Part 2 of 8 “TASTE OF ASIA” series

Ronald G. Jan, M.D.

At the TASTE OF ASIA on November 12, 2022, another dish presented was a whole Roast Pig from Vinh Phat Market.   A whole roast pig is part of many cultures from “Lichon” of the Philippines to “Pua’a Kalua” in Hawaii to “Lon Quay” in Vietnam.  When serving, the pig was cut into pieces and reassembled to look like a whole pig.

01 01 2023 Small Whole Roast Pig

[Whole roasted pig from Vinh Phat Market in Sacramento. Photo courtesy:


With its crispy skin, savory fat and rich meat, the pieces of roast pig from Vinh Phat Market in Sacramento paired well with Lusso della Terra’s Barbera Pet-Nat (short for Petillant-Naturel) with acid which cut through the fat while bringing freshness with red berry flavors added to the pieces of roast pig.

01 01 2023 Small Lusso Della Terra

[Lusso Della Terra’s Barbera Petillant (aka “Pet-Nat”).Photo Courtesy of Ronald Jan, M.D.]


Again, here is famed food and wine writer, Mike Dunne’s comments…

Roast pig with hoisin sauce: The Lusso Della Terra Winery & Vineyard Pet Nat Barbera is a rare but fitting wine to start a celebratory dinner. For one, it is a sparkling wine, though its effervescence is gentler than commonly found in wines with bubbles. Aside from its leisurely effervescence, the wine’s deep cranberry color, pronounced berry aroma, fruity delivery and substantial structure make it an amiable companion for the richness and meatiness of roast pig. As to its name, “Pet Nat” is wine-geek shorthand for “petillant naturel,” which translates as “naturally bubbling.” Unlike Champagne and California sparkling wines generally, pet-nat bubblies do not undergo a secondary fermentation with added sugar and yeast. Rather, pet-nat wines are regular wines that are bottled before their fermentation is finished, which explains both their softer froth and their closure - a metal crown rather than cork. Lusso Della Terra is a relatively new player at Fiddletown in Amador County, where the black Italian grape Barbera is rising in popularity, potential and esteem.

The Petillant Naturel Method is also called, “Ancestral Method” because it was the very first way sparkling wines were discovered (by accident) and later made by design.  The sparkling wine at that time (16th Century) was called, “Vin du Diable (Wine of the Devil)” because the bottles would explode under the pressure with glass being so thin.  Also, Pet-Nat wines can be quite inconsistent in quality.  Lusso della Terra’s Ed Chokarian has found a way to make his finished product consistently good with fruit and acidity, a hallmark of the Barbera grape.  And don’t worry—the glass bottles are thicker now and the sparkling only mildly effervescent. 

This Roast Pig with the sparkling Barbera started the evening’s dining event with brightness, freshness, and a very festive mood.  By the way, Chinese New Year is right around the corner on January 22, 2023.  Why not include Roast Pig and a Barbera Pet-Nat in your New Year Eve’s dinner celebrating the Year of the Rabbit ?  Let’s party!


About the author: Dr. Ronald G. Jan who specializes in Vascular Surgery is a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California at Davis School of Medicine. He has been serving as the Director of Paul Hom’s Asian (Free) Clinic since 2005. As a hobby, he holds WSET level 3 certification in wines and has been writing and publishing wine commentaries attracting lots of readers.

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