Napa Valley Vintners Releases Recipes to Celebrate Chinese New Year

Pairings with Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay


1/20/2014 - St. Helena, CA--To celebrate the upcoming start of the Chinese New Year, the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) today released two Chinese-inspired recipes, with wine pairing notes, designed to complement Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Chinese New Year (or Spring Festival) follows the lunar calendar and begins on January 31 this year. As always, it will be celebrated with lavish meals by Chinese all over the world.

The Chinese Food and Wines from the Napa Valley project has been developed as an industry service by The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) for the NVV to explore the vast potential for pairing Chinese flavors with Napa Valley’s two most widely produced wine varieties. In working to develop these recipes, unexpected affinities with Napa Valley Cabernets and Chardonnays came into play, creating opportunities to taste both the recipes and the wines in a new way.

"When a few thoughtful flavor adjustments and cooking techniques are combined, Chinese-inspired foods can beautifully complement Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons and Chardonnays," noted Chef Bill Briwa of the CIA. “Living and working in Napa Valley, it is interesting to taste wines from this wine region complementing Chinese flavor profiles."

One of the recipes, Lion’s Head Meatballs (狮子头), is part of the repertoire of dishes often served during the multi-day New Year festivities and the other, Velvet Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas, includes seafood, another food commonly used in family celebrations (traditionally, some seafood is left uneaten, to signify abundance in the year ahead).

The genesis of Chinese Food and Wines from the Napa Valley came from Napa Valley being the first wine region in the world to receive Geographic Indication (GI) status under Chinese law, providing critical brand protection in this rapidly growing wine market. Napa Valley Vintners has been sending trade missions of vintners to China for more than 15 years and although Napa Valley accounts for just four percent of California's wine production, approximately 25 percent of NVV member wineries are exporting to China.

Additional high-resolution photos available upon request.

About the Napa Valley Vintners
The Napa Valley Vintners nonprofit trade association has been cultivating excellence for 70 years by inspiring its 500 members to produce consistent quality wines, provide environmental leadership and care for the extraordinary place they call home. Learn more at

Lion's Head Meatballs

Velvet Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas

Contact: Cate Conniff, Communications Manager 707-968-4229