Takeout Tastings: Your go-to guide for pairing wine & Vietnamese food
Over the years, Vietnamese food has been steadily gaining popularity in Australia thanks to its fresh and fragrant flavours. 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, however, what it lacks in heat, it makes up for with its delicate balance of flavours and textures.
In our latest takeout tasting articles, we explore the best wines to match with some Vietnamese favourites and take a look at some good all-round pairing options.
Chicken Pho (noodle soup)
This classic Vietnamese soup – pronounced ‘fuh’ – is known for its deep, rich flavours, soft rice noodles and aromatic garnishes, which include chilli, pickled red onion, coriander, spring onions and lemon.
This dish will pair well with an off-dry Riesling. With its natural minerality and high acidity, Riesling will complement the flavours of a chicken pho, while also being able to stand up to the punch of chilli.
Beef Bun (noodle salad)
Comprised of thinly sliced beef, vermicelli noodles, crunchy vegetables and fresh herbs, this dish will pair well with Rosé, due to its versatility with food. Go for a richer Rosé style that will complement the subtle spices of the dish without overpowering them.
Pair with: Rosé
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.
Tofu Goi (Vietnamese salad)
This traditional Vietnamese salad is known for being crunchy, salty and zesty. Combine this with tofu, which adds 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. Go for a Pinot Grigio, which is a versatile pairing option that will enhance the zest of the salad with its own fresh, fruity flavours.
Pork & Prawn Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancakes)
These savoury pancakes are a staple of Vietnamese street food. Jam-packed with strips of sticky pork and prawn, crispy bean sprouts and spring onions, they are generally accompanied by sweet and salty dipping sauces. 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. With its silky tannins, medium weight and low acidity, Grenache is a great match.
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.