Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mooncakes Wine Pairing (Paradise Group/Missing Piece)

Its that time of the year again. Every year Mooncakes is a much talked about gifting and celebration occassion. 


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.


Grapes included in this wine are Ugni-Blanc, Colombard, Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Folle Blanche and Sauvignon.

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!



White Lotus Paste with Double Yolk (Baked) with 2014 Domaine de Pellehaut L'Escoubasso 

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.




The love-it-or-hate-it "Wu Ren"has this extreme nuttiness in this edition. The white lotus paste is wrapped with Walnuts, Almonds, Olive seeds and more! Nut Lovers, you will just go insane with this and it comes with a little tangerine twist to it.

To match such nutiness, we could only try it with Sherry or Port. To make things more interesting, we decided to use a port that is readily available to all who travel (yes! you can get this at airports!). Matching this mooncake with the subtle oakwood, butterscotch and chocolatiness of the port was simple yummy!

Honestly, the Wu Ren is so powerful that only such powerful nutty alcohol can match up. Don't bother eating any other mooncakes unless its Durian mooncakes after you try this, or at least wait about 1 hour.





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:

Paradise Group
https://www.paradisegroup.com.sg/about-us/


Befitting the vast land that it hails from, Chinese cuisine is broad in variety. Coupled with the exodus of the Chinese people to distant lands and assimilation with local culture, this variety has grown even more. But no matter how it changes through the course of history, Chinese cuisine in the right hands still tastes like heaven on earth.

As the hands that rule the wok in our restaurants, preserving such heavenly tastes is the Paradise Group commitment. We want to be an international diners’ paradise for Oriental cuisine – one where gourmet menus meet with good value and tradition meet with innovation.

With this vision, today we celebrate the many flavours of Chinese cuisine with ten distinct restaurant concepts, with over thirty restaurants islandwide, revolutionary in their arena. To maintain the excellence in what we give to our customers, we believe in always improving, enhancing and creating to give exceptional value in every of our restaurant concepts for the ultimate in experiential enjoyment.

Aiming at a sensorial experience, every of our brand immerses the diner in an atmosphere that captures the many interesting points of Chinese culture. From the majestic backdrop of a dynastic era to the infectious charm of a traditional inn, Paradise brand elevates appreciation of Chinese culture, primarily through its dishes.
Besides offering diners with a whole array of restaurant choices, the Paradise Group decided to pool all of this together by offering the best of their culinary offerings as ONE with the introduction of our catering business called One Paradise.




Missing Piece

Finding underrated wines is more than just a past time for owners, Calvin and Holly. After moving back from France, they began to introduce wines from lesser known appellations and countries into Singapore. Even though it started off as sharing new and exciting wines with friends around them, their wines of Domaine de Pellehaut from Côte de Gascogne has now found its way onto the menus of restaurants and bars around Singapore. 

Missing Piece also carries Armagnac, and wines from Corbieres, Languedoc Roussillon.

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