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Knights of the Vine RUSSIA


Asian Fusion Match

This month we ventured back to Asia to re-review the wines that go with these popular foods, although Asian food and good wines are difficult to marry. The range of tastes and aromas of Asian food overpower some wines and spar with others. Our setting was Nabi, the hot new Asian fusion restaurant and the subject of this months restaurant review. Though the food selection is not large at Nabi, it is broad, covering Japanese, Thai, Indian and others.

Our wines this month were selected by Dmitry Pinski of DP Trade, the owner of some of the better wine boutiques in Moscow such as Decanter, Magnum and Vinum. For this tasting, expensive wines were neither necessary nor desirable; the tannins of a heavy red or an oaky white dont work well with Asian. For Asian food, its easier to work with white wines such as the traditional spicy food match, Gewurztraminer, or a floral or fruity light Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. A light frizzy wine works well with dishes such as fried rice or noodles.

Ambassador Tai, Yulia Evdokimova and John Ortega


In this tasting, our selection of countries was as broad as Nabis menu. We included a number of firsts for the Passport wine series, including two roses, and a wine from Slovakia and another from Israel. We also changed our method by having small servings of various Nabi dishes matched with each wine.

At the last minute, our long time wine companion, Julia Evdikimova, showed up with a few additional wines for us to add to the tasting. Though they were not on our rating sheets, several of our team gave them very high marks; a 5 from practically everyone. These were Australian: Shiraz Prestige 1999 ($86/2285r) from Haan of Barossa Valley and Grand Merlot ($124/3310r) from James Irvine from Eden Valley.

Dmitry Pinsky provided us with his own commentary on each of the wines on our list. His words provide a great primer for those looking to select a wine for an Asian meal. With most wines, we also had a Nabi food match to match.

White Wines

Dopffau Moulin, Gewurztraminer de Riquewihr (Alsace, France) 2003
Fruity aromatic Gewurztraminers proved a good match with the Asian food.
Wasabi Shrimp fantastic, this is Nabis best!

Domaine Clarence Dillon, Clarendele Blanc (Bordeaux, France) 2004
A classical white Bordeaux mixture of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. A nice elegant wine to accompany hot Asian food.
Scallops Teriyaki.

Nicolas Joly , Savennieres Le Vieux Clos (Loire, France) 2004
A Chenin Blanc from the Chief of the Tribe of bio-dynamic winemakers. A perfect match with Asian food. The wine improves in an open bottle for three to four days thus making it an ideal pouring wine for restaurants.
Chicken Teriyaki.

Pascal Jolivet, Attitude Sauvignon Blanc (Loire, France) 2005
A varietal wine from the Loire Valley. Its acidity is lighter than in the usual wines of the region, while minerality is attractively high.
Dim Sum with Crab.

Egon Muller, Chateau Bela Riesling (Slovakia) 2003
A Slovakian Riesling from the No.1 German winemaker Egon Muller. Acidic enough, slightly sweet, very balanced as if specially mastered for Asian food.

Masciarelli, Villa Gemma Bianco (Abruzzo, Italy ) 2005
A white blend of local grape varieties from the best winemaker of Abruzzo Masciarelli.



Rose Wines

Domaine Clarence Dillon, Clarendelle Rose (Bordeaux, France) 2005
An attempt to make a Claret wine, popular in former times in Bordeaux. With intense color and a mild palette. Will not spoil a spicy food.
Peking Duck.

Chateau la Tour de lEveque, Petal de Rose (Provence, France) 2005
A famous rose wine from Provence, widely available in top restaurants of the region. A good match with Asian food, as will most of the rose wines.
Seafood in Soya Sauce.


Red Wines

Domaine Clarence Dillon, Clarendelle Rouge (Bordeaux, France) 2003
A red, light-bodied Bordeaux, made with care. Not tannic which helps it to go along with spicy food.
Black Cod in Soya-Honey Sauce

Rene Rostaing, Les Lezar ds Rouge (Rhone, France) 2002
A Syrah from one of the top winemakers of the region. Fruity and elegant. Fantastic with Asian specialties.
Marbled Beef

Golan Heigh ts Winery, Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon (Israel) 2002
An exotic Cabernet Sauvignon from Israel with enough character to survive any exotic food.

My favorite of the whites was the Chenin Blanc from Nicolas Joly of the Loire who produces exclusively biodynamic wines. Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic, natural approach, first promoted by Rudolph Steiner in the 1920s. I am partial to such organic ventures. From the reds, I liked the Syrah from Rene Rostaing, but then again, Syrah is my favorite red grape, whether you call it Syrah or Shiraz.



John Ortega, Publisher, Passport Magazine
Charles Borden, Director, Meridian Capital
Jan Herre, General Manager, Zara Russia
Michael Tay, Ambassador of Singapore accompanied by his wife
Meena Mylvaganam Tay, Editor of book on Asian foods wine matching
Dmitri Pinski, Owner, DP Trade
Ryan Chilcote, Correspondent, CNN Moscow, and wife Nadya
Arian Alikhani, President, Lensmaster
Jeff Combs, President, NCI
Julia Evdokimova, Palais Royal
Dan Vigdor, President, AutoLocator

Ortega Easy Rating System
I love this wine! 5 pts.
I really like this wine! 4 pts.
This wine is good! 3 pts.
This wine is not that good! 2 pts.
I dont really care for this wine! 1 pt.

DP Trade

Dmitry Pinski, owner of DP Trade, an importer of fine wines and exclusive representative of Riedel glassware, selected and provided the wines for this wine tasting. DP Trade has a number of fine wine boutiques in Moscow:

Ul. Bolshaya Polyanka 30,
Tel: 238-3808

Ul. Varvarka 3,
Tel.: 298-0570

Kutuzovski Prospekt 24,
Tel.: 937-6515

Ul. Plyuschika 20,
Tel.: 775-06-74, 970-1697

Prechetinka 40/2,
Tel.: 775-2305

Producer , Wine , Region
White Wines
Dopffau Moulin, Gewurztraminer de Riquewihr (Alsace, France) 2003 1614 61.5 3.3
Domaine Clarence Dillon, Clarendelle Blanc (Bordeaux, France) 2004 1771 67.5 3.4
Nicolas Joly, Savennieres Le Vieux Clos (Loire, France) 2004 1929 73.5 3.5
Pascal Jolivet, Attitude Sauvignon Blanc (Loire, France) 2005 1181 45 3.4
Egon Muller, Chateau Bela Riesling (Slovakia) 2003 1614 61.5 3.1
Masciarelli, Villa Gemma Bianco (Abruzzo, Italy) 2005 1417 54 3.8
Rose Wines
Domaine Clarence Dillon, Clarendelle Rose (Bordeaux, France) 2005 1771 67.5 3.2
Chateau la Tour de lEveque, Petal de Rose (Provence, France) 2005 1338 51 3.1
Red Wines
Domaine Clarence Dillon, Clarendelle Rouge (Bordeaux, France) 2003 1771 67.5 3.5
Rene Rostaing, Les Lezards Rouge (Rhone, France) 2002 1535 58.5 3.3
Golan Heights Winery, Gamla Cabernet Sauvignon (Israel) 2002 1692 64,5 2,7

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