Tag Archives: wine & food pairing

Wine & Food Pairing: CNY Speical – Chinese Rice Cake, Turnip Cake & Taro Cake




Chinese New Year is one of our favorite festivals, not only because of the red pockets but also the delicious treats such as Chinese rice cake, turnip cake and taro cake. Many of these can actually pair with wines. Instead of pairing with tea, try Wine2Go App‘s recommended wines and explore a new way to enjoy!


Recipe of Chinese Rice Cake (Credit to wantanmien)

Sweet Chinese Rice Cake goes well with sweet chenin blanc from South Africa or Loire Valley.


Recipe of Turnip Cake (Credit to wantanmien)

Savoury Turnip Cake goes well with off-dry Alsace Pinot Gris or off-dry German Riesling.


Recipe of Taro Cake (Credit to Day Day Cook)

Delicious Taro Cake goes well with Beajolais or New Zealand Pinot Noir.


Get the recommended wines from Wine2Go App Now! Experience a new way of enjoying Chinese New Year Traditional Cakes!
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Wine & Food Pairing: Xmas Special – Italian Fruit Cake (Panettone)



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Panettone is essentially a brioche dough filled with dried fruits and nuts, originally from Italy but has become one of the most important holiday traditions in South America.

Panettone pairs well with dessert wine such as Passito, Sautern or Tokay. It can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient of french toast and bread pudding.

(Check out another pairing for Xmas – Wine x Christmas Ham)



3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
4 1/2 – 5 cups all purpose flour
12 tablespoons butter
1 1/8 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 1/2 cup raisins, golden raisins, currants, chopped citron, and/or chopped nuts
1 egg for egg wash
Glazed icing (optional)


  1. Heat milk on low heat until warm to the touch(about 100 degrees) and remove from heat. Stir in yeast and 1 cup flour. Mix well and set aside, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add sugar, salt, eggs (3 whole and 4 yolks), vanilla, orange juice, and butter to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until butter is mixed in and broken up and mixture looks curdled.
  3. Add yeast mixture and pulse briefly. Add remaining flour, one cup at a time, and pulse until dough starts to come together.
  4. Pour dough (it will be sticky and wet) onto lightly floured counter and sprinkle nuts and raisins on top. Use a dough scraper or a large spatula to fold and knead dough, adding a little extra flour if necessary, until dough is well mixed and smooth (it will still be sticky).
  5. Using floured hands, shape dough into a ball and place dough inside of a 6-7 inch diameter panettone mold (or a bread pan, or a coffee can – something with tall sides).
  6. Brush top of dough with melted butter, then place in a warm place to rise. Let dough rise for 2-4 hours, until almost doubled in size. Brush with beaten egg.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake panettone until it has risen, is golden brown, and sounds slightly hollow when you tap on it gently (about 40 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool. Drizzle with glaze if desired.


In Wine2Go App:
Get a bottle of “Passito”, “Sautern” or “Tokay”, and enjoy with delicious Panettone!

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Wine & Food Pairing: French Favourite – Crêpe Suzette

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Many countries have their own version of crepe. In Mexico, it is the tortilla. In the United States, it is the pancake. Crepe is attributed to France’s Brittany region where the tools and techniques were created and perfected. In the early days of the crepe, white flour was an expensive product, reserved only for royalty that why savory crepes were traditionally made with buckwheat, an easy to grow plant. As farmers became wealthier, they began to enjoy sweet white flour crepes as an after-dinner treat or with coffee for breakfast.

In Paris and the South of France, crepes were essentially a dessert, served in fine restaurants, thanks to Henri Charpentier who in 1895 as a young man from the South of France, went to Monaco to work for the Café de Paris with his uncle, the famous chef Escoffier. One evening , the Prince of Wales requested a crepe for dessert. Henri raced to the kitchen and prepared a crepe with an orange sauce flambé. He named the Suzette in honor of the beautiful young lady who accompanied the Prince. Since then, the Crepe Suzette became the most celebrated French dessert.

The future of the crepe is still wide open, constantly being re-imagined in kitchens around the world. Now let’s learn how to cook this delicious French specialty.

Recipe: (Serves 4)

1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1 pinch of salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 orange, juice and grated rind
1/3 cup orange liqueur

1. Mix the flour, eggs, milk and salt in a blender. Blend just until smooth.

2. Add melted butter and combine. The batter should be the consistency of light cream.

3. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight).

4. Lightly oil a crepe pan and set over medium heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into pan and swirl until the pan is coated. Cook crepes until the top begins to look dry, about 60 seconds. Turn and cook the other side.

5. In large skillet, melt the butter.

6. When foamy, add sugar and stir until dissolved.

7. Add rind and juice; bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low.

8. Fold each crepe in half and place 2 at a time in the warm sauce. Using tongs or spatula, fold crepes in half again.

9. Warm liqueur, and pour over the pan of crepes.

10. Using a long match, ignite the sauce. Remove pan from heat.

11. When flames subside, place crepes on dessert plates. Enjoy!

In Wine2Go App:
Click “Food” > “Dessert” > “Citrus Based”
Find what wines pair well with Crêpe Suzette!

