Chinese New Year and Wine

chinesenwyrspot1Today is the beginning of the year 4707 on the Chinese calendar, also known as the year of the Ox.  The Chinese calendar is based upon lunar cycles, with each month starting on the day with the least daylight.  New Year celebration is a fifteen day event, with each year being named for an animal.  In honor of the celebration, the Windy City Wine Guy and wife decided to share Chinese delivery, paired with suitable wine.

Since we wanted something a little close to home, we ordered from Hong Kong Delight on Roosevelt and Canal.  We started with some Pot Stickers, and shared the Shrimp Lo Mein and Szechwan Chicken.  A great pairing with the meal was the 2005 Gustave Lorentz Pinot Gris Reserve.  It is dry and light, but with a touch of sweet richness.  Nice fruit flavor accompanies smokey nutmeg.  The rich sauces and spice meshed with the wine- we only wished we had bought two bottles! 

If you plan on eating Chinese, Thai, or Indian food, Alsatian wines seem to work the best, though there are exceptions, such as with beef dishes.  Alsatian wines have a subtle, slighty sweet richness about them which stands up to exotic spice and rich sauce.  For a time as special as Chinese New Year, I also recommend Chinese beer, like Tsingtao Lager.  The brewery was started just over 100 years ago by German settlers.  It has light malt flavor with a nutty aftertaste. 

It's always great to celebrate other cultures in our American melting pot, so enjoy the Year of the Ox!