Thursday, July 11, 2013

4th of July Dinner Pairings

Last week's Fourth of July was a blast, so to speak. With almost every eatery joint closed, saved for mainstream Chinese restaurants, the choice for dinner was pretty clear. We head to Geary in the Outer Richmond, the city's Chinatown west, and found Ton Kiang--a decent Hakka style Chinese but not as good as I remember it several years ago.

I ordered an oxtail clay pot and braised bacon to go with a pristine bottle of 1996 Williams Selyem Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir "Hirsch Vineyard" that I brought. The Selyem was still deeply colored, and though already losing freshness it still offers rich, dark berry flavors along with sweet spices of cinnamon and anise. It was perfect with the braised bacon.

Wok-tossed kangkong in garlic is done really well here. I've been eating kangkong all my life, its flavor is subtle but I love its slippery and crunchy texture. In this dish the garlic strengthens the flavor. It was a stunning match with the sharp and mineral Costieres de Nimes Rosé, a 2012 Chateau Morgues du Gres Fleur d'Eglantine. Who knew a humble vegetable I grew up eating back in the Philippines would pair with a Rosé from Southern France?!

Costieres de Nimes Rosé, Chateau Morgues du Gres "Fleur d'Eglantine" 2012 (click to buy!)

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