Pairing Côtes du Rhone & Chinese Take-Away - A Challenge -

In order to complete the Côtes du Rhone Wines Chinese Take Away Challenge Pebble Soup was sent two bottles of Côtes du Rhone.

Tonight Chinese families from all around the world will get together around the most important meal of the year: The New Year Reunion Banquet. In the West, we associate Chinese food with hot tea or beer but on occasions and to honour special guests, wine is served but how do you pair French wines and Chinese food?

That was Pebble Soup's challenge which at HQ we took very seriously. First we went local and ordered our take away from:
Mr Chung's restaurant's facade has changed somewhat over 30 years, a couple of "gigantic" stone lions are now guarding the entrance, but the family hasn't given into churning horrid bowl of noddles as so many of its competitors have. As a result Mr Chung's serves tasty and authentic dishes.
Prestigious labels, luxury branding attract Chinese consumers, who as a result will primarily choose a red Bordeaux. However lucky the colour red is, it doesn't seem right to pair chilli hot food with highly tannic red wine as the tannin tends to prolong the effect of the heat.
We were sent a Incognito 'H' Blanc Côtes-du-Rhône, Paul Jaboulet Aîné, 2011 (Retailer : The Wine Society, RRP : £25) An expensive white wine would honour guests and in doing so, will demonstrate how valuable they are to us.
One tiny problem, "H" is not "lucky red", nothing we could do there so we declared that H which really stands for Hermitage would for the occasion stand for happy.
Personally, I find white wine goes better with seafood.  As we were parting slightly away from traditional symbolism but wanting to invite bad luck to dinner, we dressed the table in red and gold.  
For starters we chose Griddle Fried Dumplings, Crispy Seaweed, Satay of Chicken on Skewers. From the start I  was very pleased the choice of wine. "H" cut through the oil and the fat, the pairing was well balanced. "H" is medium-bodied and rich enough to maintain its flavour well after the first starter dish.

Our mains were Stir Fried King Prawns with aubergines and "Kung Bo"Chilli Chicken Szechuan Style with Egg Fried Rice. Visually the plate of food looked very white and clean. Our chilled Côtes du Rhone was by now singing. Equally gorgeous with prawns and chicken.
Two bottles were sent  but  our   Crozes-Hermitage 2010 Cave de Tain L’Hermitage (Retailer: Majestic, RRP: £11.24) is a "big wine" one which is at its best with red meat and cheese and I am yet to see cheese on a Chinese menu. Kung Hei Fat Choy. 

Credit: Black and white picture of Mr Chung's restaurant from Mr Chung's restaurant website

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