Pairing wine with Ginger spiced dishes isn’t overly difficult as Ginger is wine friendly. If the ginger is combined with white meat and vegetables, any sort of aromatic white works well, such as a Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Gruner Veltliner, Voignier, or an off-dry Riesling. For beef and ginger, go with a spicy Shiraz, or a smoky but fruity Zinfandel. Finally, for ginger desserts, sweet Rieslings, Muscat, or sparkling wines make for exceptional pairings.
Gewürztraminer & Ginger Stir-Fry Pairing
Gewürztraminer is an aromatic white wine that has a ginger bite found within its spicy flavours that will complement the ginger found in your dish. Gewürztraminer is also alive with flavours of lychee, rose petals, and grapefruit which adds even more excitement to your dish.
Riesling & Ginger Pairing
An off-dry Riesling, like a Spätlese Riesling, has a touch of residual sweetness that complements the slightly sweet nature of Ginger. The flavours of apricot, peach and lemon that Riesling adds to the pairing only sweetens the deal.
Chardonnay & Ginger Pairing
A buttery Chardonnay works well too, as the butter flavours and ginger combined come across as a rich piece of gingerbread. Kendall Jackson Vintage Reserve, J. Lohr, Flat Rock Cellars, and La Crema are four great examples of Chardonnay that have buttery characteristics and will go great with ginger flavours.
Shiraz & Beef Ginger Stir-fry
For ginger and beef combinations, a spicy Shiraz or Zinfandel works well, as they complement the ginger’s slightly sweet and spicy notes. Pinot Noir makes for another great pairing. Shiraz has a spicy element that complements the ginger spicy flavours, as well as jammy notes that come off as perceived sweetness. Shiraz will go better with fattier cuts of beef which are loaded with flavour.
Zinfandel isn’t spicy, but has a smoky sweet flavour that works with the sweeter notes of ginger. Zinfandel, like Shiraz, can have intense fruit flavours, and pairs best with fatty and flavourful cuts of beef.
Finally, Pinot Noir has an earthy funk that works fantastic with ginger blended with soy sauce. Pinot Noir is light and fruity, and will pair best with leaner cuts of beef.
Ginger Desserts & Muscat Beaumes de Venise Pairing
For desserts, such as gingerbread, any sweet wine will work well. Our favourites being a Muscat Beaumes de Venise. Muscat Beaumes de Venise is a fortified wine from the Rhône Valley of France. While sweet, it leans more towards the lighter side of sweetness, so it will pair well with Ginger desserts that aren’t overly sweet. On the nose, Muscat Beaumes de Venise has floral notes of rose petals and tropical fruit. On the tongue, you’ll find flavours of passion fruit, candied oranges and honey that make it incredibly delicious with ginger snaps, or a sloppily decorated gingerbread man.
If you are unable to find a Muscat Beaumes de Venise, have no worry. Late harvest wines work great with ginger desserts as well, especially a Gewurztraminer or Riesling. The sugar content in these wines can range in sweetness, so you you always need the wine to be sweeter than the dessert or else you will be unable to taste the wine. Both of these wines would be exceptional with a carrot cake spiced up with some ginger and raisins.
Finally, a palate-cleansing Sparkling Wine like Prosecco or Cava will mesh quite nicely with any ginger dessert. Sparkling wines aren’t overly sweet, so you are limited with your pairings. It should be fine with gingerbread men or ginger cookies.
Beer and Ginger Pairings
With ginger sweets, you have to be a little careful as ginger is volatile, and it can become overwhelming. We find ginger sweets, such as a gingerbread man, ginger snaps, or ginger cookies are delicious with nut-brown ales, stouts, or a coffee flavoured beer. Any beer with a malty backbone will hold up well to ginger.
What Not to Drink with Ginger
We recommend never drinking an Indian Pale Ale with Ginger. This hoppy beer can end up tasting like soap when paired with ginger desserts.