Alsace Wine

Fragrant styles reflect a blend of cultures

A crisp white wine is a perfect thirst quencher in these hot, sticky days, and one from Alsace might just fit the bill. After all, 90 per cent of the production from this region of northeastern France is white.

Thursday, 19 July, 2012, 12:00am


Gewurztraminer, or gewurz, is a wine that is difficult to be ambivalent about. This is a show stopper of a wine, either loved or hated. At a recent tasting for new wine lovers, no one was shy expressing an opinion about this variety. No wonder - it has a flamboyant, intense personality.

8 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Perfect match

The wu yu (threadfin fish) is not much of a looker. With its large mouth and grey-black colour, it resembles an overgrown tadpole. But it more than compensates for its ugliness with a succulent and slightly earthy taste. Although it is delicious in congee, the fish is best when deep fried and drizzled with soy sauce.

14 Aug 2011 - 12:00am


Pinot gris is a teenage mutant grape that appeared in Europe in the Middle Ages. Most scientists agree that pinot gris - a white wine variety - morphed from pinot noir, which accounts for the blue-greyish cast found on the skin of its grapes. The word 'gris' means 'grey' in French (in Italy, the wine is known as pinot grigio).

5 Dec 2010 - 12:00am

Perfect match

If you like seafood, you'll appreciate how incomparably delicious fresh scallops are. There are many varieties, including one called razor fish, which has a shell so sharp it can do you serious harm if you accidentally step on it while wading in the sea.

9 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Fine Rhines

It's no easy task tasting wines in the French region of Alsace, which borders Germany and Switzerland. The akers are so generous a standard visit involves about 20 wines. If you are a note-taking taster like me, that means a hand-cramping three or four pages in the notebook - per winery visit.

5 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Perfect match

Paul Hogan encapsulated the image of friendly, welcoming Aussies in the commercial where he exhorted us to visit Australia, saying he'd 'slip an extra shrimp on the barbie'. Australians are barbecue experts, although, rather than shrimp, they're more likely to cook lamb chops, sausages and other carnivorous delights.

19 Jun 2008 - 12:00am

Perfect match

Salade Nicoise is one of those deliciously varied French salads.

22 May 2008 - 12:00am

Dished up

Fabrizio Nencioni from San Felice winery in Tuscany will host the Castello del Vino wine dinner on November 19 at Cipriani in Central.

15 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

Perfect Match

During the warmer months, Chinese steam boat restaurants usually offer seasonal soup bases that aim to restore the yin/yang balance. The best steam boat requires the freshest ingredients. The perfect wine needs to be enjoyable on its own. Deep fruit purity enhances the fresh ingredients, while savoury notes will connect the many flavour notes.

29 Mar 2007 - 12:00am

Perfect Match

Snails are eaten in many cultures, but it is French snails that have inched to the top of the culinary pile. Reared and cleaned properly, they can be a succulent treat. The classic French Burgundy variety is cooked in garlic butter, giving a rich, savoury note. Wines need to respect the gentleness of the taste and enhance the succulent texture as well.

7 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Perfect Match

The bento box is a nifty Japanese set lunch. A balanced meal of different flavours, colours and textures is attractively presented in a compartmentalised box. The selection can range from seafood tempura to grilled meats and vegetarian dishes, but some items are staples: vinegared sushi rice, seasonal sashimi, Japanese pickles and raw or cooked vegetables.

29 Jun 2006 - 12:00am

Perfect Match

Beef rendang is a rich dish, perfumed with spices rather than chilli heat. Chunks of beef are stewed with spice mix, then slowly braised with desiccated coconut and coconut milk until the sauce reduces and coats the meat. It's traditionally served with steamed rice, spicy sambal and fried shallots.

1 Jun 2006 - 12:00am


Like Dolly Parton, gewurztraminer can only be described in hyperbole. Perfumed, buxom, heady and fruity, gewurztraminer doesn't appeal to all.

28 May 2006 - 12:00am

Perfect Match

Bird's nest is a Chinese gourmet food. Hardworking swifts use a saliva-like secretion to bind their nests together and glue them to the walls of caves. After being cleaned of twigs and feathers, what remains is a little cup that's high in minerals and proteins. The quality of the nests varies according to how well they've been cleaned and what the birds have been eating.

29 Sep 2005 - 12:00am