The second edition of the International Congress of Chinese Cuisine & Wine (ICCCW) organized by Ch’ng Poh Tiong, well-known wine writer and publisher of Asia’s second oldest wine publication, “The Wine Review” (since 1991) and the world’s first “Chinese Bordeaux Guide” (since 2000), was a great success. The inaugural ICCCW took place last year in Beijing at the Shangri-la China World Hotel. This year it was held in Singapore between 19 and 21 October 2009. Reva Singh reports.
The goal of the International Congress of Chinese Cuisine & Wine is to explore and discover the best possible wine and Chinese food pairings for the benefit of the consumer as well as F&B professionals and restaurateurs.
For this purpose a panel of international experts came together to taste different Chinese dishes and pair them with a selection of fine red and white wine from Europe and the New World. Keeping all tastes in mind, the selection of wines was rounded off with a single malt from Scotland, the idea being that the panel would pair, experiment and discuss the best matches with different Chinese dishes. To this end the panellists tasted small, individual servings of several representative dishes from Teochew, Sichuan and Cantonese cuisines at three well known specialist restaurants in Singapore, exploring which characteristics of the wines worked best with the dishes and giving their reasons.
In discovering the ideal wines, participants also found out which wines they thought were unsuitable with these dishes. While Individual tastes varied, they came to the happy conclusion that there were enough different types and styles of wines to engage and marry the great cuisines of China and enhance the experience of both.
I was privileged to have been invited as a panelist for this Congress. The other panelists were Andrew Caillard (MW), Jeannie Cho Lee (MW), Fuchsia Dunlop, Li De Mei and Guy Woodward. Sommelier India regulalry features stories on food and wine pairings and we often discuss how wine matches the rich culinary traditions of India.
The Sommelier India Tasting Panel also recommends wines in each issue. With a distinguished panel of judges assessing wines for the Indian palate at the Sommelier India Wine Competition later this month, we will be taking a great step forward. Over the next year, we will explore more deeply which Indian cuisines pair well with different wines and in that the ICCCW serves as an excellent model to follow.
The findings and recommendations of the 2009 ICCCW panel will be published by SI Online, so watch this space.