Wine & Food Pairing: American Classics – Brownie

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The brownie, one of America’s favorite baked treats, was born in the U.S.A. Yet, the origin of the chocolate brownie is shrouded in myth. There are in fact several legends involving how they came to be. The latter tale is the most widely circulated and is even cited in Betty Crocker’s Baking Classics and John Mariani’s The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink.

- A chef mistakenly added melted chocolate to a batch of biscuits
- A cook was baking a cake but didn’t have enough flour
- A housewife in Bangor, Maine was making a chocolate cake but forgot to add baking powder. When her cake didn’t rise properly she cut and served the flat pieces.

Now, let’s cook this tasty dessert!

Recipe: (Serves 16 pcs)
200g semisweet dark chocolate chips
110g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
200g brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
100g flour, plus
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Butter and flour 8X8 pan.

2. In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature

3. Stir in brown sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, mixing well.

4. In bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly fold into chocolate mixture; mix well. Stir in chips.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

In Wine2Go App:
Click “Food” > “Dessert” > “Chocolate Based”
Find what wines pair well with Brownies!

Wine & Food Pairing: Jamón Ham

The types and qualities of Spanish hams are determined by the breed of the pig, how and where it was raised, and how it was processed. Certain combinations of these factors are protected and warranted through certification by Denominación de Origin or the Consorcio del Jamón Serrano Español. These ensure that the hams that bear their seal deliver the quality and flavors synonymous with the name.

In their infancy, all pigs are raised on a diet that includes cereal grains and mother’s milk. While white pigs usually continue to eat only cereal feeds after weaning, Ibérico pigs are raised on a variety of diets. Diet is the second most important factor influencing the quality of the ham, and is one of the factors evaluated in determining Ibérico ham grades.

Ibérico HamsBellota grade
Hams are from Ibérico pigs, which have spent the last three to four months of their lives feasting on rich, sweet acorns that have dropped from the ground from holm and cork trees in the meadows of a region called the dehesa. This period of grazing on the open range is called the montanera, and the pigs add about half their weight during this period.

The coveted hams they produce are unique in the world: beautiful nutty ham slices which glisten when they are served because 60% of their marbled fat contains healthy mono triglycerides that melt at room temperature. Because of its quality, many connoisseurs have referred to Jamón Ibérico Bellota as the “Beluga caviar of hams.”

Recebo grade Ibérico ham
These are hams from Ibérico pigs who have have enjoyed a shorter free range acorn grazing period or added less than 50% to their weight during the montanera, and are subsequently fattened and brought to market weight with cereal feed.

Cebo grade Ibérico ham
These are hams from Ibérico pigs who were raised on a diet of cereal feeds.

Ibérico ham
These are hams from Ibérico pigs, usually cross-bred with white pigs, who were raised on farms and fed cereal feeds, without a period of free range grazing.

Serrano Hams(Teruel ham, Trevélez ham, Gran Serrano ham)
These hams are from white or Duroc pigs, who were raised on farms and fed cereal feed, and then cured for more than one year at high altitudes in dry climates such as Teruel and Sierra Nevada.

Oro (gold) Serrano ham, Plata (silver) Serrano ham
Hams from white pigs, who were raised on farms and fed cereal feed, then cured for over 12 months anywhere in Spain.

Cured ham
Hams from white pigs, who were raised on farms (usually outside of Spain) and fed cereal feed raised, and then processed in Spain, and cured for less than 8 months.

In Wine2Go App:
Click “Food” > “Cured Meat”
Find what wines pair well with different hams!

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Wine & Food Pairing: Simply Delicious Pasta – Rigatoni alla Carbonara

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Rigatoni alla Carbonara

There are many hypotheses for the origins of this well-loved dish. The simplicity of the ingredients could mean that it was an easy dish to make for the charcoal makers “Carbonari” who spent long periods of time in the woods during the year. However the fact that we do not see reference to this dish in Italian cookbooks until after the second World War could demonstrate that it was invented by Roman trattorias to keep the American troops happy using ingredients (eggs and bacon) which was standard issue for the US soldiers.
Even culinary experts cannot agree on the origins so we will probably never know for sure. This not the only debate attached to this most delicious dish! What type of bacon should be used? Should you use the whole egg or just the yokes? Do you add cream? What cheese do you put on top? Most chefs would agree that you must not allow the eggs to overcook as the consistency should be creamy and not scrambled. Also, it’s not necessary to add any cream into it, as with the egg it is already nice. Now, let’s cook Carbonara with us!

Recipe: (Serves 4)
400g spaghetti
350g sliced La Pancetta, cut into 1cm-wide strips
4 eggs
50g freshly grated Pecorimo Romano cheese, plus extra to serve
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
1 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a frypan over medium heat. Cook pancetta, stirring until beginning to crisp. Add garlic for half minute, then set pan aside.

