Noodles dishes are enjoyed all over the world simply because they are causal, versatile, and above all, they are delicious! The main component of the noodles are vast and they can be flour based, egg based, and even soba based. What truly distinguishes the noodle dishes from each other is the sauce. Based on the sauce, the dish can have Asian flavor profiles or Western flavor profiles, which makes noodle dishes so compelling!
Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes and the preparation styles are immense. Despite the different types like capellini, tagliatelle, and orzo, the sauce and its weight is what ultimately determines how we pair the wines. If the pasta sauce is tomato based, we look to pair it with something that matches the acidity of the tomatoes, like light wines and reds. If it is a meat sauce, look to pair it with a light to medium red. If it is olive oil or butter based, typically we will look to pair it with light whites, but light reds will work great as well. Even if the dish is more Japanese oriented like mentaiko pasta or naporitan, the same rules apply!
Yaki men is definitely another type of comfort food whichusually have a savory flavor profile to the dish that is either soy sauce or sauce based like yakisoba, ankake yakisoba, chow mein, or pad thai. Lighter white wines with some brightness will go great here and if the dish is a bit heavier, try a heavy white or light red wine. If the dish has some spiciness to it, try a white wine that has some residual sugar to counter balance the heat!
Another favorite comfort food is soup men like ramen, udon, and pho. Similar to the other noodle dishes, be conscious of the soup base when trying to pair it with wines. Some dish will be dashi based, which will require a wine, both white and red, that possesses umami notes like earth and mushrooms. If the dish is miso, tonkotsu, or coconut milk based, because it has an unctuous flavor profile, you can go heavy white wines or light to medium red wines. If the soup is spicy, look for an off-dry to sweet white wine to counteract the spiciness of the soup!
Another vital Japanese culinary genre is cold noodles, like soba, somen, chukasoba, and jajamen. Just like the other noodle dishes, the sauce determines which direction we should go with the wines. If the dish is dashi based, we want to stay light on the wines for both white and red, but make sure that the wines possess some earthy or mushroom or nuttiness to them to match the umami. If the sauce is meaty, go light to medium red wines and if the noodles are spicy, go for a white wine with some residual sugar to offset the heat!