MATCH MADE

Some Chi­nese restau­rants are up­ping the ante with full-fledged wine pro­grammes and wine pair­ing menus

Wine & Dine - - CONTENTS - WORDS ED­WIN SOON

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

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