'The Perfect Match', South China Morning Post, 28th June 2007, C7
I enjoy reading Simon Tam's wine and food matching recommendations in the South China Morning Post every Thursday. Each week Tam choices a different (and often seasonal) dish and reviews three wines to match. What impresses me most is that he focuses on picking wines that emphasis the different flavour elements within specific dishes.
This week's dish was the "classic British fry-up" to which Tam matched three different beverages. His selections were: 1} Belvedere Vodka for a Bloody Mary ($280) - good call; a favourite drink of mine; 2} Guinness ($12) - not something I would have thought of, but hey it could defiantly work; and 3} Krug Grand Cuvee Champagne ($1398) - yes a $1400 bottle of champagne! Is he serious? If someone else was paying for it no doubt Krug would go well with any breakfast whether it's crumpets with jam, yum cha, eggs Benedict or Fruit Loops. Yet who in there right-mind would spend this type of cash for a drink to have with bacon and eggs? There a plenty of interesting sparkling wines available for a tenth of the price and plenty of food that is better suited to complementing the Krug. Why isn't Tam recommending something that is both accessible and realistic?
Looking back at his recommendations for the previous couple of weeks I'm even more confused. Last week's (21/6) recommendations were to accompany apple crumble and vanilla ice-cream; Tam selected: 1} Veuve Clicquot Rich Reserve 1999 ($609); 2} Chateau Guiraud Sauternes 2001 ($835); and 3} Dow's 10 Year-old Tawny Port ($265). The previous week (14/6) leading up to Dragon Boat festival Tam discussed 'joong' rice dumplings and suggested 1} Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2004 ($398); 2} Penfolds Grange Shiraz 2001 ($5980); and 3} Veuve Clicquot Rich Reserve 1999 ($620). The wines Tam has suggested over the last three weeks have an average price of $1443 a bottle and even without the Grange an average of $687 (remember these are wines to accompany a fried breakfast, a snack and a dessert). I certainly have no problem reading about top end wines, but if one is recommending wine to match with food why isn't Tam offering some affordable options?