Monday, September 10, 2018

Red Zinfandel and Xian Noodles

Zinfandel (Zin), white or red, is big in California, representing around 10% of all the wine production in the entire state. When we talk about Zin, white Zin undeniably pops into everyone’s mind as an easy summer wine that goes well with all summer foods or drinks alone. Before the Italian Procecco steals the spotlight of the summer poolside parties in recent years, white Zin was once a large crowd pleaser. It’s sweet, fruit-punch like, cheerful, and after all, affordable. The James and Bell 2013 red Zin, which exhibits boldness, plush texture and notes of sweet spice, dark plum, leather, cracked peppercorn and licorice, however, is jammy and more sophisticated despite of a tad sweetness. The complexity of the old vine Zin is what I go after when pairing it with spicy Xian noodles. The Xian noodles, made out of wheat, bean or white flour, often are hand-pulled to bring out the elasticity and to demonstrate the noodle makers’ artistry of making noodles from scratch that’s passed down from generations. Like the Italian, noodles are cooked to al dente (slight firm to the bite) to retain the mouthfeel. The sauce that’s added to the noodle is another key part to how the noodle will taste. And the sauce is pleasantly oily, full of different flavors...soya sauce, peanut butter, cilantro, spring onion, sweet spices like cumin, and almost always spicy up with white pepper powder, chili oil, chili pepper, chili sauce (like Lao Gan Ma). When I was in the Muslim Quarter in Xian, where the street vendors sell different styles of noodles, the best way to try all these noodles in one day is to bring a bottle of red Zin, a crew of tasters to share food, and let-go low carb attitude!


  1. I'm so excited to have met you and cannot wait to learn about pairing Chinese cuisine and wine from your blog, Pinny!

  2. Hi Nancy,

    So glad to meet you at the #WBC18. Enjoyed your presentation a lot.