Chinese Year of the Red Fire Monkey
Chinese New Year Day of Red Monkey is on February 8, 2016. According to chinesefortunecalendar.com, “…According to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold. Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the year of the Monkey. Monkey is a smart, naughty, wily and vigilant animal. If you want to have good return for your money investment, then you need to outsmart the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events will be changing very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes for your finance, career, business relationship and people relationship….”
Are there any wines that are related to the monkey theme for Chinese New Year? Here is what I found.
Monkey Related Wines
For the past few years, Okanagan Crush Pad has been producing a “Lunar New Year White” and “Lunar New Year Red” wine, with reference to the particular animal that the year represents. This coming year is no exception. The wine has just been released. I was given the opportunity to try these 2 new wines before they are generally available. From the Winery Direct, the prices are $19.90 for the white and $19.99 for the red. You will be able to order these wines from Okanagan Crush Pad online, but as well as private wine shops here in BC.
The 2016 Lunar New Year White was created to work in perfect harmony with local cuisine found in our Asian community. A blend of Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay with small amounts of Pinot Gris and Viognier. According to the winery, “…this wine exhibits fresh lifted aromatics of spice and floral notes, a lush mouthfeel coats the palate with tropical fruit while retaining delicacy and freshness. Pair with fresh steamed seafood, seafood soup, fried noodles or rice, or enjoy on its own.”
The 2016 Lunar New Year Red is made from Gamay Noir and Syrah, and according to the winery you get “… Bright blackberry fruit and a fresh juicy finish with slight caramel notes. Loaded with meaty, white pepper aromas and flavours with a long, earthy finish. Pair with stir fried vegetables, grilled sable fish…”
My Tasting Notes on the Haywire Wines
Haywire 2016 Lunar New Year White – Medium lemon in colour. Medium plus intensity nose with fresh aromas of lemon, green melon, honeyed peach, lees and a hint of pine needles. There is also some lychee with a bit of decanting. It is slightly off-dry, round and soft with a heavier mouth feel. The wine has a silky waxy texture to it. Green fruit, lime, pine needles and a hint of peaches on the palate. With decanting I also get citrus rind toward the finish. On the finish you get green fruit, mouth watering acidity and pepperiness.
Rating: A very fruity and fresh wine that should go well with seafood, steamed dishes, and noodles (for long life).
Haywire 2016 Lunar New Year Red – Medium translucent garnet from rim to core. Very youthful nose, with lots of ripe, juicy purple fruit, cassis, along with vanilla, dark chocolate and nutmeg. Heady aromas. Slightly off-dry, medium body, round and soft, with very fine tannins. You first get ripe cassis together with lesser amounts of blueberries, raspberries, and cinnamon. A touch of rose petals from the mid palate to the finish. On the finish you get a mix of bitterness and dark chocolate flavours along with black cherries. The finish is very soft.
Rating: Very juicy cassis, and other purple fruit. Fine tannins, soft and silky. Try this with bbq duck, hot pot chicken, or spicy dishes.
Other Wineries from Around the World
- Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand is available through BC Liquor Stores. Monkey Bay also makes a Pinot Grigio and a Merlot, so you should be able to pair many dishes with this trio of wines for Chinese New Year dinner.
- Vineco International Products Ltd. from Saint Catherines in Ontario sells a “Cheeky Monkey” wine making kit that offers a wide range of red and white grapes sourced from around the world. If you have 4 weeks to make the wine and space at home, you might want to try buying one of these kits and enjoy the monkey theme through the year.
- Four Monkey Winery in Arizona produces 4 monkey themed wines, but the wines are not available here in BC. If you are in Arizona, you can buy one or more of:
– Naughty Monkey (TM) Moscato Bianco
– Playful Monkey (TM) Cabernet Sauvignon
– Cheeky Monkey (TM) Sauvignon Blanc
– Sinful Monkey (TM) Shiraz/Syrah
Enjoy Chinese New Year and be full of luck.