CHINESE NEW YEAR FOOD PAIRING
Realize how everyone who celebrates Chinese New Year is just trying to lose a bit of weight for the festive feast? We sure do take our food seriously. And to take that to another level, we pair our favourite Chinese New Year dishes and snacks with some wines - because we can. It is from here, we take our food and drink seriously.
Wine pairing with Chinese food can often be tricky due to the diversity in flavours. But as Asian/Chinese food becomes less of a stranger internationally, many are on an adventure looking for the best wine match for different dishes, and the results have been surprisingly satisfying. Especially with local Malaysian Chinese cuisine, its versatility goes tremendously well with a wide range of wines.
In all its salty, fatty glory, Bak Kwa is Chinese-style barbequed dried meat, or jerky in the West. For every glorious bite, it’s a bomb of flavour, sweet and smoky and yet elegant.
And for this, you’ll need something to complement its strong flavour - Shiraz has a bold and beautiful style. It brings a fruity element, which can also help balance out the smoky flavours when you obtain a pack that is too heavily smoked for your liking.
ROASTED PORK & CHAR SIEW
A guaranteed starter in every Chinese family household, wedding banquet or even casual dinners; signature roasted pork belly and char siew are symbols of luck and prosperity for the rest of the year and truth be told, its a match made in heaven with wine pairings.
A bold red wine like Sangiovese or Cabernet Sauvignon helps cut the fats and sweetness from pork. The wine’s tannins are also loosened, leaving a smooth delicious journey down to food heaven.
"PEN CAI" aka BASIN VEGETABLES
Another dish big on the umami. From green vegetables and mushrooms to fresh seafood and roasted duck; it truly is a tsunami of flavours braised in a prosperity pot. Don’t be surprised to see every Chinese New Year gathering feature this dish.
Pen Cai calls out for a fruit-forward big red with medium tannins. Pinot Noir or Dolcetto’s are the perfect pairings for this. Alternatively, a light-medium Rosé wine would cut through its Unami profile.
Everyone loves a beautiful steamed fish, whether it be an ocean-fresh “Grouper” or “Red Snapper” or even freshwater “Soon Hock” or “Patin”, this dish is a group from people of all ages too! Most times, it is cooked the Cantonese style with premium soy sauce, sesame oil, Chinese rice wine, and aromatics such as ginger, spring onions and cilantro.
Preferably a dry, young & fruity white (or Rosé) with fresh acidity to best match and enhance the delicate sweetness of fish meat and freshness of cilantro that goes with it. Some would consider a Pinot Noir to match with it as it goes well with the rich soy-based sauce that’s served with the fish.
It's not Chinese New Year without Pineapple Tarts, and while you might not be hungry anymore that's no reason to skip dessert!
Enjoy a glass of sweet Moscato with your Pineapple Tarts and don’t let it stop there, Moscatos are sweet wines that pairs well with almost all desserts and especially during Chinese New Year, there’s plenty of sweet snacks to munch on!