P.F. Chang's wants to change the way you eat Asian food, starting with your glass of wine.
The restaurant chain partnered with Washington state winemaker Browne Family Vineyards to create two wines to complement its menu of Asian-inspired cuisine.
The red wine, a blend of merlot,
The red wine needed to be low in tannins and alcohol so that it would complement the fatty flavors of the restaurant's Mongolian beef and
For the white wine, the first blending attempt was successful, Melton said. It's a blend of riesling, sauvignon blanc,
The red wine costs $12 per glass, while the white is $9 per glass.
Melton said it's a myth that Asian food doesn't pair well with wine. She said the restaurant decided to create these two blends so that servers would be able to easily point diners toward selections that would complement their meals. The restaurant chain already serves a wide variety of alcoholic beverages, including wine.
As the restaurant industry continues to feel the pressure of slowing traffic and rising labor costs, the new wines could help P.F. Chang's differentiate itself from competitors.
"Asian is one of the fastest growing categories," Chang's chief marketing director Dwayne Chambers told CNBC.
He said sales continue to increase for the chain.
"Wine lists can be a really good look at what the restaurant is
While P.F. Chang's wine pairing focuses on flavor, McNamara said there are many ways to serve wine with food. He said chefs can pair the wine with the whole dish, one element of the dish, choose to contrast the dish instead of complement it and even use a temperature difference between the dish and the wine to enhance flavor.
He also said wine pairings aren't just for fancy restaurants. More full-service and casual dining restaurants are adding these wine suggestions to their menus. McNamara pointed to TGI Fridays as one such place.
"It seems in the last five to 10 years, as more and more people in the U.S. embrace wine, it has definitely become a revenue point for restaurants," he said.