It is no news that I am not an expert in wine hence the lack of wine coverage in most of my food-related posts, however as a dedicated foodie or more appropriately, a food lover, it is no doubt that wine knowledge or more accurately the appreciation of it plays an important role in many culinary cultures. I have decided recently to be more proactive in learning about wine, one small step at a time. By chance this evening, Uncle KK invited me for dinner at Fortune Room at the Hong Kong Jockey Club to try some new wines he got. It turned out we were trying the different collection of wines from Liber Pater, a boutique winery in Grave, Bordeaux. Did I mention the owner of the winery, Mr. Loïc Pasquet, was here as well. It was hard not to take this rare opportunity and
Liber Pater is known as "the free Father" in ancient Rome religion and mythology. He was the god of viniculture and wine, fertility and freedom. Quite an appropriate name in my opinion. The first thing that caught my attention was the label, the embroiled labels on the bottle. According to Mr. Loïc Pasquet, a long creative and design process went into each label, different every year but all based on Roman mythology. I overheard the word "gold-plated" in a few of the conversations and I wonder if that is truly the case. Quite a lovely set of labels to be honest, worth collecting.
We started off with the Liber Pater 2007 Red Wine which sat in the decanter for over 30 mins already. (I think it flared even better after an hour or even an hour or half.) Quite easy on the palate, full-bodied, rich yet complex (another word for I am not sure haha) and fair bit of chocolate flavor which I can distinguish. Great to pair with red meats which are not overly rich in flavors or just enjoy it by itself.
The second bottle we tried was the Liber Pater 2007 White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc). With a rather sweet yet refreshing flavor, it carried a strong fruity aroma from beginning to end. Maybe it is just me but It may be slightly ignorant to say that it tasted like Sauternes but the bottom line was that I enjoyed it very much. I need to polish up my wine vocabulary, seriously!
We also tried the Liber Pater 2006 Red Wine but as informed by Mr. Loïc Pasquet, since he purchased the winery in 2005, the 2006 vintage was not developed under his supervision hence the varied flavors compared with the 2007 vintage we tried earlier. The key difference in my opinion was the stronger tannins which held up quite well with some of the stronger flavored dishes like the braised beef cheek we had.
There are many initiative in the culinary community in Hong Kong that promotes to pairing of Chinese food with wines but up to this date, I still wonder how well it can be done. As mentioned, I am no expert, but I do feel like Chinese dishes, especially Cantonese dishes are fairly strong in flavors which would overpower the wine itself. A formal Chinese dinner would involve quite a bit of dishes, from seafood to various kinds of meats as well, how exactly can one pair one single wine to the while meal? Likely 3 - 5 different wines are required? Asian Palate by Jeannie Cho Lee, the first Asian Master of Wine (MW), provides a fairly informative approach on Asian Food + Wine which I find quite helping in solving some of my doubts. I think to truly master this or to get familiar with it, I really need to drink more! what a great excuse right? :)