WYKwinos Report No.2

Date/Time: January 14 2010/7:00 p.m. (roughly 2 hours)

Place: Dominic’s residence

1st Bottle 2008 Vineland Chardonnay  
Varietal: Chardonnay Winery/Producer: Vineland
Type: White Wine Year: 2008
Cost: $12.85 Region: Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula
Food to pair: Smoked Salmon LCBO #: new release from Vineland Estate 
Remarks: The smells are apple, pear, peach and tangerine blossom; while in the mouth it’s beautifully smooth and clean with a sweetish note of apples and pears along with a good finish of desirable length.
2nd Bottle 2007 Riesling Cave Spring  
Varietal: Riesling Winery/Producer: Cave Spring
Type: White wine Year: 2007
Cost: $14.25 Region: Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula
Food to pair: Chow Mein LCBO #: 00234583
Remarks: The balance between acid and sweetness is nicely done, giving it both tang and roundness on the palate. Flavours or peach, pineapple, basil and flinty minerals are built onto a light to medium bodied frame.
3rd Bottle 2007 Sketches of Niagara Merlot Cabernet  
Varietal: Merlot Cabernet Winery/Producer: Tawse Winery 
Type: Red Wine Year: 2007
Cost: $27.5 Region: Canada, Ontario, Niagara Peninsula
Food to pair: 燒排骨 LCBO #: not available from LCBO
Remarks: This rich blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc has a medley of red currents, cinnamon, cedar and dried flowers on the nose.This wine is not available in LCBO.
4th Bottle 咸亨太雕 (紹酒)  
Varietal: 紹興黃酒 Winery/Producer: 紹興咸亨
Type: Heavy red wine Year: (8 years old)
Cost: HK$120 Region: 中國浙江紹興
Food to pair: 鴨下巴
Remarks: 太雕酒是紹興咸亨酒店主辦專利的傳統酒, 由鑒湖水, 糯米, 小麥制造, 起碼八年釀制.

 

Wine & Food Pairings:

1.     Chardonnay (2008 Vineland Chardonnay): 

Chardonnay can be surprisingly hard to pair with food. The taste that a glass of Chardonnay can acquire will depend on the origin of the grape and its method of fermentation. The wine can taste heady, or it can be light; it can taste slightly sweetish, and in contrast, it can be slightly sour. It is this diversity in taste that Chardonnay brings to the table, that makes food and chardonnay pairings quite a challenge. For the first course, a very strongly recommended food and chardonnay pairing is smoked salmon and this is our choice today. In general, avoid tomato based dishes – the sharp acidity of the tomato doesn’t go well with the buttery flavours in a Chardonnay. Chardonnay is a light white wine, so things like steaks and game will overwhelm the flavour. The light, fruity flavours of Caribbean cooking go well.

2.     Riesling (2007 Riesling Cave Spring):

You would be hard-pressed to find a wine that is more versatile with foods from bland to spicy, salty to exotic; Riesling wines can just about cover them all.  The key is their acidity and depth of fruit flavours.  Riesling comes in so many different styles from bone-dry to very sweet; it opens up more possibilities for matching with food naturally.  Even desserts can be charmed by a bottle of Riesling. For Asian food, they could be barbecue pork, shrimp/chicken Chow Mein, Dim Sum, Egg Rolls, Mongolian Beef, Moo Shoo Pork, Orange Chicken, Pot Stickers, Cashew Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork and Twice Cooked Pork, Sushi or Sashimi, chicken/seafood teriyaki or tempura. Our choice today is Chow Mein.

When you think of Riesling wines, the first place that comes to mind (and rightly so) is Germany.  This is the birthplace of Riesling grapes and they were discovered from wild vines in the upper Rhine region way back in the early 14th Century.  You could say that Riesling is by far and away the most important grape style to Germany and production of Riesling wines more than double the next closest varietal wine. The Riesling grape is grown in the Baden, Nahe, Pfalz, and Rheinhessen regions in Germany, however, the two regions that translate into the best Riesling wines come from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and Rheingau.

A quote from the well known Hugh Johnson:

“Riesling is Germany’s great grape, and at present underrated. It is a wine of brilliant sweet/acid balance, either dry or sweet, flowery in youth but maturing to subtle oily scents and flavours.  Unlike chardonnay (the white Burgundy & the white Champagne grape), it does not need high alcohol for character.  It is very good (usually dry) in Alsace (but absurdly nowhere else in France), Austria, Australia (widely grown), Pacific NW, Ontario, California, and South Africa.  Riesling is often called White-Johannesburg- or Rhine-Riesling”.

3.     Merlot Cabernet (2007 Sketches of Niagara Merlot Cabernet):

The soft and fruity Merlot grape is sweeter, smoother, and lower in tannins. This means it blends well with other grapes and is ready to drink at a younger age. Sketches of Niagara is

Merlot blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Both Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc could dominate in flavor and texture; Merlot will soften both of them. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are great match with meat and poultry dishes including roast or grilled chicken, chops (lamb or pork), meatloaf, and prime rib. The winery food recommendation for this wine could be braised ribs, spiced pork or pasta with a red sauce. Today  燒排骨 is our choice.

4.     咸亨太雕 (紹酒):

太雕酒的品饮之道

 茶有茶道,酒亦有酒道。啤酒是动感的,适宜欢乐畅饮;白酒 (spirit) 是豪爽的,适宜一小杯一小杯地干。而黄酒是温和的,宜慢慢品,方能品味出其曼妙滋味. 故太雕酒属于细酌慢饮之酒,其下酒菜最好也是耐嚼滋味长的那种。如盐煮花生、茴香豆、豆腐干、鴨下巴等. 太雕酒的最佳绝配当属大闸蟹,即古人所说的“持螯下酒”. 大闸蟹味美,但性寒不能多吃. 而太雕酒性温,温寒相抵无疾患之虞,又太雕酒最能去除腥味,食之更觉香美.   但 鴨下巴 是今次之選.

太雕,镶春系列黄酒是咸亨人经过多年探索,反复试验,在民间 “拼酒” 的基础上,运用现代科学技术,研制出的传统配制酒,并获得国家知识产权局发明专利权. 故此太雕酒是紹興咸亨酒店主辦專利的傳統酒.  太雕、镶春系列黄酒含有多种氨基酸、糖类和维生素等,有黄酒精极珍品之美誉,深受广大消费者的喜爱.

黄酒是伴随中华民族悠悠五千年文明历史发展的,是中华民族自己的酒。而黄酒中最有名的当数绍兴酒,它以选料上乘,工艺独特,酒精度低,营养丰富,并具有多种养身健体之功效而著称于世。一般人们所说的中国酒,就是黄酒,就是绍兴酒. 绍兴酒正式定名始于宋代,并开始大量输入皇宫。明清时期,是绍兴酒发展的第一高峰,不光品种繁多、质量上乘,而且产量高,确立了中国黄酒之冠的地位。当时绍兴生产的酒就直呼绍兴,到了不用加“酒”字的地步.“越酒行天下,即是当时盛况的最好的写照.

绍兴酒的种类繁多,有加饭、善酿、香雪、元红和花雕等多种。三年以上的陈酒称为 ”雕”. 其中绍兴太雕酒,在绍兴当地及中外消费者中有很高的声誉.

太雕酒的同义词:在绍兴当地,常被称做太雕咸亨太雕咸亨太雕酒绍兴太雕(绍兴太雕酒).

太雕酒的颜色:与一般略带透明的绍兴黄酒有所不同。其颜色深红,在杯中流动时似乎可以粘住杯壁.

