General Tso’s Chicken is a sweet and spicy Chinese food classic where chunks of chicken are deep-fried and smothered in a heavy sauce. Dry and crisp white wines, such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, or Sparkling wine, along with acidic and fruity reds like Zinfandel, Lambrusco, Beaujolais, or Pinot Noir make for fabulous pairings.
Zinfandel & General Tso’s Chicken Pairing
Fruity with notes of blueberry, raspberry and cherry, Zinfandel makes for a great pairing as its fruitiness complements General Tso’s Chicken’s sweet nature. One of General Tso’s sauce’s main components is soy sauce, and the smoky kiss that Zinfandel delivers on the finish complements the soy sauce flavour well.
When reaching for a Zinfandel, be sure to choose one lower in alcohol. Higher-level alcohol wines and spicy foods do not mix well as the alcohol fuels the spicy fire.
Riesling & General Tso’s Chicken Pairing
General Tso’s Chicken has a heavy sauce that Riesling’s crisp acidity can rip right through, allowing all the tender chicken flavours to come out. Both an off-dry (tastes a bit sweet) or dry Riesling will work depending on your preference. Full of citrus flavours, Riesling balances out the spiciness of the dish and keeps your mouth refreshed in between bites.
Rosé & General Tso’s Chicken Pairing
Rosé is a dry and fruity wine that is crisp in acidity. Expect citrus, raspberry and tangy cranberry notes to cut through the heavy and sticky General Tso sauce. From its pink colour, many people assume Rosé is sweet and girly like a sugary wine cooler, however, it’s often dry and tart, making it a versatile wine to pair with food.
Lambrusco & General Tso’s Chicken Pairing
Lambrusco is a bubbly red wine from Italy full of bright berry flavours that complement General Tso’s Chicken’s sweetness. Most wines will have trouble dealing with General Tso’s spicy heat, but the fruitiness and bubbles of Lambrusco can tackle with it ease.
Cava & General Tso’s Chicken Pairing
Sticking with bubbles with our final pairing, most Sparkling wines will be able to hold up to the spiciness of General Tso’s Chicken. Cava is a Spanish sparkler that is relatively inexpensive and simple in flavour. It works great as a palate cleanser as the bubbles scrub the sticky sauce off and away from your tongue. Cava is also perfect if you’re enjoying General Tso’s Chicken as part of a Chinese Takeout order with several people. Nothing else adds fun and excitement to an event, like popping open a bottle of bubbly.