It’s that time of the year again, where we splurge on lotus paste, durian paste, green tea paste and truffle wrapped in either a soft supple mochi-like skin or a baked crusted brown skin. Growing up we’ve always paired it with tea or soft drinks. But what about wine? Now that we’re adults and we can do whatever we want…sorta.
Well, first and foremost, you’d pick your desired mooncakes and then potential wines to pair with. Mooncakes are relatively sweet or creamy and rich. With that, it should give you a gauge on pairings.
Starting with the more traditional mooncakes, the plain lotus paste. Leaning to a rich with sweet creamy texture. We recommend Rosewood Gamay Noir with its bright red fruit flavours – red currant, cherry. Bright yet supple in mouthfeel, refreshing on the palate to cut through the richness of the lotus paste. If you prefer a white, how about trying out a sweeter Saar German Riesling- Peter Lauer senior Riesling 2019. Slight touch of sweetness would cut through the creaminess but not take away the importance of the notes of lotus of course.
If you’re a fan of yolks or flaky mooncake, the touch of savoury in your mooncake will pair well with some bubbly! We recommend Philipponnat Royale Réserve Brut, aged three years on the lees. First aromas of lightly toast Bread, followed by summer berries, citrus fruit and honey develop. Fleshy and lingering, enhancing the flavours of the lotus paste and the acidity and freshness to balance the yolk on the palate. A lower priced alternative would be a prosecco! An underrated bubbly from Italy, actually holds stronger fruity flavors most times. Try out Ruggeri Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Giall’ Oro DOCG, delicate and brings out notes of mature golden apples and acacia flowers.
On to the more modern mooncakes, we have to think about snow skin mooncakes!
With each passing year there are more variations of fillings to choose from. Hence, CRASH COURSE!
Tea Based -With a range of black tea, white tea, blue and green tea. Abundance of choices! Something easy to match would be Pio Cesare Moscato d’Asti 2017 or Closson Chase Pinot Gris 2018 for something with less sugar. Both present tropical fruit notes, ripe melon and floral notes. Bonus: Tentaka Honey Mead(wine), Strong notes of rich, authentic raw honey & slightly sweet on the palate. We find it pairs with Green tea mooncake quite well!
Fruit based– fruit forward, slightly sweeter whites. Pairs well Paladin Primo Rosso Spumante NV On the nose, floral notes, hints of honey and berry fruit accentuated by the bubbles. Perfect combo for a girl’s night in. Else, it’s also a great fit with the ever reliable Peter Lauer Senior Riesling. Notes of green apple, pear and Citrus.
Dark Chocolate based – Find something juicy on the palate, surprisingly we love Giovanni Rosso Ceretta Barolo. Very juicy on the palate with strong notes of strawberries and red berries. Slight tarte but does not overwhelm the palate.
Durian – Again with Peter Lauer senior riesling 2019 or a late harvest wine to balance the richness & creamy texture of the durian flesh.
BONUS Spirits pairing!
Pandan/Gula melaka/coconut/Kaya mooncake – Nusa Cana Tropical Island Rum (Noted of coconut, banana leaf and pandan!)
We hope this crash course to mooncake pairing will serve you well in the next 2 weeks!
Maybe one day we should host a mooncake and wine pairing session. What do you think?