell x Xinjiang Stir-fry

VINUM-Chinese-Stirfry

The one we had, by Mas Delmera, has a dash of Tempranillo in too, and was an ideal match. The wine comes from old vines and displays a real depth of dark black fruit with hints of mocha. It’s almost luscious, but very well balanced too.

Pickup post

  1. Basic Pairing Tips (Part 1)
  2. Basic Pairing Tips (Part 3)
  3. Tasting wine
  4. Basic Pairing Tips (Part 2)
  5. To decant, or not to decant…

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