November 23, 2008

Wine and Korean food

Pin It

Last night I was invited to have dinner at an ex-colleague's house. There were a number of us dining with the family, and I was encouraged to arrive early in the afternoon to play with my colleague's daughter.

I brought along a few bottles of wine to share, including two bottles which were featured in Les Gouttes de Dieu (神の雫) - the popular Japanese comic book series on wine. These two wines from the same Italian producer are said to be able to match spicy Korean food, which we would have for dinner. I decided to try and see if this were true. I arrived early and started opening bottles with my colleague's husband.

The 2000 Chateau Musar blanc - a favorite of the hosts - is always easy to drink. The wine has had a few years of aging and now appears to be light orange in color, with a bit of honey in the nose.

I brought along the 2002 Hugel Riesling Jubilee, which showed a big, plasticky nose with lots of petrol. There was only a bit of sweetness on the palate, as Hugel's Rieslings are fermented drier compared to their Gewürztraminers.

The last bottle opened before dinner was something that I have been saving up for quite a few years. The 1997 Napanook was a real pleasure to drink, with a hint of mint and classic red fruits on the nose. It was very ripe and sweet on the palate - not surprising considering the vintage - and the tannins were silky smooth. Considering the price I paid for the second wine from Dominus - the Napa outpost of Chateau Petrus' Christian Moueix - I couldn't have asked for anything more.

As dinner was served, we opened up a few more bottles to go with the food, including the two bottles from Librandi. The 2005 Librandi Duca Sanfelice, made purely from the local varietal Gaglioppo, would have easily passed for a New World wine. The nose was ripe and sweet, full of tropical fruits and vanilla, and eventually saw chili and spice emerge. The wine was smooth on the palate, almost a bit bland. It actually worked reasonably well with the homemade kimchi we had.

The 2005 Librandi Gravello was a different wine, with 40% Cabernet Sauvignon blended in with the Gaglioppo. The nose here wasn't as New World and sweet, but it did have the mint from the Cab and only a hint of sweetness. With a bit of kimchi aftertaste in my mouth, the wine tasted hot and spicy on the tongue.

The 2001 Cantenac Brown was a classic Bordeaux from a vintage that is great to drink now. Typical farmy nose with grilled meats. No surprises here but a solid wine.

I only got to the 2005 Clos du Mont Olivet Cuvée du Papet after dinner, but this was such a good wine! The nose was really sweet with caramel notes, plus the classic grilled meat that comes from the Rhone. I kept drinking this wine instead of whisky after dinner, so I guess I'm showing my true colors...

Of course, we did have more than just homemade kimchi for dinner. There was the green salad; the very nice marinated bean sprouts; and the salad of jellyfish, crab meat spiked with wasabi.  But what I really liked was the chapchae - vermicelli stir-fried with veggies and beef. The vermicelli was so al dente, unlike what you would normally find in Korean restaurants around town.

The huge piece of kalbi - beef spare rib - was marinated perfectly and wonderfully delicious. Of course, the best bit was the tendon that wraps around the bone, and I managed to slice it off using the knife so I didn't have to use my hands while I gnawed on the bone... And one must not forget the delicious slices of sautéed eringi mushrooms on the side.

It was truly a wonderful dinner, and we had plenty of good wines to go with it. Now I'm looking forward to the next week!

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map