November 22, 2007

Delicious Piggy

Pin It

Last night I invited some friends from a local wine shop for dinner, and they chose the Chinese restaurant at the Kimberly Hotel as the venue. We had a private room and we agreed that I would supply most of the wines for the evening. The sole exception was a bottle of Burgundy that Raymond, another client of the shop, was going to contribute. This was meant to be a treat for the staff at the shop.

We started with 2 bottles of Californian white, because Sunny had requested for "interesting white wine." They were already slightly chilled when I arrived at the restaurant, but were stuck into ice buckets (against my better judgement). The first wine was the 1998 Sine Qua Non Backward and Forward, which is an interesting blend of 40% chardonnay, 30% roussanne, and 30% viognier. During our last gathering (a more intimate dinner for 4 instead of 9 last night) Elen had thoroughly enjoyed the 1996 Sine Qua Non Omadhaun & Poltron. She loved the funky label as well as the interesting blend of roussanne and chardonnay. So I figured the Backward and Forward would also be a hit. I wasn't wrong. Everyone thought the wine was very interesting, although it needed some time to warm up before the nose really developed in the glass. The nose was pretty buttery and nice, and typically viognier.

Next up was the 2003 Kongsgaard Viognier/Roussanne, which was a blend of 55% viognier and 45% roussanne. This was amazing and actually more popular than the first wine, due to its explosive nose of tropical fruits and floral notes. Lots of pineapple, lychee, coconut notes. Wonderful.

As we started with the meat courses, the 1998 Sine Qua Non Veiled was served. This is a pinot noir from Oregon and was pretty well received. A few people were surprised that an American pinot could have such a pleasant nose. But most people were more interested in the labels, where the front label depicted a pair of eyes peeking through a chador, and the back label had Arabic translations to the English text.

The second red was Raymond's Burgundy - the 1999 Sylvain Cathiard Vosne-Romanee Les Malconsorts. Expectations were high for this wine as it comes from both a stellar vintage and a vineyard situated net to DRC's famed La Tache. Unfortunately, as Raymond and I suspected, the wine was very closed - a condition suffered from quite a number of Burgundies from '99.

The last red was meant to be the highlight of the evening - the 1998 Dominio Pingus - a request from Elen for a Spanish red (she was expecting Rioja). Most people at the table had never tasted this wine, with the exception of Riz and myself (since I held a '98 Spanish tasting in 2003). The wine was opened at 7pm, stoppered until 8pm, and we started serving it around 10pm. However, it was never decanted and arguably was served in the wrong glass. So it was not surprising that the nose was fairly muted and hence a disappointment to me (as well as others). It eventually opened up in the glass around 11pm, just before we called it a night.

Finally we served the 1995 Egon Muller Riesling Auslese Scharzhofberger with the fruit and dessert - a request from Sam for a German sweet wine. This was my only bottle which fit the request, so I brought it despite the slightly protruding cork indicating a bit of heat damage. The nose was very nice, showing floral and lychee notes. But the acidity was higher than I expected, and it was clear that the wines was going downhill.

Some words about the food - which was fantastic. The Eastern star garoupa was nice and tender. The highlight was the roast suckling pig - a tiny piglet stuffed with sticky rice and rolled into a cylinder. It was served on a cutting board and the waiter simply cut cross sections of the pig. The piglet was fat underneath while nicely crisp on the outside. The stick rice was just right - the Chinese version of al dente? And the oxtail stew was a good compliment to the full-bodied Pingus.

A very enjoyable evening - we were stuffed to the max. Looking forward to going back to the restaurant for the next feast.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map