Last time I visited Shanghai I tore through the local steamed xiao long bao dumplings at such speed that on my return to the UK my physique resembled a Shetland pony that had swallowed a Transit van.
But it was worth the subsequent trips to the gym, as the food was so darned tasty. With Chinese New Year in a few weeks it’s time to get in training – grab a menu, dial up a dose of deliciousness and pour yourself a glass of glory.
Peking Duck is a star at any time of year, and wine-wise I’ve found huge aromatic Gewurztraminer from Alsace is bang on the money to sip with it. Yep, a rich, exotic white.
Tom Parker-Bowles discovered that you can get a white Cabernet Sauvignon from Ningxia in China. File photo
There’s a certain sweetness to the dish, which this fruity fandango of a wine offers in abundance, especially if you’re feeling liberal with a splodge of plum sauce.
If you’re after red wines to go with your meaty dishes, Gamay is the grape that keeps on giving.
Or you could try the local vino from China. Château Changyu-Moser XV Cabernet Sauvignon (14%) 2015 is in Tesco for £8.50, but I’d go for the White Cabernet Sauvignon (13.5%) 2016 from the same producer, which is £14.99 in Wine Rack and works well with cashew-flavoured dishes.
And yes, you read that right, a white Cabernet Sauvignon from Ningxia in China – the trick is gentle pressing of the grapes for ten minutes so the free run juice has just the merest hint of colour.
Which leads to another scrumptious all-rounder with a Chinese takeaway – rosé! I prefer them with a bit of fullness and fruit, from countries such as Chile or South Africa, to tackle the heat and richness in the dishes.
Or my other top pick for a splendid all-round pairing with your Chinese takeaway is a traditional British India Pale Ale.
Plenty of richness without being too heavy, it’s a delightful general companion to raise in celebration of Chinese food right here in Britain.
And with Chinese New Year next month, you’ve plenty of time to practise pairing the perfect drink with the dish of your dreams.