3. Place eggs, yolk, cream and parmesan in a bowl. Season, then mix gently with a fork

4. Drain pasta, then return to pan.

5. Turn to low heat, quickly add egg and pancetta mixtures and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Serve immediately with extra cheese! Yummy!

In Wine2Go App:
Click “Food” > “Pasta/Risotto” > “Cream Sauce”
Find what wines pair well with Rigatoni alla Carbonara!

Wine & Food Pairing: Halloween Special – Pumpkin Pairing

What would Halloween be without pumpkin? Instead of simply having Halloween meal outside, let’s cook at home and pair with our selected wines!

Try the flavorful pumpkin risotto or soup with a creamy Chardonnay from Australia or California.

If you are having pumpkin in the form of a dessert, pair it with a sweet Riesling or Pinot Gris from Alsace or a Chenin Blanc from Loire.

In Wine2Go App:
Search the recommended wines and pair them with pumpkin food!


Wine & Food Pairing: Seasonal Delight – Hairy Crab

As we enter autumn full force, we are welcomed with various culinary delights. Think delicious hairy crabs. Yum!

Hairy Crab is traditionally a perfect match with the Chinese Xiao xing (yellow) wine. Try to pair the rich, creamy roe and sweet flesh with intense, full bodied and sweet wines such as Port, Beaune de Venise, or Sherry (Oloroso Dulce). For those who prefer a dry wine, try it with a complex and voluptuous wine such as a white wine from Rhone or a fortified wine such as Amontillado or Oloroso Seco.

In Wine2Go App:
Search “Oloroso Seco” or “Amontillado”
Try pairing them with delicious hairy crabs!

Wine & Food Pairing: Sweet Wine x Food

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While sweet wines are overall good matches for dessert wines, it is still important to match the relative sweetness and the body of the wine with the dessert.  The wine should not be too sweet and heavy or else it risks overpowering the flavor of the desserts.

Suggested dessert pairing include: Moscato d’Asti with apple or light fruit based dessert; Tokay with pudding type, etc. Another great match is to pair sweet wines with savory food.  For example, try a Sautern or Vouvray with foie gras or roasted pork or a late Harvest Videl with bacon.

Try this yummy recipe of foie gras, and pair with selected wines from Wine2Go App!


3/4 lb row fat duck liver
1 glass cognac
1 pinch salt
3 pinches black pepper
3 pinches red peppers


1 Prepare and open the liver at the ambient temperature on a plastic tablet with your hand.

2 With the peak of a sharp knife follow the blood vessels and through it away; The trick is to put the peak of your knife just under the vessel. No needs to pull it strongly just open it delicately.

3 One the most important vessels are away, put salt, peppers and brandy on the liver.

4 Let it marinate for 12 hours at least.

5 The day after, put your oven at around 150°C—it’s important to follow carefully the temperature of the liver.

6 Put it in a small size clay form (20 cm diameter max) with large boards, for 20 minutes; your oven should stay at a regular temperature for 30 minutes.

7 Leave it for 3 hours in your freezer.

8 Cut in 1-inch slice. Put it on a roasted bread and enjoy it with a not dry white wine.


Wine & Food: Italian Cuisine, Less is More – Vermicelli alla Puttanesca

Vermicelli alla Puttanesca

Due to the name, Puttanesca, many believe this sauce has some type of connection to prostitutes as “Puttana” means just that in Italian. However the name came about one evening in the early 1950s on the island of Ischia in the Gulf of Naples. Architect Sandro Petti was entertaining a group of friends when they asked him to rustle up something to eat as they were absolutely starving. However he told them he didn’t have much left in the kitchen and they would have to go somewhere else to get something to eat.

One of his friends exclaimed ‘Don’t worry Sandro, just make us a “puttanata qualsiasi”’, which roughly translated means a slightly more vulgar version of “any old thing”. Sandro duly threw together a sauce consisting of the very limited ingredients in his larder i.e.  a few tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, olive oil and some oregano. The recipe today usually includes some anchovies, chilli and parsley.
After the success of the dish that evening, Petti added it to the list of starters on his menu calling it Puttanesca as Puttanata seemed a bit vulgar. Tomato should only colour but not dominate the sauce allowing all the other flavours to come through. As is true for Italian cuisine in general, less is more.

Recipe: (Serves 4)

400g spaghetti
400g chopped tomatoes , tin
2 anchovies , drained and chopped
2 garlic cloves , thinly sliced
1tbsp capers , chopped if large
Pitted green olives , sliced
Large pinch dried chilli flakes
Small bunch flat-leaf parsley , roughly chopped
Olive oil

1. Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Tip in the tomatoes, capers, anchovies, olives and chilli. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened slightly.

4. Toss spaghetti with the sauce and parsley and serve. Yummy!

In Wine2Go App:
Click “Food” > “Pasta/Risotto” > “Tomato Sauce”
Find what wines pair well with Vermicelli alla Puttanesca!


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