I'm back after my month long vacation and I'm lethargic, to say the least. I had a great time travelling to Chennai and Bangalore, meeting up with family and friends and needless to say, gorging on mallu food day in and out. I fell sick twice, lost my voice, had to take 2 courses of antibiotics (something i hadn't done in years) and had an allergic reaction to a facial at the beauty parlour. Not so much fun, if you actually think about it. But I refused to let these issues dampen my spirits and still went about doing all those things I was asked not to do (like binging on street food) and gained a few kilos (damn you..slow metabolism).
So anyways, I'm back, and although the husband was holding fort while I was away, he looked mighty pleased to have me back (or so Id like to think)... even if its just to nag me. First thing out of his mouth was, 'can you make me a lemon drizzle cake please' to which my answer was 'no i need to make a lava cake because i have a submission in 2 days.' So poor thing ate the not-so-great lava cake and sat and listened to all my India stories. Getting back to cooking is kind of challenging for me even after a 2 day break from the kitchen, so imagine a whole month away from such activities? Torture!
The Chinese takeaway pairing challenge with Cotes du Rhones Wines came around at the perfect time and we thoroughly enjoyed a night in with glasses of red and some delicious Chinese food. The challenge was to show how easily the wines can be paired with all sorts of food, and since the Chinese New Year just got over, pairing the Cotes du Rhones wines with Chinese food was just apt. At this point I must tell you that Ro is a sucker for Chinese food. He can have it 365 days of the year and still drool at the thought of spicy pork ribs. I, on the other hand, like it but cant have it every other day and most certainly not the same thing every single time. But this time, being authentic-Chinese-food-deprived for so long, I thoroughly enjoyed all the usual stuff we order from our favourite Chinese joint, a stones throw away from home.
We ordered some fried prawns in butter and garlic as starter and stir fried mixed vegetables, Duck in chilli and black bean sauce and Singapore vermicelli noodles as part of mains. Opened the bottle of La Reserve de Camille Cayran - a smooth red, to serve with the prawn starter and at first i didn't quite enjoy the taste. A couple of sips later and I could vaguely figure out the fruity flavours. The smoothness broke down the grease from the butter and wiped out the pungent garlic taste which I'm not sure was what i was looking for, but it somehow complemented each other. The husband declared that the wine flavours were a bit too overpowering for the prawn starter.
The Cotes du Rhone Vidal Fleury, the blood red, almost blackish like wine was quite good on the lips. Medium bodied and quite an easy wine to pair i think, since it tasted fab with the slightly spicy vermicelli noodles and was absolutely gorgeous with the duck in black bean sauce. Both the wines failed to match with the stir fried vegetables, but that's just because the dish was pretty bland and didn't have any flavour attached to it. The wines just completely took over the flavour. Not complaining because we absolutely enjoyed the wines with the meal whatsoever.
We usually prefer a chilled beer or cider with our Chinese takeaway, and although we'd tried it a couple of times before with Chinese food made at home with less oil and salt, we were a bit apprehensive as to how we would make the match work with a takeaway option. With the slight miscalculation of the vegetable stir fry, i can very well say that the pairings were pretty decent and we'd definitely think about doing more wine pairings with everyday food. Opening 2 bottles of wine was not a good idea as we both went to bed pretty "content" :). We still have some more wine to polish off and maybe ill try and whip up a stir fry at home to go with that.
With thanks to Rhone wines for inviting me to take part in this challenge and for the 2 bottles of wine that was sent over for the challenge. The bill for the takeaway was reimbursed.
Please drink responsibly. Visit drinkaware for more info.