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

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 German White is Good with Sri Lankan Chicken Curry

We tried Sri Lankan Chicken Curry from Rick Stein.

Chicken pieces are fried with cinnamon, cardamon pods, cloves, shallots, garlic, ginger, chilli powder, turmeric and roasted Sri Lankan curry powder.  The curry powder consists of rice, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, a cinnamon stick, fenugreek seeds, cloves, cardamon seeds, black mustard seeds, black peppercorns and dried red kashmiri chillies, all ground into a fine powder.

The chicken is then cooked with chopped tomatoes, curry leaves, pandan leaf (we used bay leaf with dried basil), lemongrass, and green chillies.  Coconut milk is added near the end.  We served with Thai rice and prawn crackers.

Given the ingredients involved we were surprised that the overall flavour of the curry was a bit muted.  Still pleasant enough though.2015-10-22 18.10.52

We opened a bottle of The Society’s Ruppertsberg 2013, a slightly off-dry German white from the Wine Society.

We enjoyed its good acidity and citrussy lemon and lime flavours.  A good match with the meal.

A German Riesling is Very Good with Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass

We tried Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass from Madhur Jaffrey.

Sliced pork loin is marinated in soy sauce, fish sauce, lemongrass, shallots, green chillies, black pepper, sugar and hot curry powder.  The pork is then stir-fried with shallots and garnished with coriander leaves.2015-04-24 18.26.36

We served the pork with prawn crackers and egg noodles stir-fried with garlic, ginger, chilli, fish sauce and chopped coriander. We thought the noodles competed a bit with the flavours of the pork, so served the leftovers with plain noodles, which was better.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Klein Riesling 2013, a German white from Naked Wines. The wine was off-dry with crisp, fresh, tangy, citrussy lemon and grapefruit flavours.  A very good match with the pork.2015-04-24 18.29.54

German Rieslings Work Well with Sri Lankan Cashew-Coconut Chicken Curry

We cooked Chicken Curry with a Cashew-Coconut Sauce, a Sri Lankan dish from Madhur Jaffrey.

Chicken pieces are rubbed with coriander, cumin, fennel, cayenne pepper and salt.  A little rice is fried with coconut and then ground with cardamon pods, cloves and cashew nuts.  Water is then added to make a paste.

The chicken pieces are cooked with cinnamon, fenugreek, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, water and pandanus leaf. (We cannot buy this locally, so we used a bay leaf and some dried basil). The spice paste is added and also coconut milk towards the end of cooking. We served the curry with rice.

We decided on a bottle of Peter & Peter Riesling 2013, a German white wine from Tesco.2015-04-11 18.47.31

This was slightly off-dry, with creamy, tangy lemon and melon flavours and was a good match.

The following day we had the leftovers and tried a bottle of Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc, a New Zealand white from Sunday Times Wine Club.  A superb wine, but it didn’t work with the food, so we set it aside.

We returned to a Riesling and this time opened a bottle of Ruppertsburger 2012 Riesling Kabinett, a German white from the Wine Society.  There was some sweetness, a creamy smoothness, with citrus fruit flavours, minerality and a slightly tangy, but sweet finish with pineapple hints.  A very good wine and a much better match than the Peter & Peter Riesling.2015-04-12 18.42.15

A German Riesling is Good with Malaysian Nyonya Chicken

We were looking for a recipe to pair with a slightly off-dry Riesling and decided on Amy’s Spicy Nyonya Chicken, a Malaysian dish from Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey.

Chicken pieces are simmered in water with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and a spice paste of Kashmiri chillies, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, shrimp paste and ginger.  Lime juice and palm sugar are added at the end.  We served with Jasmine rice.

We paired the meal with a bottle of Peter and Peter Riesling aus der Steillage 2013, an off-dry German white from Tesco.2015-02-20 18.06.50

We have not been successful in finding good pairings for this wine previously as can be seen here and here.  However, we thought the wine’s tropical and citrus fruits with a slight sweetness went well with the meal.  A good match at last.

A French Sauvignon Better Than a German Riesling with Slow-Cooked Pork Belly

We wanted to slow-cook some pork belly and found a Heston Blummenthal recipe on the Waitrose website.  The pork is cooked with carrots, parsnips, turnip, garlic, chicken stock and sage.  However, we modified the recipe by using the slow cooker rather than the oven and dispensed with the crackling and the parsnips. We served the pork with roast potatoes.

We thought a dry Riesling would be good with the pork and opened a bottle of Peter and Peter Riesling 2013, an off-dry German white from Tesco.  We were surprised that this wine didn’t work with the meal and we set it aside.2014-12-07 17.54.13

We turned to a bottle of Domaine de l’Arjolle Sauvignon Blanc 2012, a Southern French white from the Wine Society. There was a slight sweetness, with apples, a creamy smoothness and a slightly tangy grapefruit finish. The wine successfully cut through the fat and was a good match with the meal.2014-12-07 18.07.42

An Australian Riesling Struggles a Bit with Chinese-Style Pork Ribs

2014-08-03 18.54.01 HDR2014-08-03 18.50.08For a barbecue we decided to try Five-Spice Rib-Stickers from the Great Big Barbecue Cookbook.

The pork spare ribs are marinated in 5-spice powder, garlic. ginger, chilli sauce, dark soy sauce, dark brown sugar and sunflower oil.  We grilled the ribs on the barbie and served them with blackbean and roasted garlic stir-fried egg noodles.

To pair with the meal we opened a bottle of Blind Spot Clare Valley Riesling 2012, an Australian white from the Wine Society.

The wine was slightly off-dry and we found it citrussy with pronounced lemon and lime flavours.  Whilst this was a reasonable match with the ribs, the sweetness in the coating needed a slightly sweeter wine to cope with it.

Chilean Wines Good with a Caribbean Lamb Carry

2014-05-23 18.08.47For a change we decided to cook something from Caribbean Food Made Easy from Levi Roots.  We chose Lamb Carry, which is cubed lamb cooked with onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, thyme, basil, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, chicken stock, coconut milk, cream and lime juice.

We served the meal with Levi’s rice and peas, which contains basmati rice, spring onion, garlic, thyme, allspice berries and red chilli. However, we substituted dessicated coconut instead of fresh and we omitted the black beans.  Appropriately we enjoyed some Reggae in the background.

If the meal sounds like a wine pairing challenge, you’d be right.  Red or white?  We tried a red first off and opened a bottle of The Hundred Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from Sunday Times Wine Club.  Nice wine, but not with this dish, so we set it aside.

We switched to white and opened a bottle of Concha y Toro Corte Ignacio Riesling 2012, a Chilean white from the Wine Society.  This had a grassy aroma and we tasted zesty tropical fruits and a lemony finish with some minerality.  This was a good match, especially with the sauce.

A couple of days later we tried the leftovers with a bottle of Brancott Sauvignon Blanc, a New Zealand white from Costco.  This didn’t work at all and we went back to red and tried a bottle of Luis Felipe Edwards Merlot Reserva 2013, a full-bodied Chilean red from Asda. The plum and cherry fruits with chocolatey sweetness from oak worked well with the meal.  A good match.2014-05-23 18.14.54

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.