Food experts debate best wines to go with Chinese cuisine

on 31/05/12 at 10:42 am

Wine

CHINA’S rapid emergence as a wine market has sparked intense debate among international growers about how best to pair their wines with the country’s rich array of culinary delights.

Drawn by the prospect of vast, relatively untapped pools of new Chinese consumers, wine growers from around the world are competing to claim that their products go best with the Asian giant’s unique national dishes.

The debate among French foodies about how to pair wine and food is as old as the country’s famous vineyards, but it is relatively new to China. Predictably, there seems to be little agreement between the foreign “experts”.

“There are a lot of people thinking about that, making courses and writing books,” said Robert Beynat, the French chief executive of Vinexpo, the world’s biggest wine fair, which is holding its Asian edition in Hong Kong this week.

“We have conferences about that, but I’m not a specialist. I drink red with Chinese food, even the sweet and sour. It’s personal.”

Among the growers and distributors at the three-day expo, which concludes today, it seems everyone has an opinion about a topic that vexes even the best sommeliers.

After all, the food pairing is essential to the whole enjoyment of wine and, from a purely business point of view, to the industry’s mission to encourage the Chinese to drink it.

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