Pairing Wine And Vietnamese Food
In Australia, Vietnamese food is now as much a part of our everyday food culture as crowd-pleasing fish and chips. With heavy influences from its colonial heritage, most noticeably being the French, Vietnamese food is diverse as its background. Traditionally, Vietnamese food is not quite as spicy as some other Asian cuisines and is renowned for its delicate balance of flavours and textures, plus the well-planned symmetry between salt, sweet, sour, bitter and spice.
HOW TO PAIR WINE WITH VIETNAMESE FOOD
WHAT WINE GOES BEST WITH RICE PAPER ROLLS?
Gỏi cuốn literally means salad roll. These tasty morsels are made with prawn, pork, thin rice vermicelli noodles, vegetables and fresh herbs like mint, coriander, and basil, all rolled in softened rice paper. In Vietnam they can also be served with lettuce leaves which you wrap the roll in before dipping it in a peanut sauce or nuoc mam.
WINE PAIRING: Semillon, Riesling, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, Gewutraminer or Grüner Veltliner.
WHAT WINE GOES BEST WITH PHO?
PHỞ GA (CHICKEN BROTH AND NOODLE SOUP)
Phở, pronounced ‘fuh’, is a national dish of Vietnam, and while it’s a classic breakfast dish, there, in Australia we consume this fragrant and comforting noodle soup anytime, day or night. Beef phở, (phở bò) is loved for its deep, richly flavoured broth, soft rice noodles and aromatic garnishes, which include chilli, pickled red onion, coriander, spring onions and lemon. Chicken phở (phở gà) on the other hand, is made on a delicate and light-tasting broth that contrasts perfectly with bolder added accompaniments.
This dish will pair well with an off-dry Riesling. With its natural minerality and high acidity, Riesling will complement the flavours of a phở gà, while also being able to stand up to the punch of chilli.
WINE PAIRING: Riesling
WHAT WINE GOES BEST WITH BANH MI?
Australia’s can’t get enough of this flavour-filled Vietnamese bread roll. In Vietnam, bánh mì is traditionally served as a versatile, portable, and filling breakfast, and quick snack for people dashing around the city on their way to work, school and shopping. While the fillings are different in each region of the country, in Australia we usually devour the flavours of southern Vietnam with the irresistibly crunchy baguettes spread with rich pâté and bo (mayonnaise that is thickened to a butter consistency) then filled with luncheon meats, roast pork, pickled carrots, cucumber, spring onion, coriander, and chopped chilli.
When it comes to what wine goes best with bánh mì our suggestions are Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé or try a Grüner Veltliner.
WINE PAIRING: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, or Rosé
WHAT WINE GOES BEST WITH VIETNAMESE BEEF NOODLE SALAD?
BÒ BÚN (VIETNAMESE BEEF NOODLE SALAD)
Comprised of pre-marinated, thinly sliced beef, rice vermicelli noodles, crunchy vegetables, pickled carrot and daikon, and a host of fresh herbs, bò bún pairs really well with Rosé. Go for a richer Rosé style that will complement the subtle herbs and spices of the dish without overpowering them.
WINE PAIRING: Rosé
WHAT WINE GOES BEST WITH PORK BAO?
PORK BAO (STEAMED BUN)
A classic example of the balance of flavours and textures in Vietnamese food, pork bao is soft and light with a little bit of counter crunch. A Pinot Noir, with its velvety tannins, aromatic flavours and light body is the perfect match to layered foods like this.
WINE PAIRING: Pinot Noir
WHAT WINE GOES BEST WITH VIETNAMESE TOFU SALAD?
GỎI BẮP CHUỐI TÀU HỦ CHIEN (BANANA BLOSSOM AND TOFU SALAD)
This traditional Vietnamese salad is known for being crunchy, salty and zesty. Combine this with tofu, which gives an additional soft texture and top it with fresh herbs like coriander and mint, and you’re going to need a crisp, clean white wine for the best results.
WINE PAIRING: Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
WHAT WINE GOES BEST WITH BÁNH XÈO?
BÁNH XÈO (PORK AND PRAWN VIETNAMESE PANCAKES)
These savoury pancakes are a staple of Vietnamese street food. The name comes from the sound that the batter makes when it hits the extremely hot frying pan - xèo means sizzle. Filled with strips of sticky pork and prawn, crispy bean sprouts and spring onions, they are generally accompanied by herbs like coriander, Vietnamese basil and mint, perilla leaves. Traditionally sections of the bánh xèo are wrapped in lettuce leaves and dipped in sweet and salty dipping sauces like nước mấm. There are a lot of flavours and textures going on in these pancakes, which means you’re going to want a wine that doesn’t overpower or interfere with it.
WINE PAIRING: Grenache
WHAT WINE GOES BEST WITH VIETNAMEASE CHICKEN SALAD?
Gỏi Gá simply means chicken salad in Vietnamese and it’s one of the country’s most popular salad dishes. It is served cold and is made with shredded chicken and cabbage, fresh herbs, carrots, and spring onions, with a delicious nước mấm dressing.
WINE PAIRING: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, modern cool climate Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or a Rosé.
BEST WINES FOR VIETNAMESE FOOD – THE ALL ROUNDERS
When it comes to some good all-round wine options for pairing with Vietnamese food, think of light-bodied wine styles that won’t dominate the rich flavours, but will enhance the citrus and spice with their similar notes. Wines such as Riesling, Grüner Veltliner and Sauvignon Blanc all fit the bill.
For more great food and wine combinations, be sure to visit our dedicated Food and Wine Pairing pages.