Smaller restaurants, BYOB hold an untold bounty of fine wine
By Stephen Quinn,Special to The China PostSome of the most pleasant wine discoveries can be found on the lists of small suburban restaurants, or are the result of drinks supplied by friends at bring-your-own meals.
September 6, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Such was the case at an Italian restaurant I encountered on arrival in London's Finsbury Park, and a Vietnamese noodle shop in Hong Kong just before I left that city for London.
The Italian restaurant, which opened a month ago, is called Osteria Tufo. The food there is excellent and the owners have chosen a simple wine menu that focuses on lesser-known parts of Italy.
The noodle shop is known as Madame C in Wanchai in Hong Kong. It is not licensed but happy for regular customers to bring bottles.
Though several thousand kilometers apart, the restaurants share their family-owned origins and an appreciation of the need to focus on good service as well as food.
German white wines pair superbly with spicy Asian food, and are much more appropriate than heavy Bordeaux-style reds. A brace of German delights joined us for the noodle lunch in Wanchai.
The 2011 Schafer-Frohlich Felseneck riesling was a delightful combination with lightly fried food like spring rolls. It was a spatlese style, meaning it brims with bright acidity and sweet fruit.
This wine represents an example of winemaker Tim Frohlich's magic touch. Its structure is majestic, and it exudes a feeling of precision and clarity. His wines are so refined they could almost be described as chiseled.
The low alcohol, at 7.5 per cent, means two people can drink an entire bottle and not feel sleepy after lunch. Indeed, this wine was so lovely that my companion, Ali Nicol of WineTimesHK, and I decided we should have more wine to accompany out pho (Vietnamese noodles to the uninitiated).