It's mooncake season, and we can't wait to get our hands on some of those delish round pastries and pairing them with wine.
That's right, mooncakes are great with a pot of Chinese tea, but what about a quality glass of vino instead?
This Mid-Autumn Festival, we pick out some wines that'll be perfect to pair with mooncakes, particularly the ones from the newly-minted 2 Star Michelin restaurant Shisen Hanten.
This year, we chose various sparkling wines from wineries like Marenco and Gramona to accompany these traditional treats, as their yeasty aromas go nicely with the rich-flavoured pastries, as well as other wines with refreshing acidity to balance out and complement the mooncakes.
Shisen Hanten Assorted Mini Snow Skin Selection
Sweet wines are fantastic for pairing with mooncakes, and the extra sugar will go excellent with the crunchy texture of melon seeds, nuts,
and fermented notes from Shisen Hanten's snow skin oolong tea mooncakes, for example.
Gramona Vi De Glass Gewurztraminer 2016 (37.5 cl) (Now $55, U.P. $65)
Gramona's Vi De Glass is a sweet wine with great aromatic expressiveness.
Expect notes of citrus and tropical fruit, lychees, guavas, mangos, and apricots, and delicate floral fragrance, such as white roses.
Pleasant on entry, silky, and unctuous on the palate with a nice weight of fruit.
Celler Pinol Josefina Sweet White 2016 (50cl) (Now $41, U.P. $47)
This 100% Garnatxa from Catalunya, Terra Alta, is the colour of bright amber and boasts notes of banana, dates, grapefruit, quince, dried apricots,
candied orange and linden blossom exceedingly complex taste reminiscent of raisins, marzipan and honey cakes.
Now imagine how it'll taste like with mildly sweet and fragrant lotus paste mooncakes.
Niepoort Late Bottled Vintage 2016 (Now $50, U.P. $59)
A fantastic Port from the Douro region, the Niepoort late vintage with a palate of fruit and elegant aroma coming through superbly balanced.
The finish is somewhat robust, firm and with a dry tannic finish, it will be interesting to see this wine age, no doubt, in an elegant manner.
Shisen Hanten New Japanese Pumpkin and Sakura Petals with Low Sugar White Lotus Paste Mooncake
Sparkling wines tend to offer fresh and lively fruit and a persistent effervescence that cuts through the richness of mooncakes.
Look out for wines with notes of tangy citrus and fine acidity that accentuate the delicate lotus scent in the mooncakes.
Marenco Strev Moscato d'Asti DOCG 2020 (Now $29, U.P. $34)
We absolutely adore this Moscato from the Piedmont region.
This sparkling and slightly sweet wine comes straw yellow with intense aromas of citrus, apricot, fig and orange blossom.
Its taste is pleasantly sweet and aromatic like the Moscato grapes it comes from.
Needless to say, the fizziness leads to a party in your mouth when combined with fragrant baked mooncakes.
Shisen Hanten Classic Double Yolk Baked Mooncake
Want to pair whites with mooncakes?
Citrus, floral and mineral aromas and a fresh elegant palate go well with both red and white lotus paste,
and the savoury salted yolk present in mooncakes helps highlights the tropical notes of whites, especially Chardonnay, also helping to soften the acidity in the wine.
Recanati Upper Gaililee Chardonnay 2019 (Now $44, U.P. $50)
With Recanati's Chardonnay from Israel's Upper Galilee region,
you get a perfectly balanced and enjoyable wine with delicate aromas of tropical fruit and subtle nuances of caramel and hazelnut.
This is a full-bodied and harmonious wine, concluding in a long, smooth finish.
Shisen Hanten Azuki Red Bean Paste and Pine Nuts
When it comes to red wine, the wide array of flavour profiles and varied tannins make them suitable for certain types of mooncakes, particularly mixed nut mooncakes and red lotus mooncakes that can get cloying after a while.
Shisen Hanten's richer snow skin mooncakes like the yam and white chocolate or adzuki bean mooncakes will also do well with reds.
Alain Graillot Syrocco Rouge Maroc 2018 (Now $45, U.P. $52)
Farmed organically, Alain crafts this red wine (100% Syrah) as a fruit-forward Moroccan red,
yet it is made in an old-world style with moderate extraction, excellent balance, and complex aromatics.
It's certainly one of the finer wines in the Rhone Crozes-Hermitage region.
Domaine de Bargylus Rouge 2013 (now $80, U.P. $91)
From Syria comes the Domaine de Bargylus Rouge with a nose that's complex with notes of spices & truffles.
There is precision in the mouth with an excellent balance between the integrated tannins, the elegant fruit and mineral freshness.
The finish is powerful and sustained.