It’s Shanghai’s rainy season right now, and it doesn’t feel much like summer. You’re likely going to be spending a lot of the next couple weeks indoors, which is the perfect time to cook some of those dishes you’d never have time to otherwise.
Staying in and cooking on a rainy day should be all about comfort food; and lasagne is pretty much the definition. Whether you go for a light veggie number or something heavy and beefy with, like, a whole block of cheese thrown in the béchamel, it’s the perfect reward for a few hours spent indoors.
Pair it with: Chianti
When it comes to Italian food, Chianti makes an easy choice for a reason. It’s an Italian wine with plenty of flavour and body that matches the richer, more complex elements of the dish perfectly, particularly the subtle sweetness of tomato that forms the backbone of any great lasagne.
Slow Cooked Pork
There are a few different ways to slow cook pork, everything from slow cooked chops to roasted shoulder. Slow cooking not only takes time but also adds depth of flavour and juicy tenderness to a meat that can sometimes be too dry and tough if not cooked right. You can go for rustic European herbs or a sweet, smoky BBQ style marinade.
Pair it with: Merlot
Classic Merlots can be the perfect counterpoint to pork, a meat that sits near the boundary between red and white meat. The right one will be robust enough to complement the salty richness but light enough so as not to overwhelm its lighter elements. This is particularly true of some Merlot-centric blends, like some of the bottles that come out of Bordeaux.
If you’re trying to brighten up a day of bad weather with a bit of class and a lot of time to kill, Duck Confit could be the way to go. Duck leg cooked in its own fat for hours, until its tender enough to fall off the bone; what else would you want to eat on a rainy day?
Pair it with: Pinot Noir or Merlot
If you look up which wine to pair with a classic duck confit, Pinot Noir will be the one that keeps coming up. It makes sense; rich, fatty duck and a full-bodied red with a bit of acidic bite to cut through it. But there are other wines to try too, if you feel like thinking a little further outside the box. Merlot can come to the rescue here, bold enough to compete with ducks’ richness but less noticeably acidic.
When feeling more adventurous, you can opt for curry, the heartiness and warmth of which make it perfect rainy day food. Obviously, there are too many varieties to list, and everyone has their favourite. You can try making them them with lamb, chicken, beef or root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and any mixture of spices that take your fancy.
Pair it with: Riesling
There are few foods as rich, complex and diverse – not to mention spicy – as curry, which makes it a notoriously difficult dish when it comes to wine pairing. When it comes to spicy food and Asian food in general, Riseling is something of a white knight; it’s dry, light character makes it perfect for cutting through such dishes’ complicated flavours without overemphasising their spiciness or messing with their vital aromatic qualities.
If you’re in need of some wine pairings for when the sun actually shows its face, click here to check out our guide to BBQ food pairings. Or, if pool parties are more your style, then take a look at our list of perfect pool party pairings here.