Pairing Cantonese Cuisine With Wine

This week we invite HK-based sommelier Yvonne Cheung to share her thoughts on what she deems the best wine pairings for three signature dishes from Hong Kong. Yvonne has been the Chef Sommelier of Café Gray Deluxe for the last two years. Look for her at the Upper House where she offers her takes on wines from intriguing, lesser-known regions to Café Gray fans and diners.

1) Dim Sum

Suggested Wine Style & Grape Variety
Sparkling white, Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Falanghina
Suggested Wine Regions Champagne in France, Campania in Italy
Suggested Wine Producers & Wines

Alfred Gratien “Cuvée Paradis” Brut Rosé, Alfred Gratien “Millésime”
2008 Cedric Bouchard “Inflorescence” Blanc de Noirs, Gatinois Brut Rosé Grand Cru
1996 André Beaufort Demi-Sec, Grand Cru, Feudi di San Gregorio “DUBL” Spumante

Comments on pairing Dim sum is traditionally a day time meal, and when the sun is shining outside, it’s nice to have sparkling wine! I enjoy very much the versatility of sparkling wine in its food friendly nature, cleansing acidity and complexity. Also, with “dim sum” being such a broad category, these wines have a forgiving yet tenacious interaction with food.
Best Place for Dim Sum
Liu Yuan Pavilion, 3/F, The Broadway, 54-62 Lockhart Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

2) Roast Goose

Suggested Wine Style & Grape Variety
Still red, Zinfandel, Merlot
Suggested Wine Regions California and Green Valley in the USA, Bordeaux and St. Emilion in France, Colchagua Valley in Chile
Suggested Wine Producers & Wines

2006 Radio-Coteau “Von Weidlich”, 1998 Tertre Roteboeuf, 2009 Luis Felipe Edwards “Gran Riserva”

Comments on pairing

The first thing that comes to my mind with roast goose is caramelization and fat- lots of it. It’s a unique dish, and I think it needs a unique wine. The Radio-Coteau old vine zinfandel is beautiful- the cool climate allows this grape to maintain integrated acidity, as well as balanced assertiveness and tannins- qualities that I feel are important in a dish like roast goose.

Tertre Roteboeuf is one of my favorite Bordeaux wines- it has a suppleness that pairs with the richness of the goose, and a quiet, confident power evident in its ability to age. Also, the gaminess inherent in geese would play well with this merlot-based wine.

I like Luis Felipe Edward’s wines- the Carmenere always has a bright, dense core of red fruit, with outlying layers of smoke, dust and spice. A youthful careener such as this would highlight both the food and the wine.

Best Place for Roast Goose
 Sham Tseng Chan Kee Roasted Goose, G/F, 63 Sham Tseng Village, Castle Peak Road , Sham Tseng, Hong Kong

3) Steamed Garoupa

Suggested Wine Style & Grape Variety
Still white, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Verdejo
Suggested Wine Regions Burgundy, Chablis, Savennières and Loire Valley in France, Rueda in Spain
Suggested Wine Producers & Wines

2009 JC Bessin “Fourchaume”, 2007 Domaine des Beaumard “Clos Ste Yves”, 2010 Belondrade y Lurton “Apolonia”

Comments on pairing I think steamed garoupa needs a wine with subtlety, minerality and acidity, to show off its own delicately sweet nature. None of the wines mentioned have any obvious barrel characteristics. Also, I’m opting for wines with low alcohol so as to not compete with any possible soy sauce, etc. Lastly, I think an herbaceous note in the wine doesn’t hurt, as there are often chives or green onions in this dish.
Best Place for Steamed Garoupa
 Lung King Heen, Podium 4, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong