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Competition throws up unconventional wine pairings for Chinese food

The food and wine matching category at a recent Cathay Pacific competition in Hong Kong has thrown up some unconventional pairings for Chinese food.

Among the winners was the Wairau River Pinot Gris 2009 from New Zealand.

It awarded the trophy for the best match with Cantonese dim sum by the panel of Asian-born and Asian-based judges.

The wine beat off competition from more conventional pairings such as Champagne.

‘It demonstrates that a pure, fruit-driven un-oaked white is perfectly versatile with different dishes on dim sum trolley’ said one of the judges, Decanter contributor Simon Tam.

Other surprises included Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Rosé winning the trophy for best match with braised abalone, a dish frequently paired with red Bordeaux.

Judge Debra Meiburg MW said that wine works ‘in a variety of ways to enhance food flavour.’

‘For example, some judges looked to a wine to neutralise the spice of Kung Pao Chicken, where as others preferred a wine to accentuate its intense heat.’

Sottano Judas Malbec 2006 was voted the best pairing for Peking Duck, beating the traditional match of Pinot Noir.

The Kung Pao chicken matching trophy winner was a sweet wine – the ‘highly aromatic’ Muscat, Martin & Weyrich Moscato Allegro 2007 from California.

Allen Gibbons, director of the competition, said that he encouraged ‘global wine producers and regional importers to take a good look at the results to better understand the cultural taste preferences of the Asian wine consumer.’

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Written by Fiona Beckett

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