Suggestions for wine selection on the occasion of Spring Festival banquet
Each year, as the Spring Festival approaches, many house wives may have a clear idea about the banquet menu and then it is time for husbands to select and buy fine wine.
Champagneis a must!
Though setting off firecrackers is restricted in many cities, we can still choose champagne instead, since champagne is “fireworks in bottle”, the loud opening crack and exultant bubbles are enveloped with happiness and joy, just like fireworks.
In addition to creating atmosphere, champagne is an excellent aperitif full of style. Certainly, we can also choose other sparkling wines.
One wine for one course
Following the habit of drinking distilled spirit and beer, we may offer six bottles of red wine of the same type rather than six different wines. As a result, one kind of wine is served with several dishes, leading to fully dull taste. Sometimes, the taste of certain dishes is distorted and the solemnity of six bottles of wine of the same type is inferior to that of six different wines.
In western banquet, appetizer should be served with aperitif (such as dry sherry, champagne and sparkling wine), side dish (seafood) is dined with white wine, entrée (red meat) with red wine, desserts with sweet white wine (such as noble rot and ice wine) and one glass of digestif should also be offered after meal (such as brandy and Porto).
Though Chinese are “interdine-ist”, serving order of dishes is almost similar to that of western meal and wine can be served completely following the dishes serving rhythm.
Rose wine is all-match
From color and luster to taste, rose wine, the intermediate of red wine and white wine, is almost all-match. If you have no idea about the right wine for a course, then chose a bottle of rose wine!
Brandy for afters
Brandy is the favorite gift for Chinese people during Spring Festival. The advertisement of “good luck follows after the opening up of Remy Martin” has been already deeply rooted among people.
However, opening up of Remy Martin at the very start may be mistaken as “expulsion order”. In formal banquets, such ardent spirits as brandy and whiskey are all digestif, just like coffee or tea, and should be for afters.
Vintage year is not the point!
It is generally considered that “the older, the more fragrant the wine is”. However, the quality of wine depends on the vintage year (climate of the current year) rather than the wine storage time. For example, wine produced in 2005 is not necessarily better than that in 2009 and surely should not be more expensive than that in 2009.
In fact, common consumers pay little attention to vintage year during daily table wines, since it is of little significance. Moreover, considering that some vintners may have unassured storage conditions (appropriate temperature and humidity), wines produced recently years may be more reliable. In other words, wines produced in 2009 may be better that that in 2005.
How many bottles should be prepared?
The standard capacity of one bottle of wine is 750ml, 6 glasses or so, just one glass for each person if there are six dining persons; if there are more than six persons, two bottles of wine of each type should be offered. Generally, the more the persons there are, the more the wine quantity demand is. At least two bottles of champagne, two bottles of white wine, two bottles of rose wine, two bottles of red wine, one bottle of sweet white wine and one bottle of brandy should be served for a banquet with ten persons.