As Chinese New Year is getting near, it’s time to load more wine and spirits and bring them to your relatives or friends’ home for Chinese New Year gatherings. When deciding on what wines to bring, the palate of ladies maybe quite different from guys. Some ladies don’t normally drink, but they will drink a bit during Chinese New Year. Others are pro and they know what they like. So, it’s better to get more different varieties to match with different palates.
For female relatives and girlfriends who don't drink much, I’d go for champagne and sweet wine to pamper their palates. For champagne, I’m very impressed with the newly launched Perrier Jouet Belle Époque Blanc de Blancs 2004 vintage. This special edition is designed by renowned Japanese glass artist Ritsue Mishima and the bottle is just like a masterpiece. Ladies will surely be impressed by the beautifully painted floral pattern on the bottle together with Ritsue’s artistic bottle design, which looks like an elegant crystal art piece. The champagne has been aged for over 8 years and the texture is creamy. It is elegant and complex with white flower, vanilla, peach, brioche and mineral notes, which is very lady-friendly. It’s a great match with dried abalone, seafood and turnip cake! As for sweet wine, I’d pick Chateau Guiraud 2010 (1st grand cru classe from Bordeaux, France). I recently attended Chateau GUiraud’s tasting event at Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong and tried its pairing with Sturia Caviar from France, it’s surprisingly a good match. It’s normal that we pair sweet wine with foie gras or chocolate, but it’s really intriguing to pair it with caviar. I found the 2010 sweet wine matched very well with Vintage caviar. The umami notes of the caviar elevated the minerality and fruitiness of the wine, which was very interesting. I think no ladies will resist this elegant pairing, no matter she can drink or not.
There are ladies who like to drink whisky more. As a lot of older generation prefers spirits to wine, it’s a safe choice to bring a bottle of whisky to join the Chinese New Year gatherings. If you want to bring something special, I’d suggest going for Connemara Irish Whiskey. It’s the only peated whiskey in Ireland and it’s not as punchy as Scotch Islay’s whiskies. It’s lighter and smoother in general, with vanilla, honey, almond, toasty, spices, orange peel and peaty notes. The finish is quite sweet and ladies tend to find it easier to enjoy. Whisky is a good pairing with CNY dishes like pork knuckle, sautéed dried oysters, etc. Hope you enjoy a dram with your family. Wish you all have a happy year of the Rooster!
對於不太懂飲酒的女長輩及女友人，我會揀些特別的香檳及甜酒給她們。最近剛推出市場的 Perrier Jouet Belle Époque Blanc de Blancs 2004年特別珍藏版，由著名玻璃日本設計師Ritsue Mishima設計，酒樽超靚好似琉璃藝術品。其實所有女生都是貪靚的，望見像鑽石的酒樽已經想影相了，再加上美麗的白蘭花圖案，新年開這支珍藏版香檳，女士一定很喜歡。此香檳陳年8年以上，氣泡綿滑而味道複雜，帶白花、雲尼拿、蜜桃、牛油麵包、礦物等味，十分優雅，襯鮑片、海鮮或蘿白糕都不錯。而甜酒我會揀法國波爾多一級莊甜酒Chateau Guiraud 2010年，因為之前出席了Chateau Guiraud於香港萬麗海景酒店的試酒會，試了它的甜酒配 Sturia法國魚子醬，覺得很驚喜。甜酒配鵝肝或朱古力就試得多，跟魚子醬配搭卻很新觧。我覺得2010年甜酒跟Vintage魚子醬很夾，魚子醬的海洋味提升了甜酒的礦物味，覺得支酒的果香更突出，真的很有趣，新年拿出這個高貴的配搭跟女士分享，相信識飲或不識飲的都會很想試。