With the Chinese New Year starting on Feb. 19, people all over the world are gearing up to celebrate and most likely pop some corks. To show how well Champagne pairs with Chinese food, G.H. Mumm‘s Cellar Master Didier Mariotto and New York restaurateur Ed Schoenfeld recently hosted a “Chinese New Year Dine Around” press event in lower Manhattan.
Our journey began at Ping’s Seafood, which Schoenfeld described as a “Hong Kong-style, Cantonese restaurant.” Mumm’s Blanc de Blanc was paired with three courses: Geoduck Clam Sashimi; Steamed Live Scallop (in the shell); Baby Conch Portuguese Style (stuffed with shrimp and mushrooms) with XO Sauce; plus a bonus taste of Ping’s Homemade Roast Pork.
The next stop was En Japanese Brasserie for three more courses. Mumm’s Cordon Rogue was poured to go with Caviar–topped Oo Toro Sashimi; Wagyu & Ikura (salmon caviar) Roll; and Dashi-flavored White Truffle Mousse.
The final destination was Decoy, Schoenfeld’s newest restaurant, which opened about a year ago underneath the downtown location of his RedFarm concept. Schoenfeld planned a multicourse feast to go with Mumm Rosé that included Smoked Salmon Eggplant Bruschettas; Shrimp-Stuffed Chicken Wings; Lobster Dumpling with Spicy Mushroom Ragout; Chicken and Black Truffle Soup Dumpling; Peking Duck Consommé Shot; Peking Duck with Pancakes and Three Sauces; Sauteed Snow Pea Leaves; and Grilled Shrimp Fried Rice.
What to keep in mind when pairing wine of Champagne with Chinese foods? “Chinese chefs think about texture before flavor,” Schoenfeld said. That’s why “a clean, young wine without a lot of adornment” like Mumm’s Blanc de Blanc was a good match with the exotic seafood dishes at Ping’s, he noted.