"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance." Wise words from Benjamin Franklin, and quite appropriate for a city like Hong Kong where everything seems so rushed you can barely take a breath.
From now until 14 July, Shore has decided to pull us away from the daily grind of work and life and into the vast world of wine. Last year, they held The Great Steak Debate and now they're introducing The Great Grape Debate in June and July.
Every two weeks, a new debate involving two wine types will be introduced where diners can blind taste test six different wines matched to their three-course meals for just HK$698.
Think of it as a test for your nose and tastebuds, or simply a fun evening of guessing games, banter and learning. Interested? Check out the schedule below:
- Debate 1: 4-16 June - Sauvignon Blanc & Pinot Noir
- Debate 2: 18-30 June - Riesling & Cabernet Sauvignon
- Debate 3: 2-14 July - Chardonnay & Shiraz/Syrah
GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a dinner for two to The Great Grape Debate at Shore! Find out how on on the bottom of the page.
Atmosphere: Imagine walking into a dimly-lit, intimate space for dinner, away from all the congestion of Central. The Shore Group's friendly sommelier, Alexandre Loisel places three glasses of wine in front of you on top of a special tasting place mat for you to mark down your thoughts about the wine as you go. Unmarked bottles, carefully chosen to match the signature dishes of Shore, are opened, ready for you to taste. Let the debate begin!
Food and drink: The first course for our debate was paired with three Sauvignon Blanc wines. From left to right, we started with confit tomatoes gently arranged with goats cheese foam on a brioche base topped with almond crumble.
In the centre, self-contained within a delicate rounded glass, sat the raw salmon poke with diced spring onions and peppered with toasted sesame seeds, which melted beautifully with each bite. Finally, a delightfully crispy lump crab cake lay on a sauce gribiche, decorated with a citrus salad, giving it just the right amount of tang.
For more about wine pairing, see our complete Flavours of Asia wine pairing series featuring all kinds of Asian cuisines.
We followed up with the red variety in the form of Pinot Noir. A Petuna Farms ocean trout covered in a parsley-gritted crust atop a bed of braised leek, where each fatty mouthful was a sound-inducing 'mmm'.
Next to it was a poached Hazeldene Farms chicken breast drizzled with morel mushroom red wine sauce and the evenly sliced confit pork belly resting on a generous arrangement of fennel-apple slaw.
We were slightly disappointed with the chicken, which wasn't as spectacular in comparison with the other dishes but the pork belly was an absolutely divine, a flavourful mouthful of fall away meat.
For dessert, there is an option of paying an additional HK$98 for a matching dessert or fortified wine selection, which quite frankly, only accentuates the beautiful flavours and will not disappoint.
The tart was a crisp golden pastry filled with juicy prunes and layered with almonds slivers, as if Christmas had come early, while the comte with slices of fresh pear only whet our appetite for some cheese and crackers.
Love cheese? Learn more about the cheese making process and the best time to eat it from Romain Jourdan of Classified.
Our favourite however, was the scoop of dark chocolate ice-cream sitting on top of the coffee 'soil', a rich base of chocolate biscuit. A simple combination but when paired with the fruit-sweet dessert wine, brought out the underlying sweetness of the chocolate.
Verdict: There's no doubt that Shore has made it's mark on the Hong Kong dining scene with its popular space and top-quality food offerings, especially their dry-aged steak.
With the launch of The Great Grape Debate, this is the perfect opportunity to learn more about wine pairing while enjoying a good night out with your friends.
Win a dinner for two to The Great Grape Debate at Shore! Here's how:
- Email email@example.com with your name and phone number.
- Tell us "What do you like pairing wine with most?" in the comments section below -- don't forget to tag @Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.
- The winner with the most popular comment will be contacted on Friday, 22 June 2012. Good luck!
It's all about travel, photography and food in Andy Yeo's life and his monthly credit card bills lie testament to this. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Australia, Andy has returned to his hometown to capture the best that Asia has to offer. What good are weekends if not for short trips overseas to get your taste buds excited and memories well documented? His philosophy is to try everything at least once especially when it comes to food, after all, life's too short to say no! Read more at www.misteryeo.com.