Lunar New Year is a the time for family gathering and celebrations. The lengthy holidays for Vietnamese are filled with good food, loved ones, and a bunch of TV comedies.
While we have no qualm about the holiday, the supposedly delicious food will get boring and heavy quickly. That is why a few bottles of wine will be a perfect compliment for the highly anticipated holidays.
A Vietnamese meal for Tet usually include heavy food like sticky rice cake, spring rolls, boiled chicken, steamed sticky rice, etc. and savory food like asparagus soup, multiple kinds of sausage, etc.
Our first recommendation would be white wine. White wine goes best with Vietnamese meals because the acidity counters the oiliness, and the fruitiness enhances the freshness of the dishes. It also ease the overall heaviness at the end of a meal.
A medium-bodied, barrel-fermented or aged white wine has hints of spices, smoky notes and good complexity that complements a wide range of flavors, from sausages to boiled chicken and veggie soups. Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris and Viognier are some of the top choices. Some people may not like cold drinks with dinner, so the advantage of these white wines is that they do not need to be served too cold.
For this category, 88 Lounge suggests: Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, Dr. Loosen Sparkling Riesling, Yalumba Y Series, and Nautilus.
If you prefer red wine, avoid tannic wines such as young Bordeaux and Barolo as the tannin clashes with the fish sauce and cooking spices used in Asian dishes. On the contrary, the tannin in aged Bordeaux and Barolo mellow over time, so they fare better with these dishes. Pinot Noir is an all-rounder because of its fruitiness and silky tannin. Try Pinot Noir from different countries and regions for different experiences. Other considerations are Tempranillo (Rioja), Valpolicella Ripasso, Pinotage, Malbec and Merlot, just to name a few.
For this type of wine, we would recommend the following: Chateau Margaux, Chateau Lynch Bages, Felton Road Block 3, etc.