Saturday, 31 January 2015

Posh Chinese and Provence Rosé

This doesn't sound the most obvious combination, but a recent dinner at Hakkasan in Mayfair stylishly demonstrated how well Provence Rosé go with seriously good Chinese cuisine. A series of superb Cantonese dishes served with an elegant selection of delicate, bone dry rosés on a cold winter evening was a memorable experience. Crisp, gently aromatic wines with the most subtle pink hue were especially happy with hot fresh chillies and spring onions and cut a swathe through deep fried dishes. More predictably they were also great with delicately flavoured dim sum.

I particularly liked Stephen Cronk's flavoursome Mirabeau Côtes de Provence 2013 (available from Waitrose at £8.99, but do take a look at his entertaining website). It had a good depth of colour and refreshing structure making it a versatile partner to all the dishes. My other favourite was the paler more delicate and firm Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire 2013 (The Wine Society have stocked this at £8.50, but, checking their website, it seems to have sold out). This was equally versatile, but with a cool minerality – delicious, especially with the steamed brill. Both great value wines for under a tenner, although perhaps worryingly quaffable!

At this time of year, when your palate feels a little jaded or if you need a refreshing treat after a dry January, a light dry rosé could be much more energising and satisfying than a hefty red. Surprise yourself. You might not make it to Hakkasan, but bear Provence Rosé in mind for Chinese New Year in February or even for a decent takeaway.

I attended the dinner as a guest of Provence Wines.