. Energy News .

Shiraz with your Peking Duck? Sacre bleu!
by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) May 31, 2012

China's rapid emergence as a major international wine market has sparked intense debate among growers about how best to pair their wines with the country's rich array of culinary delights.

Drawn by the prospect of vast, relatively untapped pools of new Chinese consumers, wine growers from around the world are competing to claim that their products go best with the Asian giant's unique national dishes.

The debate among French foodies about how to pair wine and food is as old as the country's famous vineyards, but it is relatively new to China. Predictably, there seems to be little agreement between the foreign "experts".

"There are a lot of people thinking about that, making courses and writing books," said Robert Beynat, the French chief executive of Vinexpo, the world's biggest wine fair which is holding its Asian edition in Hong Kong this week.

"We have conferences about that, but I'm not a specialist. I drink red with Chinese food, even the sweet and sour. It's personal."

Among the growers and distributors at the three-day expo, which concludes Thursday, it seems everyone has an opinion about a topic that vexes even the best sommeliers.

After all, the food pairing is essential to the whole enjoyment of wine and, from a purely business point of view, to the industry's mission to encourage the Chinese to drink it.

Georges Haushalter, president of the Bordeaux Wine Council which represents growers from the French region that dominates the Chinese market, has a complicated theory about Chinese food and acidity in wine.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, he concludes that as long as you stick with a Bordeaux all will be well.

"The critical factor is acidity because of the spicy nature of Chinese cuisine, because of the mixture of sweet and sourness," the Frenchman told AFP.

"You need a good level of acidity in the wine so it can sustain the strength of the Chinese cuisine. To this end, Bordeaux is well equipped."

Although the varied dishes of a Chinese banquet made it almost impossible to offer a one-wine-fits all suggestion, red wines from Bordeaux were, for better or worse, the most popular choice, he said.

"I can't guarantee it will always work, but because of the good level of acidity and the good balance of Bordeaux wines, most of the time it works pretty much better than it would with other wines."

While French appellations clearly dominate the market for high-end imported wine in China, countries such as Australia, Chile and South Africa are important players in the mid-range and entry levels.

Nikki Palun, the Mandarin-speaking export manager for De Bortoli Wines of Australia, has travelled extensively in China and says wines should be chosen to match the qualities of the country's regional cuisines.

From the hearty pork, lamb and pickled vegetable dishes of the northeast, to the fiery spices of southwestern Sichuan and the mild, steamed specialities of the southern Cantonese-speaking region, there are many opportunities for wines to find their perfect culinary pairing, she said.

But of the great French varietals, she preferred the pinots of Burgundy to the heavier cabernets of Bordeaux to go with her Chinese dinners, due to the tannin which helps give a wine its flavour and structure.

"I'll stick with chardonnay and Burgundy. Pinot is a great match with a lot of Chinese cuisine, the pork and duck," she said.

"The tannin (of a Bordeaux) can clash with the chillies. If you're eating something that's delicate in flavour, the shiraz or cabernet can be quite overpowering.

"That's why pinot can be a bit more harmonious for Chinese foods. But it depends on the region because in China each region has a different cuisine."

For Sichuan, she suggested an off-dry riesling for a little sweetness to offset the chillies.

"If you drink something with a strong tannin structure, it's just going to make the spice even hotter," she said.

Philippe Garnier, of Vins-Vignerons which represents the major chateaux of Burgundy, agreed that Chinese diners too often overlooked white wine as a match for seafood-based or spicy dishes.

"It doesn't have the tannin, which gives the spicy character to the red wines," he said.

The discussion may have been going on in France for centuries, but in China it is only just beginning, and Haushalter of the Bordeaux Wine Council said: "It's a big debate and I don't think it's going to end."

Related Links
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Research pinpoints how plants know when to flower
Seattle WA (SPX) May 30, 2012
Scientists believe they've pinpointed the last crucial piece of the 80-year-old puzzle of how plants "know" when to flower. Determining the proper time to flower, important if a plant is to reproduce successfully, involves a sequence of molecular events, a plant's circadian clock and sunlight. Understanding how flowering works in the simple plant used in this study - Arabidopsis - should l ... read more

CryoSat goes to sea

S Korea to develop geostationary satellite for environmental monitoring

LiDAR Technology Reveals Faults Near Lake Tahoe

Satellite maps ocean floor

TomTom eyes expanding S. American market

Spirent Launches New Entry-Level Multi-GNSS Simulator

Beidou navigation system installed on more Chinese fishing boats

Scientists design indoor navigation system for blind

New study reports rise in community land rights in tropical forests; most laws unenforced

Greenpeace says KFC boxes destroy Indonesia forests

Beetle-infested Pine Trees Contribute to Air Pollution and Haze in Forests

Beetle-infested pine trees contribute more to air pollution and haze in forests

Nuisance seaweed found to produce compounds with biomedical potential

Maps of Miscanthus genome offer insight into grass evolution

Relative reference: Foxtail millet offers clues for assembling the switchgrass genome

Lawrence Livermore work may improve the efficiency of the biofuel production cycle

US Antidumping Tariffs Impact Solar Module Shipments to North America

High-speed method to aid search for solar energy storage catalysts

New Solar PV Test Kit Has Special Datalogging Capabilities

Sting in the tail as Government announces new solar PV tariffs

US slaps duties on Chinese wind towers

Obama pushes for wind power tax credit

US DoI Approves Ocotillo Express Wind Project

Opening Day Draws Close for Janneby Wind Testing Site

Huge Australian coal mine wins conditional approval

Russia expands presence on Spitsbergen

Australia scraps coal port expansion

Trapped China miner found after 17 days: state media

Democratic reform irreversible in China: Chen

Ex-Macau minister jailed for corruption

China clampdown ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

China detains hundreds in Tibet capital: report

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement