The Type Of Wine That Pairs Best With Orange Chicken

Pairing wine with food is an art, and when it comes to pairing wine with legendary dishes like orange chicken, dry wines have a knack for stealing the show. Swigging your favorite bottle of mouth-puckering vino while feasting on the iconic Chinese-American nosh is a testament to the importance of finding a delicate combination of flavors and textures. Whether you make a batch of orange chicken at home or order it for takeout or dine-in, the choice of wine can significantly improve the gastronomic experience. And when selecting a wine with the right levels of acidity, fruitiness, and tannins, each bite is a memorable adventure rather than just another dinner menu item.

Orange chicken, with its sweet, tangy, and savory profile, demands a wine that can complement its complexities without overpowering them. Dry wines, which are characterized by low residual sugar content, provide the optimal foil to the rich, zesty chicken. The absence of sweetness in dry wines prevents them from competing with the orange sauce, allowing the flavors of both to shine independently while lingering on the palate. Another key reason dry wines taste so good with orange chicken lies in their acidity. Acidity in wine acts as a palate cleanser, cutting through the tenderness of the fried chicken.

Sip dry wine with orange chicken

Dry wines are available in a spectrum of colors, so no matter if your go-to fermented grape juice is white, red, or rosé, there are plenty of drier varieties to choose from. For white wine enthusiasts, a glass of crisp riesling, smoky pinot grigio, or peppery sauvignon blanc accompanies orange chicken extraordinarily well. These blonde beauties boast a bright acidity and vibrant citrus notes that round out the entrée's piquancy, creating an invigorating contrast between the drink and the meal.

On the red wine front, a light to medium-bodied pinot noir, a berry-centric, herbal grenache, or a chocolaty merlot work wonders with orange chicken. Many ruby-hued quaffables possess a faint fruitiness, earthy undertones, and gentle tannins that merely enhance the umami aspects of the dish while providing a satisfying depth. While most red wines are considered dry, there are some outliers, particularly dessert wines with higher sugar such as Port. These cloying beverages may not be as effective when it comes to boosting orange chicken's nuances.

For rosé wine lovers, a dry, floral Provence rosé or a well-aged Spanish rosado are also considered faithful companions to orange chicken. With their vigorous tartness and medley of fruit flavors, dry rosés strike a perfect balance between the refreshing qualities of a white wine and the structural complexity of a red, offering a versatile pairing option that adds a finishing touch to the crunchy, chewy, spicy, sticky-sweet orange chicken.