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Food and Wine Matching is not a Science
A press reception on Sep 1st 2014 marked the milestone for Madison Wine and Fook Lam Moon (Kowloon) Restaurant with the announcement that Madison Wine will become Fook Lam Moon (Kowloon)'s exclusive wine supplier. Not only will there be a diversified wine list, forthcoming events will include exclusive wine promotions, themed winery dinners and exquisite wine pairing set menus.
At the reception, 3 dim sim dishes prepared by Fook Lam Moon (Pig Ear Terrine, BBQ Pork and Black Sesame Roll) were served to match wines from the following:
1. NV Rose Champagne from Ruinart HK$600 (a blanc de blancs with 15% Pinot added, with fine and lengthy mousse, offers fresh strawberry aromas and yeasty palate, supported by vivid acidity and chalky texture)
2. Off dry Riesling from Egon Muller "Scharzhofberger" Kabinett 2012 HK$550 (a well balanced and refreshing light wine with vibrant acidity, exotic peach and tangerine fruits, immense minerality, stunning and impressive with long finish)
3. Burgundian Red from Bouchard Pere et Fils - Beaune Greves Vigne de I'Enfant Jesus 2009 HK$1,080 (a delicately crafted Pinot, shows ripe redcurrant and plum aromas with fragrant rose and faint wild herbs notes, silky, smooth, elegant and lingering with good acidity)
Although preferences on food and wine matching could be subjective, there are some rules to follow. The basics are to match food richness to flavor intensity and body level of wine, avoid oily and salty food with wines of high tannin and, to balance spicy, salty and oily food with acidic and sweet wine. A good match should be complimenting to or uplifting flavors of both food and wine while degrading flavors of both will be a less desirable one.
The Judges for the game chose Riesling to match all 3 dishes in which I held different opinion. I cannot agree more that the off dry and acidic Kabinett Riesling is the perfect match to Pig Ear Terrine when the Chinese style Terrine is savoury and with splashes of sesame oil on top. The Riesling does a great job in curtailing the saltiness and cutting through the oiliness of the Terrine.
However, for the BBQ pork or Char Siu (Chinese style BBQ pork) to be exact, I do think the Beaune Greves Pinot is a better match. The smell from the seasonings (aromatic rice wine or rose wine, herbs and spices) used in Char Siu and the fragrance of Pinot complement each other. The Char Siu is skilfully crafted to the point that the fat is barely noticeable, there is no need to have an acidic Riesling to cut through grease. Rather, Pinot has the appropriate tannin level to match the melting mouthfeel, and the lavish ripe fruits to match the honey taste of Fook Lam Moon's Char Siu.
Black Sesame Roll is a traditional Cantonese dim sim but the one we tasted on Sep 1st was not sweet enough to serve as a dessert. Rather, the heavy sprinkle of white sesame seeds on top renders the dish to go better with wine that shares nutty and toasty notes. Rose Champagne is therefore considered to be a better match than off dry Riesling in this case.
As mentioned, food and wine matching is a personal preference. It is unique and peculiar also when the match will alternate with different origins of food ingredients, seasonings and preparation methods as well as wines of the same grape variety can be of different styles, from different regions / countries. The ever unchangeable part of the match is the fun and surprise related to it when no scientific formula is available. It is an Art when everyone can work out their own masterpiece.
Meanwhile, Madison Wine is exclusively offering 4 wines at Fook Lam Moon (Kowloon) and will undoubtedly invite imagination and joy in food matching.
1. Ronan by Clinet - Bordeaux Blanc 2013 (By Bottle HK$600By Glass HK$150)
2. Ronan by Clinet - Bordeaux Rouge 2011 (By Bottle HK$600; By Glass HK$150)
3. Ernest Vineyards - Dutton Ranch Rued Vineyard Chardonnay 2012, California (By Bottle HK$780; By Glass HK$195)
4. Ernest Vineyards - The Wrangler Pinot Noir 2012, California (By Bottle HK$780; By Glass HK$195)
The food matching wines mentioned above are available at Madison Wine
(Tel: 2827 7288, Address: G/F, 20 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai)
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Text : Salina Fok, AIWS
19 Sep 2014
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