January 23, 2012 is a New Chinese New Year. This new year will be the Year of the Black Water Dragon. It begins on the first day of the first lunar month (usually in late January or early February) and ends on the 15th day of the first lunar month (Lantern Festival).
A Dragon is a legendary creature. All legendary stories about Chinese dragons are from the sky, which means heaven in China. The Dragon is the fifth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 Animal signs. The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. In ancient China, the celestial Dragon represents an emperor and power. Today, it is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness. Invariably accompanied by thunder and rain, dragons move like lightning and whirlwinds. (from http://www.stanssewingsupplies.com/catalogs/store.asp?pid=254835)
Are there any wines that have a dragon theme in Canada, or elsewhere? This is what I found. In my search, the first wine is from Napa Valley, California. The wine is from the Snap Dragon Winery. They produce a Riesling, Chardonnay, red blend, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I think with the Dragon being a big powerful animal, that maybe enjoying their Cabernet Sauvignon would be most appropriate. Wine Spectator describes the 2007 vintage as “Dried berry, black cherry and wild berry fruit is modestly complex, ripe and vivid, full-bodied and easy to drink. Drink now.” SnapDragon’s website for you.
Digging deeper in Google I found Turley Wine Cellars from Templeton California and their Turley Zinfandel Dragon Vineyard 2007. Wine Expert Stephen Tanzer has this description about their 2007 vintage: “Good medium ruby. Urgent aromas of crushed berries and licorice. Dense, pliant and sweet, with surprising lift to the lush berry flavors. This rich, concentrated, chocolatey wine really spreads out to saturate the palate. The long finish features floral and spicy nuances.” This sounds like a wine I would love to try!
My last wine for you with the dragon theme is the Bodegas Berberana Tempranillo Dragon Label Rioja, Spain. Rioja has a hot climate, perfect for dragons. The Rioja DOC is inland in the northern part of Spain and has a very warm continental climate. The area is sometimes known as the Bordeaux of Spain. Rioja wines are normally a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red (tinto), white (blanco) or rosé (rosado). The most common red grape variety for Rioja is Tempranillo. The Bodegas Berberana Tempranillo Dragon Label according to the winery is aged for 6-8 months in American oak barrels, and it has ripe red fruit aromas and flavours, with notes of spice and cedar.
What Food and Wine to Pair For Black Water Dragon New Year?
When I think of dragons I think of fire, so my thoughts are going toward spicy dishes, and grilled dishes. One nice pairing is a grilled Moroccan spiced lamb chop with a Cabernet Sauvignon. A few Cabernet Sauvignon that I could recommend are: Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington State, Santa Julia Magna, 2009, Argentina (this is a Cab / Malbec blend), or Salvestrin Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, California, 2007. The
If you are a seafood lover, a different pairing you may like would be grilled fish with a citrusy Riesling or Semillon from Australia or a New World Sauvignon Blanc. Maybe try a Grilled Salmon with Morel Vinaigrette with a bottle of Brokenwood Semillon 2008 Australia, Skillogalee Single Vineyard Riesling 2009 Australia, or Waipara Hills Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand?
Gung xi fat choy.