We talked to Kate Rowe, the Brand Ambassador of Treasury Wine Estates for South East Asia about pairing wine with food that Malaysians love. Born and bred in Hong Kong and with almost a decade of experience in the restaurant business, Asian cuisine is no stranger to the Brit.
Here are some of the combinations she’s put together with wine labels from Wolf Blass, Penfolds and Maison de Grand Esprit. Of course, this serves as a guideline only, as Rowe believes that the best pairing is the pairing you like, no matter what other people think. We suggest taking note of the flavour profile combinations of both food and wines, then use that as a starting point to explore with whatever wines you have. It makes a fun get together with your friends too this Chinese New Year!
Food that’s spicy on the palate
Dish: Mala steam boat
Wine variety to pair with: Choose a Riesling which has enough intense fruit and acidity to stand up to the aromatic and spicy character of Asian food.
Recommended label: Wolf Blass Gold Label Riesling
Flavourful food that contains many spices
Dish: Kung Pow Chicken, Ma Po Tofu
Wine variety to pair with: Rowe advised that for food with a lot of spice, you need a wine that is very fruity with little tannin.
Recommended label: Wolf Blass Gold Label Cabernet
Food with a creamy sauce
Dish: Lobster with butter sauce
Wine variety to pair with: Look for a wine that has enough ripeness and acidity to cut through the fat of creamy dishes, but enough creaminess itself to match up and not get overpowered.
Recommended label: Wolf Blass Gold Label Chardonnay
Food that's seasoned only with salt
Dish: Steamed crab with salt
Wine variety to pair with: The light delicate flavours of crab will be a great match to a sparkling wine that is citrusy with delicate bubbles but not too dry.
Recommended label: Wolf Blass Gold Label Sparkling
Chinese style broth
Dish: Double-boiled chicken soup with matsutake
Wine variety to pair with: Flavours in Chinese broth are delicate, a clean and crisp bubbly with a subtle creaminess can bring out the sweetness of the soup.
Recommended label: Maison de Grand Esprit L’être Magique Crémant de Bourgogne NV
Meat dish with sweet sauce and herbs
Dish: Crispy roasted duck with plum sauce and herbs
Wine variety to pair with: Choose a wine that tastes of spice that compliments the spice and herbs in the dish. It can be star anise, cinnamon, liquorice but one with forward berry notes would go well with a duck dish.
Recommended label: Maison de Grand Esprit La Mystèriale Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2015
Food coated with batter
Dish: Deep fried prawn with batter
Wine variety to pair with: For lightly battered fried prawn, look for a Chardonnay with stone fruit character, and an upfront oaky note with a lingering spicy characteristic which can bring out the spice in the batter.
Recommended label: Penfold’s Max Chardonnay 2016
Stir fry red meat
Dish: Stir-fry wagyu beef with spring onions
Wine variety to pair with: A red wine that is slightly savoury but with chocolatey and oaky notes on the palate goes well with red meat like the wagyu, while not being overpowered by the spring onions.
Recommended label: Wolfblass Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
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