German Riesling Great with Chinese Stir-Fry

We had a medium-dry German Riesling that we knew would go well with an Asian dish with some sweetness.  See here for a previous
pairing.

We cooked Shao Jou (Cantonese Roast Pork) from Supercook.  This is
strips of pork marinated in onion, soy sauce, sugar, sherry, ginger and
hoisin sauce.  The pork is then roasted.

We served this tasty dish with egg-fried rice and stir-fried pak choi,
a delicious recipe from the Riverford Organics website. The pak choi is
stir-fried in sunflower oil with red chillies, salt, garlic, ginger,
soy sauce and sesame oil.

We paired this meal with a bottle of Tesco‘s Finest Riesling Steillage
2014, a medium-dry German white.  It had a creamy sweetness, with
flavours of tropical fruits and pineapple.  The wine had just the right
degree of sweetness to cope with the sweetness in the food and was a
very good match.

A Loire White is Very Good with Devilled Chicken

We cooked Devilled Chicken, a Supercook recipe that we hadn’t done for a long time.

A whole chicken is simmered in a stock made from water, carrots, celery, bouquet garni, peppercorns and salt. The chicken is then cut into serving pieces and grilled.  A sauce is poured over at the end made from Worcestershire sauce, tarragon vinegar, shallots, lemon juice, garlic, chicken stock, chopped canned tomatoes, black pepper, salt and bay leaf. 2015-01-30 19.02.30 We served with mashed potato and green beans.

The sweetness in the sauce called for a wine with some sweetness to match.  We tried a bottle of Clos de Nouys Vouvray 2012, a medium-dry French white from Waitrose.

We tasted pineapple sweetness, peaches and apricots and we found this a very good match with the chicken.  A drier wine would not have worked.

Mixed Results for German and Hungarian Whites with Two Chinese Stir-Fries

For quick midweek meals we’ve cooked a couple of Chinese stir-fried chicken dishes recently.

In the first we stir-fried the chicken with light soy sauce, carrots, pak choi, white cabbage, red onion, mushrooms, red pepper, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, garlic and ginger.  To this mixture we added Tesco’s Sweet Chilli and Ginger stir-fry sauce that also contains yellow bean and garlic. We served this with sesame oil egg noodles.

The sweet flavours in this dish called for a medium-dry white wine and fortunately we had a suitable bottle in the fridge – Steillage Riesling Mosel Qualitätswein 2012 from Tesco’s Finest range.

This German white was pale gold in the glass and fresh with good minerality.  We tasted pineapple and other tropical fruits with a creamy sweetness. An excellent match with an enjoyable stir-fry. 2014-04-16 18.31.58

The second stir-fry combined chicken with the same vegetables, but this time we added Tesco’s Chinese stir-fry sauce, which contains soy, ginger, garlic and five-spice.  We also served this with sesame oil egg noodles.

We found the flavours of this stir-fry to be a little bland and overall disappointing. There was a slight sweetness in this dish, so we opened a bottle of Peter & Peter Riesling 2013, an off-dry German white from Tesco. However, we quickly concluded this was a lacklustre match and set it aside.2014-04-23 18.26.37

We decided to try a a dry white from Hungary – Lakeview Grüner Veltliner 2012, also from Tesco.

This was clean tasting with peach and apple flavours and hints of tropical fruits.  However, it was no more than an adequate match with the meal.2014-04-23 18.36.20

We are looking forward to achieving better food pairings for these wines in future.

A Medium-Dry German White is Very Good with Barbecued Spareribs

We cooked Barbecued Spareribs from Supercook.  The pork ribs were baked in a sweet and sour sauce of garlic, onions, tomato purée, lemon juice, sage, brown sugar, beef stock and mustard.  We served them with a jacket potato and salad.

Kathryn McWhirter and Charles Metcalfe, the authors of our ancient but trusty Sainsbury’s Pocket Food and Wine Guide recommend Liebfraumilch as the star pairing, which may possibly horrify some wine snobs who would not go near the stuff.  However, our prime objective is to achieve and share good wine and food matches and we like many German wines anyway.

We opened a bottle of Liebfraumilch Qualitätswein Rheinhessen 2012 St Amandus Riesling, Kerner-Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau from AldiIMG_0431.  This medium-dry white had creamy flavours of pears and pineapple and was a very good match with the spareribs.

A Californian White Blend is Alright with Mexican Chicken

We were due to finish off the Mexican Chicken from the previous evening (see 17th March) and we didn’t have a suitable wine, apart from some decent off-dry Australian Rieslings, that we did not want to risk with this dish.  We found a bottle of Blossom Hill Vineyard Collection in a 2 for £10 offer in Waitrose that looked like it might be OK.  This is a non-vintage white blend from California described on the bottle as “Aromatic and Delicate” and categorised by Waitrose as medium dry.

We tasted tropical fruits with a vanilla sweetness and found the wine very pleasant and easy-drinking.  The same comments made yesterday on the matching challenges with the meal applied to this pairing.  Overall though it was an acceptable match, but not quite as good as the Riesling tried previously.

A Chilean Riesling Quite Good with Mexican Chicken with Fruit

We fancied something a little different and spotted a Supercook recipe called Mexican Chicken with Fruits.  This exotic chicken dish is baked in the oven in a sauce containing chicken stock, cinnamon, ginger, chilli powder and tomato puree.  It is also covered with layers of bananas, oranges and pineapple, with brown sugar sprinkled on top.  The meal was served with boiled rice.

Dry wines were definitely out.  We opened a bottle of Cono Sur Riesling Reserva 2010 from Tesco.  This is a medium dry Chilean white and we tasted citrus fruits, particularly lemon with a nice tangy acidity that went well with the spices.  The wine went reasonably well with the chicken and the overall flavour of the sauce but did not have a particular affinity with the fruits themselves, where their sweetness detracted from the pairing.

Not an easy dish to pair a wine with.

A German Halbtrocken for a Cambodian Dish

We tried an interesting recipe from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey.  Cambodian Marinated Beef with a Lime and Black Pepper Dipping Sauce.  The sauce contained palm sugar and tomato ketchup so we considered red wines were not in the running and neither were most dry whites.  We had a hunch that the bottle of Riesling Halbtrocken 2009 from Lidl in the fridge might be OK and it was.  It even coped with the flavour combinations from the marinated steak and the lime and pepper dipping sauce.  It’s always good to have some medium dry wines around for these type of dishes.