Duck's blood 'jelly' with Chinese chives is a Chiu Chow speciality but it can also be found at Cantonese restaurants. The dish is believed to cleanse the consumers' blood. Duck's blood has a silkier texture than that of chicken, which can be gritty. The squeamish may shudder at the thought of this dish but it doesn't taste any 'bloodier' than a good piece of steak. A wine to accompany the duck-blood dish needs enough richness to handle the texturally driven combination. The more complex flavours there are, the better, and the more interesting the balance.
Jacob's Creek shiraz-cabernet 2006, South Australia
You know exactly what you're going to get when you buy Jacob's Creek: soft fruit, medium-rich, hardly any oak and lingering flavour that is easily quaffable. The style hasn't changed over the years but the quality has improved - a luxury that comes from having an almost limitless supply of good Australian fruit. It's a good casual match for duck's blood and chives. The soy marinade that flavours the dish sets a base flavour platform for the textures to pile on top. The fruity wine adds some subtle spicy tones as well as much needed lubrication for the tough chives.
Available for HK$79 at Wellcome (tel: 2870 8888)
Leabrook Estate Cabernet Franc 2006, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
This cabernet franc is typically perfumed, with more substance than most. Rich flavours carried along by the crisp acidity drive the wine's savoury fruit and modest oak. It goes well with the dish because the wine's complex flavours add to the layering of the simple blood-and- chives combination. The heightened fruit aromatics link up with the smoky, savoury Chiu Chow soy base. Serve this wine cool to the touch and in a glass large enough to let you sniff out the wonderful heady notes.
Available for HK$175 at Adelaide Cellar Door (tel: 2526 0151)
Torbreck Run Rig 2005, Barossa Valley, South Australia
This is one of those wines that many of us would be content to just smell. It's one of the best wines to come out of the Barossa Valley in recent years. It's rich, unashamedly powerful and super-concentrated - which is probably why it's one of Robert Parker's favourites. It complements the rich texture of the blood and chive well; the nutmeg and cinnamon tones in the soy sauce lift the combination and make it seamless. It's a powerful combination, though - too powerful for some. To get the most out of the scent, serve the wine in a big gold- fish-bowl wine glass.
Available for HK$2,648 at Oliver's (tel: 2810 7710)