Heard It Through The Grapevine experienced an evening of Asian cuisine and wine pairing at the home of Nancy and Pete Toppan. Dressed in Oriental attire, everyone was greeted in Japanese with a bow.
Mandarin Orange Chicken with Yakisoba Noodles with Vegetables, Hot Naan Bread, Egg Rolls, Oriental Dumplings and Asian Salad was served with complementing wines. Asian fruit yogurt in the fruit’s shell, fortune cookies and chocolate chip cookies were enjoyed with champagne for dessert. We, of course, all shared our fortunes.
The wines were judged during our spicy, sweet and sour Asian dinner, with Terry and Mike Gilberti placing first with their Plum Fu-Ki wine. This is a grape wine with plum and other natural flavors 100% produced and bottled in Japan. Coming in second was Nancy and Pete Toppan’s sweet, light, refreshing and fruity Di Cello Moscato D’ Asti. Mary and Roy Bryant’s Jacquenesse Kick’n Berry, a semi-sweet grape wine with natural flavors from Stone Hill Winery was third.
The trick to matching wine with Asian-style cooking is to start with the premise that we need wines which will emphasize a balance, as opposed to a sheer power, of taste sensations. This is why the classic “power” wines of the world—made from grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay—are not easily matched with Asian foods.
The best wines for Asian foods are those with moderate levels of alcohol, softer tannin, crisper acidity and sometimes (but not always) a judicious amount of residual sugar. It is a question of harmony and balance within the context of hot, sour, salty and sweet food sensations.
German-style Rieslings, scented, light, juicy rich, with a whispering sweetness balanced by perceptible acidity, are usually the first wines cited for Asian foods.
Other white wines that complement Asian Cuisine are German style Rieslings, dry Rosés and Champagne, sparkling Whites or Rosés, Sauvignon Blanc and White Burgundies.
Red wines, Italian wines: Syrahs, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rhone reds and Zinfandels. Round Italian Reds from Italy and California Reds.
The combination of Asian cuisine, wine, champagne and good friends made for a Zhen Bang (awesome in Chinese) evening!