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Which wine with dinner? A pro's view

By Donna Mah in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2014-01-04 07:40

Which wine with dinner? A pro's view

The 2011 official selection of 256 Crus Bourgeois de Medoc features the quality Bordeaux wines. Provided to China Daily

When choosing a wine to go with a meal, what are you looking for? Of course there are guidelines which people 

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usually follow, such as the common, "red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat (i.e., fish)". However, when it comes down to what wine you serve with a dish, Frederique de Lamothe, director of the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Medoc, says: "It's always a question of balance."

De Lamothe was in Hong Kong recently to launch the 2011 official selection of 256 Crus Bourgeois de Medoc. The Bordeaux wines that are on the official selection are wines that meet quality and pricing standards upheld by the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Medoc. Each wine bottle displays an authenticating sticker with the Cru Bourgeois logo that clearly identifies the Cru Bourgeois du Medoc wines and guarantees that the quality of the wine, not the chateau, matches the standards of the Cru Bourgeois du Medoc selection.

When asked which of these wines to drink with Chinese food, she had a number of tips for diners.

She says wines from the north of Bordeaux are usually more structured and work well with heavier and spicier food. The food shouldn't be too spicy as this would overpower the wine. "It's like the yin and the yang. Balance is important," she stresses.

Wines from the St. Estephe appellation and Medoc appellation go well with heavier food, so try wines from these regions with meaty and hearty dishes.

For lighter fare, she says, try pairing dishes with wines from the southern Margaux appellation. Many of the wines from there would go well with fish, vegetable and tofu dishes.

For dishes made with sea cucumber, she likes wines from the Moulis-en-Medoc and Listrac-Medoc appellations. These have good structures that contrast a bit with the soft, smooth, slightly gelatinous texture of sea cucumber. "The wine brings something a little stronger to the mouth," De Lamothe says.

"Simple food is a good product by itself. But the simple meal gets better with the complex wines." The richness of the wines can make a good meal an exceptional one by adding structure, balance and contrast. The weather and terrain in Bordeaux is complex and can vary greatly and, "you can taste it in the wines".

The best advice De Lamothe has for anyone trying to find the perfect wine or wines for a dinner is that personal perception is very important. Wine pairing also can help people to discover something new.

"It's an adventure," she says.


Crus Bourgeois du Medoc, 12 rue d'Enghien - 33000 Bordeaux. 05-56-79-04-11.

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