Kung Hei Fat Choi - something you will hear at this time of the year if you venture into Chinatown in Central London. I always thought it was a traditional greeting meaning 'Happy New Year' as it heralds the start of the Chinese New Year but in fact means in Cantonese 'May You Become Prosperous'. The sentiment however is similar to when we wish each other 'Happy New Year'
The Chinese New Year is given an animal mascot including Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Goat (2015), Snake, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Friday 31st January 2014 heralds the start of the Chinese Year of The Horse (31.01.14 - 17.02.15) and anyone born in the relevant year celebrates the Year of The Horse. 2002, 2014 and 2026 are all Year of The Horse and 1954 is one of those years which makes me a 'Horse' so this is my year and I have great expectations for it.
Dumplings made of a glutinous rice flour are traditionally eaten and the drinks would probably a cold beer or Chinese tea.
If you are drinking wine with this food traditionally you would traditionally order a Gewurtztraminer or French Puilly Fousse or Sauvignon Blanc for the shellfish dishes and appetisers and a red (especially for duck) would be a lighter red.
I have been set a challenge to try some wines from the Cote du Rhone region in France with a meal from my local Chinese takeaway and to do this I was sent two offerings, one red and one white.
Côtes-du-Rhône Blanc, Domaine de la Janasse, 2011 (Retailer : The Wine Society, RPP : £11.50)
Côtes-du-Rhône, Mas du Libian 2011 (Retailer : The Wine Society, RPP : RRP : £11.50)
Bearing in mind how wine pairs with Chinese food we ordered a selection and including
Mushroom Chow Mein, Beef with Mushrooms
Sweet & Sour Chicken, , Sweet & Sour Pork,
Chicken with Black Bean Sauce and Egg Fried Rice.
The Domaine de la Janasse (white) was a bit too quiet for the Chinese food, drinking it on its own it was lovely and smooth white wine with a fresh taste but I felt it sort of disappeared with a mouthful or following a mouthful of the food. The Chinese spices were too much for it to stand out.
The Mas du Libian (red) however stood up really well to the Chinese food. It was really smooth and full of vibrant flavours of blackcurrant and other berries.
Is it precious to have a glass of red and a glass of white on the go at the same time??
Cotes du Rhone wines have a 2000 year history, covering 13 main wine trails with all the opportunities for a great wine holiday with all the information you need to plan on their website.
If you would like more information on Cotes du Rhone wines have a look at their website.