Wine & Dine: Chinese New Year!

Although the actual Chinese New Year starts on Monday, January 26, 2009, we are celebrating it early with friends. In this month's Wine & Dine event, we are tasting our way through a variety of wines from China paired with Chinese fare.

Believe it or not, China is an up and coming country to produce wines. With their vast range of climates, it's easy to maintain vineyards and there is a growing interest in familiar grape wine varietals among the Chinese culture. In fact, the first Chinese winery to produce a high quality grape wine is Dragon's Hollow.
Dragon's Hollow is located at the foot of the He Lan Mountain range in Ningxiz Hui, Chine. The vineyard was started in 2003, but the vines were originally planted in the early 90's. The land covers an area of 6,000 hectares and is the largest top quality vineyard in Western China. China's best varieties of wine grapes are grown in this region profiting from the sandy soil which is rich in organic content. ~ Broadbent Selections
For our dinner, we tasted two Dragon Hollow wines along with some Dragon Seal Chinese Grape Wine, Kikikoman Chinese Plum Wine, and Tsingsao Chinese Beer:

Dragon's Hollow Unoaked Chardonnay 2005 - This Chardonnay is a pronounced light straw color. The nose is hinted with tropical qualities, soft lycheem starfruit and green apply. On the palate the texture is cream with a good length and clean aftertaste. ~ Broadbent Selections

Dragon's Hollow Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 - Good intensity in color with a young, pinkish rim, and a rosy colored hue. Solid and robust on the nose with intense fruit aromas. Spicy on the palate with peppercorn flavors and hints of sweet fruit, raspberry, and spiced apple. Dry, medium to light bodied, soft tannins with a lengthy finish. ~ Broadbent Selections

Dragon Seal Chinese Grape Wine (Kuei Hua Chen Chiew 桂花陈) - According to the way of the royal, Zhonghua Kuei Hua Chen Chiew is made from grapes wine and fresh osmanthus. It has an amber color. With perfumed aromas and a nice bouquet, it is the perfect wine when meeting with friend and family. ~ Dragon Seal

Kikkoman Plum Wine - Great as a wine cooler mixed with your favorite mixer and served over ice; as a dessert wine after dinner alone or over ice; or even as a plum spritzer with club soda and garnished with a twist of lemon or lime.

Tsingtao Chinese Beer - Tsingtao Lager was first brewed and bottled by the Tsingtao Brewery in 1903. It's now sold in 62 countries and regions around the globe including Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Canada, Brazil and Mexico. Tsingtao Lager is the #1 consumer product exported from China. Following its introduction to the United States in 1972, Tsingtao Lager soon became the #1 selling Chinese beer.

With all these wonderful drinks to taste, we enjoyed a great spread of Chinese inspired food. Friends contributed to our Chinese table with some of the delicious dishes below. Click on the links for the recipes and perhaps have a Chinese New Year celebration to welcome the year of the ox!
Chinese Steamed Dumplings (Wonton) Soup
Chinese Potstickers
Spicy Tofu with Vermicelli
Mongolian Beef Stir Fry
Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce

Szechuan Vegetable Stir Fry
Ramen Noodles with Cilantro & Carrot
Traditional Mandarin Fried Rice
Vegetable & Cashew Stir Fry
Asian Sesame Noodle Salad with Peanuts
Shanghai Eggrolls

Crab Rangoon Sticks


  1. This looks like fun! : ) Are you going to do a dim sum too? I miss Chicago's China town! : )

  2. How interesting! I had no idea China is an up and coming producer of wines. I'm looking forward to trying some sometime.

  3. Another great party idea. Your table setting is gorgeous!

  4. Love your menu Joelen! Sounds like you surely had fun.