Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fortune cookie not included

First day of the Year of the Snake, just in case you were wondering. Kung Hei Fat Choi! Both girls brought home Chinese-new-year-themed artwork, including a koi-shaped kite and this impressive drawing of a glimmering gold serpent:

The Doodle was quite taken with the whole concept, and insisted on greeting random strangers with a cheerful (and rather loud) “HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!”

We decided to have a Chinese "feast" of our own to celebrate. I would have preferred to visit the Royal Buffet or to have gone downtown for some dim sum, but we made do with Szechuan satay chicken over nests of vermicelli, with chunks of dragon fruit and rosettes of carrot gracing the plate. (Gotta Martha that up somehow, y'know ...)

I pulled out a Dirty Laundry 2010 Woo Woo Vines Gewurztraminer (British Columbia, V246140, $24.90) to go with the dish. On its own, the wine was fantastic: a structured blend of classic gewurz elements of tropical fruit and a slightly viscous mouthfeel. It wasn’t overflowing with aromas and flavours, it was rather restrained, with elegant balance and poise. The finish had a mild pop of acidity, one that bubbled along on a languid current of lychee, pineapple and grapefruit.

So the general rule of thumb is to pair sweet-ish wines with spicy food so that the heat is muted but the flavours are drawn out, right? This one, however, only served to amp up the spice. Was it the high alcohol content (13% abv) perhaps? Pairing aside, it was a pretty awesome wine, and certainly added a touch of class to our "home-made" Chinese food (thank you, President's Choice Memories Of ...)

Did You Know?
  • By 2016, China will become the world’s second-largest wine consumer, and will beat out Australia and Chile in the sixth-place slot for global production, according to a recent report from Vinexpo and International Wine and Spirit Research.
  • Shandong province is responsible for one-third of the country's production.
  • Changyu, Great Wall and Dynasty are the country's top three brands.
  • Most wines are produced from vitis vinifera, but some indigenous and hybrid varieties like Dragon's Eye, Ju Feng Noir and Cabernet Gernischt are gaining popularity.

Both the Great Wall 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (China, 12% abv, V133421, $13.90, see photo) and the Dirty Laundry gewurz are currently on sale at the LCBO.

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