There are a lot of wine competitions in the world but only a handful judge with food. The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Wine & Spirit Competition (CX HKIWSC) is one of the few and in my opinion, probably has the most comprehensive food/wine matching category.
Judges assess the quality and typicity when judging wine. However, when judging food/wine matching, we have to focus on the interaction between food and wine. A wine might not be outstanding on its own but could do wonder when combine with food. While there are guidelines of wine/food matching, such as matching according to flavour intensity, cultural background and personal preferences also play a role. A judge who loves spicy food would prefer a red wine to accentuate the spiciness while another judge may want an equally intense fruity/off-dry wine to tone down the spiciness. Both wines fit the guideline of matching wine and food based on flavour intensity but the which matching is better is subjective depending on the individual’s palate.
Most consumers may not know the characteristics of the wine but they know the flavour intensity of typical Asian dishes. The result of the food/wine matching give consumers indications on the wine styles and thus help them select wine from the myriad available in the marketplace. Once they are more familiar with different wine styles, they will be more confidence to try new wine styles and experiment with more food/wine matching.
Here are the trophy wines for the competition dishes, see if you agree.
BEST WINE WITH KAI HOI BAI TOEI [FRIED CHICKEN IN PANDAN LEAF, 香蘭葉包雞]
The Kings Bastard Chardonnay 2015, Marisco Vineyards, New Zealand
BEST WINE WITH TOD MAN PLA [CURRIED FISH CAKES WITH SWEET CHILLI SAUCE, 泰式魚餅]
Monsoon Valley Blended Rosé 2014 Siam Winery, Thailand
BEST WINE WITH SINGAPORE CHILLI CRAB, 新加玻辣椒炒蟹
Asia de Cuba 2015, Hiestand Weingut & Hofbrennerei, Germany
BEST WINE WITH HONEY GLAZED CHAR SIU 蜜汁叉燒
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015 Yealands Estate Wines, New Zealand
BEST WINE WITH SMOKED PIGEON WITH OOLONG TEA LEAVES 凍頂烏龍茶燻鴿
Mulderbosch Faithful Hound Red 2014 Mulderbosch Vineyards, South Africa (available from Altaya)
BEST WINE WITH CANTONESE BRAISED BRISKET 廣東牛腩
Nest Egg Shiraz 2013, Bird in Hand Winery, Australia (available from wine'n'things)
BEST WINE WITH CRYSTAL KING PRAWN WITH PARMA HAM 巴馬火腿大蝦
Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Achleiten 2015, Domäne Wachau, Austria
BEST WINE WITH WAGYU BEEF TEPPANYAKI 和牛鐵板燒
Eden Hall Shiraz 2015, Eden Hall, Australia
BEST WINE WITH SASHIMI 日本刺身
Tamanohikari Junmai Ginjo Shukon 2015 TAMANOHIKARI Sake Brewing Co, Japan
BEST WINE WITH GRILLED UNAGI 照燒鰻魚
Porão Velho 2014, Encosta da Vila, Portugal
BEST WINE WITH MURG MAKHANI (BUTTER CHICKEN 牛油煮烤雞)
Val du Charron Black Countess 2013
BEST WINE WITH MUSHROOM AND PEA MASALA 馬沙拉蘑菇青豆
FIOL Prosecco DOC