This year we have the privilege to bring a special modern pairing to the table. We have done a multi-mooncakes tasting once, that really brought our tastebuds to a numb. The year after we did a mooncake-tea pairing. This piece will talk about how we bring the alcoholics to celebrate this joyous sweet dessert.
As many people will think, mooncakes are sweet and should pair with sweet wines. This however, may not be necessarily be the case as mooncakes now come in all flavours and different skin types.
We have been graced by Paradise Group to provide their handmade mooncakes and Missing Piece's wines from France to do our pairing session. Let's start!
Pure White Lotus (Baked) with Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne Blanc 2016
Firstly, the ingredients in Paradise's mooncakes are not overly sweet like how we had them in the past. As we know people are more health conscious, but in all honesty, I don't think wine and mooncakes are going to be anywhere near reducing your fat count. Just enjoy! More importantly, the flavours and experience is what you will not forget!
The White Lotus paste in the mooncakes are extremely soft and does not stick to your mouth insides. They literally melt and the white melon seeds adds on to the interesting texture of the mooncake. The baked skin is just nice, not too thick and also does not flake off like how some would. Just sufficient amount of fats and oil to stick everything together, healthier version we like to call it.
This hugely aromatic IGP goes very well with a short to medium finish, cutting through the goodness of the fats with its fruitiness. However, it could be slightly overpowering for the ingredients of the mooncake. That said, it will be a lasting wine to have in a mooncake eating session with friends.
Recommended ageing is 2 years for its freshness to really explode in the mouth together with the lightness and fattiness of the "Lian Rong". However, you will be surprised at the yolked mooncake with the lian rong!
Just so you know, we don't decide which wines to pair with which mooncakes. It took us quite a while to taste the various wines with the same mooncake and between each tasting we had to drink water and clear the tastebuds before trying out the next wine with the same mooncake. With this Double Yolk, we were pleasantly surprised!
The yolk's saltiness paired extremely well with the sweetness of the L'Escoubasso.We exclaimed in unison and unanimously that this was the perfect match! Escoubasso is Gascon dialect for a conclusion or job done, and also refers to the celebratory meal held at the end of the grape harvest.The freshness of the acidity coupled with tropical honey fruits (peach and apricot, citrus and sweet spice), rich textures and perfect ageing on the less brings this golden wonder to a beautiful finish with the salty yolks! You just have to try this!
The short finish allows you to go for more each bite and gulp!
That being said, Petit Manseng (one of the key white grape varieties of South West France) was very well received at the table.
White Lotus Paste with Assorted Nuts (Baked) paired with Taylor's 10 Year Old Tawny Port.
Assorted Snow Skin Mooncakes with Domaine de Pellehaut Pilaho Rosé
(Matcha with Champagne White Chocolate Centre, Jasmine Flower with Champagne White Chocolate Centre, Pure Japanese Chestnut, and Yuzu with Lychee Martini White Chocolate Centre)
Snowskin mooncakes are so delicate. The ratio of the skin to ingredients to chocolate centers is such a fine delicate balance that just a small mistake can cost the beauty of this style of mooncake to go haywire. This type of mooncakes has been increasingly popular in Singapore with a tremendous amount of variations available.
Paradise's snowskins have achieved this level with much fragrance also. The flavours are rather safe and traditional yet enough to tickle your tastebuds to be more adventurous. If you are celebrating this with the older folks, yes, get these!
Pairing this delicateness with bubbles/sparklings would be the most appropriate. Try them with a simple Pinot Grigio or a Sauvignon Blanc simply misses the point. This pairing we used a sparkling rose, with a tender tannin to match the various flavours.
The best match with this sparkling is the Yuzu with Lychee Martini White Chocolate Centre. This wine with plentiful of bubbles evaporates the sweet fragrance of strawberries and cherries in your mouth. The blend of Merlot, Tanat, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec results in this multi purpose sparkling. The bottle may look cheap but the flavours pack a punch for your buds.
Mini Baked Salted Egg Yolk Custard with Macademia Nuts Mooncake
It is recommended you microwave the mooncakes between 10 to 15 seconds before serving, and be sure to microwave before cutting them to keep the moisture in.When you eat it, its very crunchy and it has the abundance of macademia in the mooncake. Not everyone will like it but we feel it makes a really good variant of the mooncakes of Singapore.
Pairing this wasn't too easy. We feel that it goes best with either a really sweet sparkling or the port/sherry. The saltiness of the mooncake, nuttiness of the macademia and the warm baked skin couples well with either of the two that we had tried earlier.
We actually took home a couple to try when its cold, going against the advice of the staff, and true enough, when it was cold the flavours of the mooncake really wasn't showing off. Do heed the advice of the staff in future!
The mooncakes are all handmade by the chef of Paradise, even the lovely pigs above. Every velvet carried box comes with a piece of them.
Paradise Mooncakes are fully sold out as of the time you are reading this. If you have been lucky to have them at home or been given a set, you may consider pairing the wines and feel free to try similar flavours from your wine collection. Do share with us your pairing and recommend them to other readers!
For information on both companies, please see the below: