Friday, May 18, 2012

Mixed Cultures

There was an evening of 'mixed culture' recently and it was delicious.  Dinner, pictured above, was twice cooked duck, a somewhat spicy mixture that was paired with a 2007 Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett. 

This was the second bottle of this wine that I drank recently.  You can read about the first bottle here.

The duck was legs and thighs that were seasoned with salt, pepper and five spice powder, then tossed in a pot with some water, onions and ginger and simmered until just done. Once they were cool I separated the meat and tossed the bones away.  I saved the broth.

Finally the duck pieces were stir fried until crispy, then in went the peppers, julienned ginger, garlic and cumin seed.    Next in was some of the duck stock and a spicy mixture of rice wine, soy sauce, spicy black bean paste, brown sugar, sesame oil and orange zest.  Next in was some cornstarch dissolved in a bit of water.  When everything was done the greens went in for just a few seconds before serving.  The greens in this case were pea shoots, leaves and tendrils.

The flavors were dramatic - spicy, sweet, and earthy at the same time.  There was a fairly good kick of heat from both the bean paste and the peppers.

The wine was virtually perfect with these flavors.  The heat in the dish and the slight sweetness in the wine were made for each other.  They were better together than each of them was by itself.  The wine was like taking a drink from a crisp mountain stream - totally refreshing and rejuvenating.  It's a wine and food I will have together again.

The original recipe for the duck was from the New York Times and can be found here.

9% alcohol and $14.  A terrific price on this wine.

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