Does wine go with Asian cuisine? Absolutely! “Show me a wine and I will find you an element of spice or herb infused within it.” Indeed, most grape varieties intrinsically display a multitude of spice nuances in aroma or flavour, some more than others. Clearly such nuances and characteristics are synergistic with many Asian cuisines. There is also a central thread in the wines chosen for today’s lunch: organic and biodynamic viticulture, highlighting artisan woman winemakers and proprietors, and an eclectic selection of very high quality and individualistic wines – a journey of wine discovery and pairing to Asian cuisine.
Mezze Sampler – paired to exotic white wines with spicy, oily Mediterranean nuanced perfumes and texture with savoury flavours
Pieropan Soave La Rocca 2009 – Veneto, Italy
Made from the Garganega grape, the single vineyard La Rocca is a wine of unique perfume and distinctive taste, the grapes are picked when very ripe giving tremendous complexity and aromatic qualities. – tantalizing white.
Giaconda Aeolia Rousanne 2008 – Beechworth, Victoria, Australia
Unquestionably the best example of rousanne outside of the Rhone Valley, France, exotic perfume of roasted nuts, scents of turmeric and ginger and sweet custard and lemon; svelte in texture with richness yet lively acidity and spicy warmth. Vary rare wine.
South Asian Sampler – paired to refreshing, tangy white wines with tropical and citrus aromatics, crisp textures and savoury flavours.
Jurtschitsch ‘Loiserberg’ Gruner Veltliner 2007 – Kamptal, Austria
One of the world’s most unique white grapes with a distinct tropical and citrus perfume that has marked grapefruit and pomelo notes and spicy white pepper characters, very refreshing in its mouth-watering tangy grapefruit flavours and mineral-infused from the crystalline primary granite and schist rock terraces it is grown in.
Maison Drouhin Chablis Premier Cru 2009 – Burgundy, France
The purist expression of the chardonnay grape, un-oaked yet silky textured with a tangy, salty invigorating qualities and infused minerality from the unique Kimmeridgian limestone marl soils – made by one of the Veronique Drouhin, a champion of biodynamic viticulture.
Asean Sampler – paired to the powerful and vivacious riesling grape with its accent on lime and lingering refreshing acidity – also a little residual sugar that is harmonious with spicy dishes
Pegasus Bay Riesling 2008 – Waipara Valley, New Zealand
Full bodied and concentrated riesling with ripe stone fruit, honeysuckle and honeycomb nuanced medium sweetness balanced by zesty citrus – lemon, lime mandarin flavours and backbone of natural acidity with lingering minerality.
Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett 2009 – Mosel, Germany
Floral and elegant riesling with a honeyed perfume and distinct mineral-slate character from the schist soils, Mosel rieslings are characterised by their lightness, freshness with natural sweetness of fruit that is a tantalizing pairing for Asian or slightly spicy cuisine.
Khao Suey – not in as much a pairing but addressing the challenge of red wine and seafood and how versatile light pinot noir is with Asian cuisine
Ata Rangi Crimson Pinot Noir 2009 – Martinborough, New Zealand
An elegant pinot noir with an evocative perfume of crushed rose petals, raspberry and strawberry with spice, silky textured and gentle. Project crimson is a charitable conservation trust that works to protect and regenerate NZ’s Christmas Phutokawa tree, which adorns the label.
Dessert Sampler – two delicately flavoured, light and refreshing sweet wines
Michele Chiarlo ‘Nivole’ Moscato di Asti 2010 – Piedmont, Italy
A lightly sparkling wine with a wonderfully refreshing delicately sweet taste bursting with grape and stone fruit flavours with enticing acidity and liveliness, and a very friendly 5% alcohol by volume.
Mount Horrock’s Cordon Cut Riesling 2010 – Clare Valley, South Australia
One of the world’s most unique and versatile dessert wines, served to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at her official 80th birthday luncheon. Vibrant aromas of citrus, flowers, spice and honey – all of which flow through to the palate, incredibly appealing, concentrated, ultra-pure flavours of the riesling grape balanced by zingy acidity.