太雕酒的口味:醇浓、香甜,多喝能养胃健体深受中外消费者的好评。

太雕酒的品享:春秋饮时保持自然温度,夏天饮时可加冰块,冬天饮时用温酒台烫着。其感觉是酒到咸亨方知妙,老酒一壶乐悠悠。

太雕酒的制作原料:水、糯米、小麦。

太雕酒的酒精度:≥14.0%VOL(20℃)

太雕酒的产品类型:半甜型。

太雕酒的保质期:一般为36个月。

咸亨酒店 是紹興最負盛名的百年老店,創建於清光緒甲午年間,原為魯迅周氏本家堂叔周仲翔等人合伙開設的小酒店,「咸亨」二字源出易經‧坤卦「品物咸亨」句,意為萬事亨通、財源廣達,其實「咸亨」雖名為酒店,實為酒攤,那時的顧客多為站著喝的「短衣幫」,他們在繁重的體力勞動之後,打著赤膊,掛著汗水,喝一碗老酒舒展筋骨,偶而也有穿著長衫、窮困潦倒的讀書人,取二三文銅錢,斟上一碗酒,以酒解愁,以「咸亨」為店名,雖然吉祥雅致,但卻經營不善,苦撐兩年之後便關門大吉,從此酒店成為歷史陳跡,被歷史塵埃封存了. 酒店的重開是由於魯迅的名著〈孔乙已〉中的生動描述,使「咸亨酒店」名揚海內外,一九八一年魯迅百齡誕辰之際,老店新開、繼承傳統,現在店內擺設格局,完全如小說中所描述的情景,雖然酒店論面積、氣派都比不上那些建築華麗、燈紅酒綠的酒樓飯莊,但它所特有的古樸雅致卻是其它建築所不及的,現在已成為遊客到紹興旅遊必到的景點. 

绍兴咸亨酒店太雕酒业有限公司成立于2003年,由浙江咸亨集团股份有限公司组建。公司以经营专利产品–太雕绍兴黄酒为主营业务的专业公司.

[All info extracted from various web sites]


後記

The best thing about our wino meeting is the mystery.
The mystery of not knowing what kind of wine we will taste?
The mystery of not knowing what kind of food we are matching the wine with?
The mystery of not knowing whether I will make it home – this is a strong reason for those who have the full intention of running away from home.

Mystery or no mystery, the main objective is to have the spirit in my mouth. We accomplished this intention fully to-night.

We tasted 3 kinds of wine to-night – 2 white and 1 red. The wines are all Ontario products. They should be easily accessible. The food we matched with the wines was all described in the blog report. I need not repeat myself. We discovered some truth.

1. It is easier to distinguish the wines if there is comparison. In other words if you put 2 wines of the similar group, it would be easier to detect the differences. In our case, we run a chardonnay white beside a Riesling and the differences in bouquet and taste become a lot more prominent than to taste it alone.

2. You can read thousands of articles from wine critics, you can listen to thousands of comments from wine experts, you can even go to thousands of wine appreciation courses, yet the final verdict has to be given by you and you alone. Your own taste is the truest critique of them all. It all boils down to 1 simple scenario – if you favour the local hooch of “Old Sailor” brand that sells for $1.95 a bottle and it tastes like turpentine, go for it. It is your personal taste and you should treasure it. You might never find another person who will drink the ‘Old Sailor’ with you, but at least you have your integrity.
(I know drinking can form character and this is my proof)

3. During our drinking binge, another truth surfaced. Apparently a lot of wines are acidic and it would be great if you can use an alkaline food as a contrast. Learning the character of wines is hard work and if you want to learn matching food with wine is even harder. So, here is a million dollar question: “Can you name 1 kind of alkaline food that can best contrast the acidity in wine?”
The winner of the contest will get a mysterious prize.

The world of wine is vast and fathomless. There is so much to learn. In conclusion, I insist on the genius of our motto: With wine, we conquer.

Till next time, folks.

This entry was posted in Wine and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to WYKwinos Report No.2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *