Though the Lunar New Year dinners have come and gone, and I have since recovered from all the gluttony, there’s one dinner that sticks out in my mind. We were recently invited to the unveiling of Red Rooster Winery’s brand new look at a multi-course winemaker’s dinner hosted by Winemaker Karen Gillis and Chef Angus An, owner of Fat Mao.
Although the evolution of asian cuisine didn’t exactly revolve around the pairing of food and wine as did european cultures, Winemaker Karen GIllis and Chef Angus Ahn tag teamed to bring out the best of both words. The wine and food paired together perfectly and we took note of a few wines that we’d bring to our next dinner party! A few of our favourites included the Red Rooster Chardonnay, Reserve Malbec, and Cabernet Merlot.
Coincidentally, 2017 signaled the coming of the year of the rooster – the fire rooster to be exact. Toasting the new year with Red Rooster’s bold new look was especially fitting.
2014 Red Rooster Reserve Rose
Kicked off the night with their reserve rose, a light, dry and fruity rose with refreshing acidity, paired with a soy-marinated quail egg.
2015 Red Rooster Riesling
Next up, we had the riesling. It was a dry, light-bodied riesling with a green citrus crispness, which paired beautifully with the drunken chicken ballotine (red rooster marinated, served with thai fermented bean sauce) and Tuna and Mussel Ceviche (with thai basil and herb vinaigrette and lime juice). The freshness and spices in the dishes paired well with this riesling.
2015 Red Rooster Chardonnay
I usually like my chardonnays with a bit more of a warmer, buttery, and slightly oaky taste but this Red Rooster Chardonnay paired extremely well with the thai fried egg salad (with avocado, asian celery, and cherry tomatoes), and Asian style Bouillabaisse (with black cod, mussels, clams, finished in a tumeric broth).
While we all have our preferences, it’s amazing how those preferences change depending on what you eat with it. This was a light to medium-bodied wine on the cleaner and brighter side with aromas of fresh fruit, apple, pear, citrus and just a hint of oak and vanilla to round it out. In addition to the riesling, this would also work well with many types of chinese-style banquet foods.
2014 Red Rooster Reserve Malbec
This was my favourite of the night! My favourite style of wine paired with my favourite tastes of chinese cuisine – their reserve malbec paired with a braised pork cheek (aromatic and tender, served with steamed buns) and a dry duck noodle (with shredded duck leg, poached egg, and shanghai noodles).
I’m looking back at my notes and all I wrote was, “so good!” This medium to full-bodied malbec was juicy, fruit-forward, and smooth. Lots of juicy red fruit on the palate accented by a bit of spice and rich woodiness. The savoury sweet flavours of the pork and duck noodles were a perfect pairing.
2014 Red Rooster Cabernet Franc Ice Wine
I don’t typically enjoy ice wine because I usually find them too sweet but this cab franc ice wine was a pleasant surprise! I enjoyed this and found the flavours unique with warm strawberry fruit. This was paired with tom ka creme brulee (lemongrass infused coconut milk and fig compote), also unique and tasty!