JANUARY 19, 2006
The 5 Côtes de Bordeaux Wines Meet with Chinese Cuisine
By Eric Gaudet
Food & Beverage International, Paris Bureau Chief

On last January 19th, the Chinese Cultural Center in Paris hosted a world’s première, a tasting dinner to pair Chinese Cuisine with the wines from the 5 Côtes de Bordeaux.

The event was organized by Eric Gaudet, Paris Bureau Chief of Food & Beverage Magazine, and Emmanuel Grillet, famous wine trader and winemaker of organic wines in the Côtes de Bourg appellation. It is part of the first steps to prepare a professional wines and spirits trade show to be held in Xiamen, China, during the spring 2007.

Click on Images for Captions

This dinner attracted more than 120 enthusiastic journalists and professionals. The exercise was really appealing and fulfilled the expectations of all the diners. They had to taste the wines from the 5 Côtes de Bordeaux (Premières Côtes de Blaye, Côtes de Bourg, Côtes de Castillon, Côtes de Francs, Premières Côtes de Bordeaux et Cadillac) and associate them with the splendid Chinese dinner cooked by Mr Wang Xu, Chef at the Chinese Embassy in Paris.

Many representatives from the French and foreign press gathered with fifteen winemakers lead by Bernard Depons and Christophe Château, respectively President and Director of the 5 Côtes de Bordeaux Association. Among the Chinese personalities present with Mr Liu Zhiyuan, Deputy Director of the Chinese Cultural Center in Paris, and representing Mrs Hou Xianghua, Counselor Minister at the Chinese Embassy who joined the dinner at the end, one could notice the Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy, Mrs Yang Wenzhen, Director of the Chinese Tourist Office in Paris, Mr Li Bin (CCTV), Li Qian (Radio China International), Gao Jingyin (Xinhua News agency), Liao Xianwang (Ren Min Hua Bao), Xie Hao (Beijing Daily), Te Thay Eng, owner of the New China Town restaurant and President of the Association of the Fujian citizens in Paris.

Le Chef prepared Twelve dishes, four cold ones, six hot ones and two sweets. The cold dishes were Minced chicken with spices, Tofu with five perfumes, Breasts of duck with red sauce, Marinated cucumbers. The warm dishes were Sweet and sour fish with pineapple, Sautéed gambas with beans, Caramelized pork in soy sauce, Hearts of Chinese cabbage with perfumed mushrooms sautéed in a wok, Sautées noodles, Steamed vegetable stuffed dumplings. And the sweets: Fruit salad and Sweet stuffed balls.

To decorate the main table, the chef sculpted a Magnificent Cock in vegetable, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, to celebrate both the Gallic emblem of France and the end of the Year of the Cock.

Prior to being in Paris, Chef Wang held this position in other Chinese embassies around the world, and started as Chef at the International Hotel in Beijing. He is considered as one of the best Chinese chefs in Paris. His dinner was a superb example of an authentic Northern Chinese cuisine, with its salty dominance due in part at the use of soy sauce in the cooking, without the spicier note found more often in the South of China.

The diners had now to pair these exquisite dishes with sixteen fine wines from the 5 Côtes de Bordeaux :

Côtes de Bourg (red): Château de la Grave Caractère 2003, Château Gravettes Samonac 2003, Château Rousselle 2002 prestige,

Premières Côtes de Bordeaux (red): Château Mont Perrat 2002, Château de Laville 2002

Côtes de Castillon: Château Beynat 2001, Poupille 2001 and 2002

Côtes de Francs: Château Haut Laulan 2003

Premières Côtes de Blaye (red): Château le Cône 2002

Cadillac sweet: Château Manos 2002, Mémoires 2003, château Frappes Peyrot 2003, Château Haut Valentin 2002

Cotes de Francs sweet: Château Cru Godard 2002

Premières Côtes de Blaye (white): Château la Rose Bellevue 2004, Château les Bertrands 2004 oak barrel.

To help give high professional conditions to the event, Schott Zwiesel crystal glasses Vina n°0 were used for tasting the wines.

At the end of the evening, the diners were invited to vote and indicate their best choice to pair the wines and the Chinese cuisine. It was not an easy task as many matches could have been chosen. The most commonly cited pairings were:

The Caramelized Pork in Soy Sauce with the Château la Rose Bellevue 2004, a dry white wine from the Premières Côtes de Blaye and with the Château Frappes Peyrot 2003, a sweet Cadillac,

The Sweet and Sour Fish with Pineapple with the Château de la Grave Caractère 2003, a red wine from the Côtes de Bourg or with the Château Beynat 2001, a red wine from the Côtes de Castillon,

The Sautéed Gambas with Beans with the Château Les Bertrands 2004, a white wine from the Premières Côtes de Blaye finished in oak barrel.

All the diners enjoyed a lot this unique experience. To our knowledge, it is the first time that such a tasting and pairing dinner is organized in a true professional environment. This is a new concept to help the promotion and the marketing of wines in China, to bring the professionals and the amateurs alike to refine and analyze their perception of the many possible alliances of wines with Chinese cuisine. This instructive experience will be organized again, both in France and in China, to help develop the sensitivity of the consumers to such alliances between these two universes, wines and Chinese food, which are meant to meet more and more often as the wine market in China keeps growing.







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