Saturday, December 22, 2007

Celebration of Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice is a day on the Northern hemisphere when the day is at its shortest and the night is at its longest. It is also a traditional Chinese festival dated back 2500 years ago. In historic China, it is a big deal to celebrate this winter festival. Government officials would organize celebrating activities and the common folks would rest on this very day. In the modern era, with the changing of lifestyles, this day has transformed into a family gathering very much like the American Thanksgiving when special food will be served.

In our household, we still make the traditional 'tang yuan', which is small dumpling ball made of glutinous rice flour in a rich broth made of meat, dried scallop and daikon radish. We also cook other savoury dishes like the one pictured for this occassion. It is abalone with dried shiitake mushroom braised in their own juices and served on a bed of broccoli.

To go with these yummy dishes, we decided to open a recent BrooklynGuy's recommendation: 2001 Domaine des Roches Neuves Saumur-Champigny Terres Chaudes. The bright acidity on this Loire Cab Franc works really well to offset the heavy flavors on the food.
ABV: 12.5%, Price: $16

Tasting notes:

Nose: Fairly fragrant nose. Aroma of dark fruit supported by cedar and vanilla in the background.

Color: Dark ruby with tight purple rim.

Palate: Fully matured. Very balanced mouth feel. A bit thin by itself but really sings with rich food. Flavor of tart cherry and rhubarb, leather and cedar. No trace of any 'green pepper' notes associated with many other Cab Francs. Tannins is a already very integreated.

Body: Medium but very elegant at this point.

Finish: Mostly tart fruits, earth with a hint of black pepper. Not particularly long.

At age 6, this delicious wine is at its peak. The gorgeous fruit is still there but it seems to start fading already. Do not see this getting any better. Great juice to enjoy for the next 1-2 years.

1 comment:

Brooklynguy said...

so glad you enjoyed this andrew! great notes too.