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.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group announced plans to take over an existing hotel in Switzerland. The property is undergoing extensive renovations in preparation to open at the end of next year as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern. The property was previously Hotel Palace Luzern, on the shores of Lake Lucerne and in the heart of the city; it originally opened in 1906.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
As part of Germany’s climate package, a plan to reduce emissions, the country will raise departure taxes at German airports. Taxes will go up as much as 60 percent, and are expected to raise up to €740 million. The funds will then be used to lower VAT on rail fares from 19 percent to 7 percent.
Get to know Mexico with ONE FREE NIGHT With Fiesta Americana Get to know Mexico with the largest hotel company in the country, offering more than 185 options in the best city and resort destinations. Book at any of our hotels with the best available rate at the time of booking and get one night free.
Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Encore, ahead of its naming ceremony Nov. 21. The 1,100-foot-long ship boasts a guest capacity of nearly 4,000. Since Norwegian Cruise Line took delivery of the shi, Oct. 30, Norwegian Encore sailed from Germany to England before making its way to New York City, then Miami, where the christening ceremony takes place next week.
Experience a big-city hotel stay that doesn’t feel like your typical urban visit at Chicago’s Claridge House, nestled in the sought-after Gold Coast neighborhood. The hotel’s sophisticated décor and serene residential ambience foster the atmosphere of an oasis amid the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolis.