SavorPairs WithPairing Wine with Dumplings from Around the World

Pairing Wine with Dumplings from Around the World

Dumplings, in my mind, are delightful pockets of comfort found in almost every cuisine around the world. They offer an array of flavors and textures that naturally invite the world of wine to the table. From steamy soup-filled xiao long bao (Chinese Soup Dumplings) to the hearty, spice-infused samosas of South Asia, there’s a unique wine pairing to elevate each bite. Let’s take a world dumpling tour and uncover the wine pairings that not only complement but enhance these pockets of joy!

Xiao Long Bao (Shanghai Soup Dumplings)

Photo Courtesy of China Sichuan Food

A culinary gem from Shanghai, the xiao long bao combines a tender meat filling with a burst of savory broth within a delicate wrapper. The complexity and richness here call for a wine that can cut through the fat while enhancing the flavors. A dry Riesling, with its zesty acidity and fruit-forward character, is just the ticket. 

Wines to Try: Dr. Loosen Dr. L Riesling, Pewsey Vale Eden Valley Riesling

Alternative, Lesser-Known Wines to Try With Soup Dumplings 

For these delicate, broth-filled dumplings, a lesser-known wine to try would be a Torrontés from Argentina. Its aromatic profile, with floral scents and citrus notes, offers a delightful pairing that respects the dumpling’s subtle flavors.

Wines to Try: Colomé Torrontés, Susana Balbo Signature Torrontés

Momos (Tibetan Dumplings)

Photo Courtesy of junifoods

Tibet’s beloved momos are versatile dumplings filled with either vegetables or meats, often accented with a fiery dipping sauce. The intense flavors here require a wine with aromatic intensity and a hint of sweetness like a Gewürztraminer, creating a delightful contrast and balance.

Wines to Try: Cave de Turckheim Gewürztraminer, Cono Sur Bicicleta Gewürztraminer

Alternative, Lesser-Known Wines to Try With Momos

Pair the spiced and versatile flavors of momos with a Viognier. This wine’s characteristic bouquet of stone fruits, coupled with its creamy texture, can handle the spices and herbs often present in these dumplings.

Wines to Try: Yalumba Y Series Viognier, Georges Duboeuf Condrieu

Pan-Fried Dumplings (Guotie)

Photo Courtesy of Rouxbe

Whether they hail from China or are enjoyed in various forms across the world, pan-fried dumplings are all about that irresistible contrast between the crispy bottom and the tender, juicy filling. A silky, medium-bodied Pinot Noir, with its soft tannins and bright red berry flavors, complements without overpowering this balance.

Wines to Try: Erath Oregon Pinot Noir, Penner-Ash Pinot Noir

Alternative, Lesser-Known Wines to Try With Guotie

For these savory treats, explore a Blaufränkisch, an Austrian red that offers a combination of earthy and berry notes. Its acidity and slight spice undertone can complement both meat and vegetable fillings.

Wines to Try: Heinrich Blaufränkisch, Umathum Classic Blaufränkisch

Gyoza (Japanese Dumplings)

Photo Courtesy of NYT Cooking 

Gyoza, the Japanese iteration of the dumpling, is distinguished by a rich pork filling and a thin, pan-fried wrapper. Here, a dry Sake or a vibrant Grüner Veltliner showcases the dumpling’s subtlety, enhancing its flavors with a refreshing acidity and spicy notes.

Wines to Try: Hakutsuru Excellent Junmai Sake, Gobelsburger Grüner Veltliner

Alternative, Lesser-Known Wines to Try With Gyoza

Consider matching gyoza with an Albariño from Spain’s Rías Baixas region. Its zesty acidity and peachy fruitiness are a refreshing counter to the dumpling’s savory fillings and soy-based dipping sauces.

Wines to Try: Pazo de Señorans Albariño, Martin Codax Albariño

Samosas (South Asian Dumplings)

Photo Courtesy of Serious Eats

The bold spices and rich fillings of South Asian samosas find their match in the bubbly effervescence of a good Brut Champagne or Cava. The crispness and lively bubbles offer a palate-cleansing effect that readies you for the next flavorful bite.

Wines to Try: Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut, Codorníu Anna Blanc de Blancs Brut Cava

Alternative, Lesser-Known Wines to Try With Samosas

With the richly spiced samosas, a sparkling Lambrusco can offer a delightful surprise. Its light fizz, dry taste, and berry flavors provide a delightful contrast to the deep, aromatic spices.

Wines to Try: Cleto Chiarli Vecchia Modena Premium Lambrusco, Lini 910 Labrusca Lambrusco Rosso

Pierogi (Eastern European Dumplings)

Photo Courtesy of BBC

Pierogi are a staple of Eastern European cuisine, featuring a wide range of fillings from savory potato and cheese to sweetened fruits. A versatile semi-dry Riesling complements both the savory and the sweet, balancing the flavors with its acidity and mineral undertones.

Wines to Try: Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Halbtrocken, Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling

Alternative, Lesser-Known Wines to Try With Pierogis

To pair with both the savory and occasionally sweet fillings of Pierogi, consider a Müller-Thurgau. This German wine, with its light body and subtle floral and fruit notes, brings a fresh perspective to the dumpling pairing.

Wines to Try: Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Müller-Thurgau, Skoff Original Müller-Thurgau 

Sambusas (Ethiopian Dumplings)

Photo Courtesy of Amira’s Pantry 

Ethiopian dumplings, while less known, offer a rich tapestry of spices and textures, often featuring lentils and meats in a berbere spice mix. A bold yet silky Syrah, with its notes of dark fruit and spice, can stand up to the robust flavors, creating a harmonious blend of aromas and tastes.

Wines to Try: Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz, Charles Smith Wines Boom Boom! Syrah

Alternative, Lesser-Known Wines to Try With Sambusas

With the robust and spicy profiles of Ethiopian dumplings, a red wine that can mirror this intensity while adding a layer of complexity is a Negroamaro from Italy. Its deep flavors of plums and berries, combined with spice and smoked accents, are an excellent match.

Wines to Try: Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Riserva Negroamaro, Tormaresca Neprica Negroamaro

The art of pairing wine with dumplings is as much about exploring new flavors as it is about revisiting the traditional. Each pairing is a doorway to a more enriched dining experience, where the wine and dumpling complement each other, elevating the taste to new heights. Whether you’re diving into the steamy broth of a xiao long bao or savoring the spiced richness of a samosa, an appropriately chosen wine awaits to make each bite unforgettable. So, let’s raise a glass to the inventive and immortal tradition of dumplings, and allow these pairings to guide us towards more joyful culinary explorations.

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