February 19, 2015 will be the Chinese New Year; the Year of the Sheep. Haywire Wines from Summerland in the Okanagan have released their second vintage of the Lunar New Year wine. I was privileged to try their first release for this current year, the Year of the Wooden Horse. The wine was crafted to complement Asian dishes. With the two bottles I received, I decided to contact some wine loving friends, and try these wines with Chinese food from Sun Sui Wah restaurant on Main Street in Vancouver.
We decided to try the following dishes from Sun Sui Wah:
- Sautéed beef with oyster sauce
- Braised prawn and sliced chicken with vermicelli hot pot
- Steamed bean cake and scallop topped with black bean sauce
- Braised duck with Buddha’s vegetables
We tried to pick dishes that we would pair nicely with either the red or the white wine, but there was a surprise. The dishes were all cooked very well. I really liked the braised duck with Buddha’s vegetables. The duck was very juicy. Also as quite a contrast was the steamed bean cake (tofu) with scallop topped with black bean sauce was interesting with the creamy texture of the bean cake, contrasting with the salty bitterness from the black bean sauce. If you can tolerate a bit of spice, try the braised prawn and sliced chicken with vermicelli hot pot.
Haywire Wine Lunar New Year White 2013 ($19.90)
This white is all stainless steel fermented; a blend of Gewurztraminer, Viognier, and Chardonnay. It is medium yellow in colour. It is fresh and youthful, with aromas of lychee, sweet spices, peaches and light pine needles. To me the aromas of the Gewurztraminer and Viognier came through the most. This wine was dry with medium acidity leaving a slight prickle on your tongue. The lychee, peach, and pine needle aromas carried to the palate, along with apples, apricots, pears and cherry blossoms. A mouth watering finish with citrus and some bitter leaf. A really nice wine to sip on it’s own, and as we found out in our dinner, paired with all of our dishes. The wine was complementary, rather than contrasting to each of the dishes. The fruitiness of the white wine, calmed the chilies in the braised prawn and sliced chicken with vermicelli hot pot. This wine was also very nice with the vegetables from the Braised duck with Buddha’s vegetables.
Rating: A super versatile aromatic white wine showing characteristic Gewurztraminer and Viognier flavours that complemented all our Chinese dishes.
Haywire Wine Lunar New Year Red 2012 ($22.90)
Their red is a blend of Gamay Noir with Syrah. It is medium ruby garnet in the glass. Aromas of cassis, plums, blueberries, and other berry fruits. Dry with soft tannins. Heavier mouthfeel. Blueberry flavour together with cassis, vanilla, dark cherries, cocoa and a streak of minerality. The wine continued to open with air bringing out the blueberry flavour even more, and hinting at violet flowers. Mouth watering acidity on the finish together with some tart berry fruit.
I really liked this wine with the braised duck with Buddha’s vegetables. The juiciness and dark meat flavour of the duck was really complemented by the berry fruits of this wine.This wine with it’s fruitiness, also held up to the chilies in the braised prawn and sliced chicken with vermicelli hot pot. The wine really opens up quite quickly so no need for a long decant. You can open it 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
Rating: A soft, easy drinking fruity wine that works with both duck and chicken-based Asian dishes.
Where To Buy These Wines?
You can order these two wines from the Okanagan Crush Pad website. Possible Christmas gifts for friends and family. I don’t see the wines listed yet, but keep checking. I expect to see them soon. The Chinese character on the label does represent a sheep or ram. www.haywirewinery.com