Part 3 of 8 “TASTE OF ASIA” series

Ronald G. Jan, M. D.

Having just eaten a wonderful deep fried pork belly (from THAI) paired with a well-balanced  Cabernet Sauvignon [described on last month’s “Dining with Asian Food and Wine”], I was wondering, “What other Asian food can interact with a red wine?”  The next course was beef bulgogi from Blue House Korean BBQ—sweet and savory with the right amount of spice with a side dish (banchan) of kimchi.

02 01 Small Korean BBBQ

[Beef Bulgogi from Blue House Korean BBQ. Photo Courtesy of Ronald Jan, M.D.]

To this was served a Petit Verdot from Jeff Runquist Winery in Amador County. 

02 01 Small Runquist Petit

[Petit Verdot by Jeff Runquist Wines.Photo Courtesy of Ronald Jan, M.D. ]

Nicely balanced with aromas and flavors of dark fruit—blackberry, black cherry, and oak with enough tannin to balance the strong flavors of the beef bulgogi and at the same time not too harsh of tannins that the tannins were softened by the texture and fat of the beef. 

Noted restaurant food and wine critic, Mike Dunne, commented…

            With its richness and its spicy overtones, the beef bulgogi has a lot going on, calling for a wine of comparable heft and layering.  That would be the Jeff Runquist Wines San Joaquin County Petit Verdot.  Through its lavish berry fruit, thread of mocha, flanking smoke, backing tannins and ample oak, the Runquist Petit Verdot meets stride for stride the sweet and juicy abundance of the beef bulgogi.

Petit Verdot noted for its dark color and tannin has been a grape traditionally considered as a blending grape in Bordeaux, France.   But here in the hands of Jeff Runquist the Petit Verdot stands up for itself well with good fruit and balance with enough acid and a pleasant long finish. 

Red wines with Asian foods?---YES….considering flavors:  matching pronounced flavors of the foods with the flavors, and the structure of the wines.  Certainly, delicate flavors with delicate sauces in many Asian foods will balance well with many white wines such as Riesling, Gewurztraminer, or rose’s like rose’s from Tavel, France.  But, if your Asian dish has pronounced flavors with significant texture a red wine can make a wonderful match.

What a wonderful adventure—try something new!

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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