Dare to Pair: Hoisin Chicken (Or, The Impromptu Party)
Nothing screams dare to pair like my lovely roommate Jen saying, “Hey Laura, you got any ideas for that chicken I thawed out?” with a sly look in her eye and a few friends in tow.
Enter impromptu dinner parties, and the daring wine pairing sessions which center around random contents of our fridge.
Last night yielded chicken breasts, hoisin sauce, a smattering of brightly colored veggies and some whole wheat soba noodles. Hello Hoisin Lo-Mein.
I love a challenge, but armed with only $9 Vouvray (read: Chenin Blanc from northern France) or Trader Joe’s Pinot Grigio (read: questionable if you aren’t on your third bottle) this was certainly daring.
This light straw-colored wine was labelled demi-sec, meaning “half sweet,” and it had sugar on the nose and across the palate. Like Jen’s question, the sweetness came with an ulterior motive–adding oomph and body to ripe green apple and crisp pear flavors. For $9, I thought it was great–the sweetness didn’t dominate the flavors, and there were nice hints of minerality, keeping the juice was fresh from the first sip on.
As far as the pairing, the dining panel (Ahem, Jen and Zoe) agreed that a wine with less dominant fruit flavors would have been better, since La Forcine’s fruitiness hid some of the pluminess of the Hoisin-soaked chicken. Though for a surprise dinner party, the duo was delightful.