Some Chinese restaurants are upping the ante with full-fledged wine programmes and wine pairing menus
Chinese restaurants are upping the ante with wine programmes and pairing menus
Once upon a time, an outing to a Chinese restaurant required a BYO. Thankfully for wine lovers, that’s no longer the case. Fine dining Chinese restaurants around town are stepping up their game with well-stocked cellars and wine pairing menus. The Imperial Treasure group, for instance, offers various pairing menus ($168) at its fine dining establishments. A recent tasting at Imperial Treasure Fine Shanghai unveiled some lovely matches with four wines: Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2014, Brio de Cantenac Brown 2004, Domaine des Remizieres CrozesHermitage Cuvee Particuliere 2012 and Ramos Pinto Tawny Port 20 years.
Deep-fried croaker fish in sweet and sour sauce / Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2014
The wine with its fruity acid balance was a perfect mirror for the sweet and sour sauce. In addition, the tart wine with smoky stone nuances and salinity worked to cut through the fishy flavours, refreshing the palate and preparing it for yet another mouthful.
Three Treasures: minced spinach salad, salted duck, chilled fresh crab meat aspic / Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2014
The salty spinach with sesame was a good contrast to the fresh tart wine while the salted crispy duck brought out the savoury-sweet elements in the wine. The Riesling’s citrusy flavours were a natural match with the fresh crab meat—as if one squeezed some lemon on the crustacean. The deliciously cold aspic mirrored the cool temperature of the wine. Steamed cod fish with preserved black olives / Brio de Cantenac Brown 2004 This pairing was based on complementary flavours rather than the overrated method of matching red wine with red meat. Cooked in a claypot, the savoury dish bears rich meaty flavours and pairs well with the red fruit and lightly earthy character of the wine.
Smoked French chicken leg / Domaine des Remizieres CrozesHermitage Cuvee Particuliere 2012 With its spicy dark red fruit flavours, the wine made a lovely liaison with the chicken. The wine’s lightly sweet taste was a contrast to the salty chicken whilst its plump fruit contrasted the crispy texture of the chicken skin.
Sweetened dried longan and white fungus soup / Ramos Pinto Tawny Port 20 years
The wine was not too sweet and bore plum and prune notes, making it a natural flavour partner to the dried longan. There was a matching of sweet flavours between the wine and dessert, and the cold wine with the cold fungus broth were a natural pairing of temperatures.
Sweetened mashed taro with gingko nut / Ramos Pinto Tawny Port 20 years This was a pairing made in heaven. The wine’s sweetness matched the sweetened mashed taro perfectly. The wine’s syrupy texture also mirrored that of the mashed taro while yielding a lovely contrast with that of the crunchy ginko nut.
Below Chilled crab meat aspic; Minced spinach salad