It’s a common question: Does wine complement Chinese foods? If so, which wines are best? A group of us gathered recently in New York City’s Chinatown to find the answers. Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, author of nine Chinese cookbooks, created the menu. The rest of us brought the bottles. And for four hours, we tasted our way through nine courses and 13 wines.
The first match was a snap. Four dumplings — pork siu mai, vegetarian dumplings, spring rolls and soup buns — paired easily with Moët & Chandon champagne. We agreed on the second match as well: barbecued pork and duck with Chablis Premier Cru Montmains 2003, from Drouhin. And the best companion to spicy steamed oysters with ginger and scallions, we agreed, was the 2000 pinot gris from Oregon’s Eyrie Vineyards.
But by the fourth course — clams with black beans — we were divided. Some chose Dr. Konstantin Frank’s 2001 Dry Riesling Reserve, while others preferred the light sweetness of Frank’s semidry riesling. We did not try to find a wine to complement double-boiled hairy melon soup.
On to chicken crusted with garlic, ginger and scallion. Here, the semidry riesling won the most votes, but I preferred an elegant Oregon pinot noir — firm enough to tackle the spice, soft enough not to fight it. With the seventh course, a zingy orange-flavored beef, a fuller-bodied pinot noir — the 2001 from Syren, in New Zealand — won approval.
With striped bass steamed with ginger and scallion, we favored the Oregon pinot noir and pinot gris. Yet for the zesty final course, yuk see chau mein (shrimp, pork and vegetables atop fried noodles), it was back to Syren’s pinot noir.
What did we learn? Brut champagne is a great friend to many Chinese dishes. Reds no more tannic than pinot noir are a good bet with Chinese veal and beef dishes. Whites should have character and fruit, but not be overly sweet. What didn’t work for us were heavily oaked chardonnay and big reds, such as two bordeaux we tried and dismissed.
Still, we feel there are thousands of other potential combinations, so we’re ready and willing to try this experiment again.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Starting in November, guests at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru enjoy new all-pool water villas that offer twice as much outside space as indoor space. The villa expansions bring outdoor space to nearly 2,000 square feet across multiple “zones,” including sun decks, social spots, over-water hammocks, al fresco showers and dining areas. A 40-foot pool extends into the lagoon; nearby, a shaded, ocean-side living and dining pavilion offers unparalleled views.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.
Even if you are not familiar with Chicago, you may already know the Wicker Park neighborhood is one of the city’s “eat like a local” destinations, especially among young professionals whose idea of local is actually quite global. After a decade of high-concept comfort food and gastro-pubs, the Tan family took over a homey space on North Avenue to mix things up with the opening of Cebu. Cebu is not just a Filipino restaurant, but one focused on Cebuano regional cooking along with its Chinese and Spanish underpinnings.