Chinese New Year Wine Pairing
With Chinese New Year just around the corner, many of you will be planning your menu for celebrations with family and friends. No doubt you are busy shopping for ingredients for your reunion steamboat and all other kinds of festive goodies.
There is something to remember though.
Do not focus so much on your eats that you forget to give any thought to the accompanying drinks you are serving – especially if you are planning to provide wine. You might be surprised that Valentine’s is not the only occasion at this time of the year where you can pair food and wine together at home.
Getting food and wine pairings right takes some skill but the good news is, it is not difficult to find your way to perfect pairing for your CNY dinner.
Food and Wine Pairing Tips
If you are just starting to shop for alcohol online in Singapore, you might be overwhelmed at the choice of wine available. Where do you start in your search for the ideal match for the dishes on your menu? Fortunately, there is no need to make any wild guesses when picking your wine; there are food and wine pairing conventions that can guide you as you are making your choices.
First, get hold of a sparkling wine to kick your evening off. Nothing says party time like bubbles. A glass of champagne or other fizz gets people in the mood to have fun and the higher alcohol styles give that little bit of help for relaxation.
Another tip is if you are cooking up something spicy, go for an off-dry or sweet wine. The latter also goes like a dream with sweets. If your menu includes salty, savory food, consider serving a fresh acidic white. Rich red meat dishes pair to perfection with highly tannic reds and lighter meats go hand in glove with medium tannin red wines. Fruity red wines are heavenly with tangy sauces and reds with high acidity are good matches for any dish that is rich in tomatoes.
This classic Chinese New Year dish is all about getting loved ones together and sharing. What greater pleasure is there than sitting around the table with friends and family and dipping delicious meat and vegetable nibbles into that bubbling pot of broth?
What kind of hotpot are you preparing? Are you cooking up a Manchurian Hot Pot with its rich red cabbage and tasty pork ingredients? If so, a good pairing wine is a light red like Pinot Noir. The delicate red fruit notes of this classic grape will highlight the meat and vegetable flavours without overpowering them while its earthy notes stand up to the clout of this dish.
Taiwanese Hot Pot more your thing? With different sauces for dipping, you may need a couple of wines. A young Beaujolais will match the tangy notes of the ponzu sauce, and the spicy sweetness of the sesame sauce begs for a fruity Alsace Riesling or Pinot Gris.
Chinese New Year Snacks
No new year party is complete without platters of tasty nibbles to keep your guests happy. If you think of the range of delicious sweet and savoury bites you are planning to serve, the variety of flavours is vast. When you shop for your wines and spirits you need to pick carefully.
Take Bak Kwa. Whether it is pork, chicken, or vegetarian, you need a wine that can stand up to the sweet, spicy, savoury seasoning that makes this snack so popular. An ideal choice is a Chianti which has the juicy fruitiness and medium body to complement this dish.
How about sweets like Pineapple Tarts and Kueh Bangkit? These little critters deserve something special like a Sauterne. The sweetness found in both the goodies and the wine will create lovely harmony. Whatever sweet wine you choose these delights, go for a white or even a rosé rather than a red, so as not to dominate the delicate flavours of the cookies and tarts.
Hope these quick tips for pairing have helped and have fun planning your food and wine menu for this Chinese New Year!