Alex over at Eating Leeds selected a rather tasty sounding New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc to accompany the food for this round of Combinations. It is round ten of the food and wine matching exercise; the food this month being an Oriental style Crispy Lemon Chicken.
Toyed with several possibilities – an off-dry Chenin (to match the vegetable element and counter the sweetness in the sauce) from South Africa or perhaps using the weight of an Alsace Pinot Gris, again often with a little sweetness – but settled on something sparkling. With a Champagne off the list due to budget constraints I plumped for a New World Sparkling.
Wine Tasting Note: Balbi Sparkling Brut, NV, Mendoza, Argentina. Available from Oddbins for £6.99. Bubbles, green apples, a creamy touch – a note of mushrooms, a little pear but distinctly underwhelming on its own. Fine as an party aperitif but was hoping for a little more definition and excitement from Argentina. Made from a mix of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. Alcohol 13%. Scribblings Rating – 82/100
With the food it was rather submerged by the sweet lemon dipping sauce. Unlike Alex, who made her, I made-do with a packet of Blue Dragon. Which was rather too sweet for the wine; the whole dish in fact left the Balbi as little more than a palate cleanser and for that it worked well. I had hoped, the wine being from the New World, would have had a little residual sugar to counter the sweetness of the sauce, it didn’t but met the lemon flavours head-on and even developed a little needed vegetal complexity when tried with the Pak Choi. Not a total disaster by any means but not that elusive ‘perfect’ match.