Champagne or sparkling wine goes well with Chinese food and this was so apparent when we did the tasting of three Jansz sparkling wines with some fine dimsum and other dishes at Elegant Inn HK Cuisine last week.
Gough Chong, country general manager of Monopole Fine Wines Sdn Bhd, had earlier suggested a Janz bubbly from Tasmania to complement the Cantonese cuisine, HK style, as expressed so well by Elegant Inn. It’s celebrating its 10th Anniversary, with some menu specials, and certainly a champagne or sparkling wine is in order.
So on a happy note we toasted to the food, first with the Jansz Premium Cuvee which is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Mennier. This non-vintage sparkling wine paired so well with the dimsum of siu mai, barbecue meat buns, panfried radish cake with HK sausage, crispy vegetarian rice roll, prawn dumpling and prawn toast. The Cuvee refreshed the palate and its balanced acidity was perfect with the dim sum. Delicate with fruits, a little citrusy and creamy, the sparkling wine left a fresh, lingering finish.
The Jansz sparkling wines are from the Tasmanian vineyard within the Pipers River region of the Tamar Valley, whose cold climatic conditions mimic the famed Champagne region in France. Established in 1975, the Jansz vineyard was originally Heemskerk Wines, named after the ship the Heemskerk that the Dutch explorer Abe Janszoon Tasman sailed into the island in 1642.
In 1986 the esteemed Champagne house Louis Roederer partnered with Heemskerk Wines to produce Tasmania’s first premium vintage sparkling wine. The French traditional method of making champagne was adopted in this winery which was renamed Jansz Tasmania in 1997 under the Hill-Smith family who bought the vineyard.
Hence Tasmania’s first sparkling wine was made by Jansz using this traditional method which was later called Methode Tasmanoise. There’s method to madness as they say, growing grapes in the wild and cold environment of Tasmania, but it has worked beautifully.
Why is champagne or sparkling wine such a sublime match for Chinese cuisine? The fine bubbles in it refresh the palate as you drink it, while the acidity in it helps balance the richness and flavours of the food.
The Jansz Premium Cuvee Rose has scored high points among top wine reviewers like James Halliday, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator, among others. A blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Mennier, this pretty pink sparkling wine is medium bodied and crisp on the palate. It has a lively tartness, with the aromas of strawberries and delicate flowers. Certainly it was another great pairing with our Executive Lunch Set at Elegant Inn which began with a trio of dim sum, followed by soup. Mine was the Giant Seafood Dumpling in Cordyceps Flower Soup. A silky smooth dumpling popped at the bite the luxurious feel and taste of seafood, in a subtle yet complex soup. The Jansz Premium Cuvee Rose added finesse to this lovely soup.
Gorgeously fine bubbles that lingered in the champagne glass long after it was poured characterised the Jansz Tasmania Vintage Cuvee 2010. This pale gold sparkling wine is dry, toasty and creamy. It embodies classic notes of ripe lemon with hints of strawberry and rosewater. A wine to linger over, it has scored high points with Robert Parker, James Halliday and Wine Enthusiast.
This Tasmania Vintage Cuvee 2010 was another great pairing with the Prime Pork Belly in Dark Prune Vinaigrette, Simmered Vermicelli with Garoupa Fillet in Superior Broth, Lotus Leaf Rice with Homemade Prawn Chicken Meat Patty, and dessert of Poached Pear with Black Ear Fungus and Bird’s Nest Osmanthus Cake.
Elegant Inn’s 10th Anniversary celebration with special menus at a special price ends on August 26. .