3 Best CNY Food and Wine Pairings
What to pair with turnip cake, pudding and poon choi
Wine pairing has never been an easy task, especially during Chinese New Year when the foods we eat are often rich, heavy and somewhat foreign. What goes best with common Chinese New Year foods like turnip cake, poon choi, and sweet puddings, for instance?
To help answer these questions (and help wash everything down better), we asked Mathieu Pouchan, chief sommelier of etc wine shops, to give us a few pointers.
1. Turnip cake (lor baat go)
What's in it: 'Lor baat’ means Chinese white radish and ‘go’ means cake. The radish is chopped into strips, then mixed with diced dry shrimps, mushrooms, Chinese sausage, and pickles. It is then stirred with flour in water then deep-fried until golden brown.
Pair with: Champagne Fleury Extra Brut 1995 (regular HK$499, CNY promotion HK$429 at champagne etc)
Tasting notes: Expressive and complex nose with citrus, pear, white flower and fresh almond aromas, then comes strong mineral and brioche. The mouth is really young with a fresh and crisp, with fine bubble and salty mineral finish.
2. Dried oyster with ‘fat choy’ and dried scallops
What's in it: Dried oysters with ‘fat choy’ and dried scallops are usually braised with other meats like goose web, prawns, abalone, pork ribs and more, and served with concentrated and heavy flavors.
Pair with: Jean-Jacques Confuron Chambolle Musigny 2009 (regular HK$665, CNY promotion HK$565 at burgundy etc)
Tasting notes: Ripe fruits nose with blackberry, sweet cherry and light vanilla tones. The palate is juicy and rich with integrated tannins and a fruit explosion finish.
3. Sweet nian gao (pudding)
What's in it: Lots of cane sugar, coconut milk and sometimes almonds
Pair with: Guiraud - Sauternes 2001(regular HK$499, CNY promotion HK$429 at bordeaux etc)
Tasting notes: A rich nose of apricot, mango and honeycomb. The palate is creamy but not overweight, balanced by the lively acidity. Ideal to pair with dessert, Guiraud keeps a lot of freshness and lightness.
Note: All CNY price promotions are valid until 21 February 2013. For a list of etc wine shop locations, visit www.etcwineshops.com.