The history of mooncakes can be dated all the way back to 12th Century B.C when the Han Chinese was under the Mongol rule. During those times, mooncakes served as a communication tool for the rebels that are against the Mongolians. But things are all different now, because in this day and age, mooncakes serve a social and communal purpose, with lots of modern flavours infused into them for sharing or gifting. It is now the most sought-after pastry during the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival.
Mooncakes are always savoured with traditional Chinese teas to balance its sweetness. We are unsure who is the one that set this rule but we would like to go against it, and pair them with wines instead! Wines made with fermented grapes were readily available in China during the olden days. Marco Polo had noted that the Chinese made fine grape wines during their servitude to Kublai Khan.
It is also Interesting to note that wine in China had a long history. Archaeologists discovered that the usage of grapes during the winemaking process dates all the way back to 7000 B.C while grape wine became popular during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907 AD).
The wines of today taste very different from yesteryear. Sommeliers over the world study wines and pairings, which brings out the essence of both the dish and the wine. These pairings are specially curated by UrbanFindr’s resident Sommelier, Zachery Tay, judge for Decanter Asia Wine Awards since 2017, and available for Wine Delivery to complete your mooncake musings!
Red Bean Paste with Salted Egg
1000 Stories Zinfandel 2018 (VCT)
Square off the salted egg component with a rich earthy red chockfull of tea leaves, candied red currants and summer cherries.
Lotus seed paste can get rather cloying with every bite. Therefore, the bright acidity in this Mosel Riesling lifts the cloying sensation whilst highlighting the floral and nutty aromas of the lotus seeds.
Lotus Seed with Salted Egg
Pierro Chardonnay 2018 (Hai Choo)
The salted yolks in the mooncake does a great job of reigning in the cloying nature of the lotus seed paste. Great to compliment it with a splash of citrus and tropical fruits and a dash of creaminess from this lovely oaked Chardonnay from Pierro.
Five Kernels with Roast Pork
Antica Terra “Coriolis” Pinot Noir 2014 (TOT)
One of the best pinot noirs from Oregon region. This wine pairs beautifully with the rich, savoury flavour profile of the mooncake. Expect a flavour burst when you mix the two together!
This is a fun pairing where you can either contrast the rich chocolatey flavours with a full bodied and bold red from Portugal. Think lots of ripe plums and cherries with the raisiny, nutty and equally rich flavours from a Pedro Ximinez or Toro Albalá. They are is one of the best producers of Pedro Ximinez in the south of Spain.
Concha y Toro, Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc
Green Tea mooncakes are rich, intense and cloying at times. Here we have, a late harvest with a firm acid backbone from one of Chile’s iconic wine producers.
Cullen Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2017 375ml
Yes, durians can definitely go with wine but you will need something powerful to make it work. A viscous late harvest with lots of acidity ensures your palette remains fresh for another durian mooncake, or 3.
Looking for more? Here is an article we think you might like: Exquisite Mooncakes So Beautiful, They Are Perfect For Gifting