The Chinese Year of the Pig is here, with an estimated one in six people across the world welcoming in the new year according to the lunar calendar.
Whisky is obviously a traditional part of Scotland’s own Hogmanay celebrations – but what should we be raising in our glasses to toast the Year of the Pig?
We asked the Society’s experts from our branches in both Shanghai and Hong Kong what they would suggest – here’s what they had to say:
Zheng Ke, SMWS Shanghai
“Smoked fish with honeydew dressing can be paired with whisky from our Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits flavour profile. With crispy skin and sweet sauce, smoked fish goes on well with a sweet and full-bodied whisky.
Pickled food such as pig’s tongue or pork stomach is popular among Chinese, with the pork braised with soy sauce and spice such as anise and cinnamon. Most of the dishes are salty and savoury, so to balance with the food, I’d recommend a whisky that’s sweet but won’t overwhelm the food’s savoury profile – go for Spicy & Sweet or Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits.
Dried fish and meat works well with any whisky from our Peated flavour profile. The powerful flavours of the peated whisky stands up well to the intensity of the dried fish and meat.”
Kelvin Tam, SMWS Hong Kong
“Peking Duck is one of the most typical Chinese dishes and is popular all over the world. It also pairs quie well with many different styles of whiskies. For example, a refreshing dram from our Juicy, Oak & Vanilla flavour profile contrasts the oily fatty duck, making it lighter.
More robust whiskies from our Oily & Coastal flavour profile can also work in harmony with the duck, with the dram and the dish enhancing each other to give full, rounded satisfaction.
“Dim sum is another typical Cantonese Chinese food, our equivalent of tapas or an antipasto. These typically pair well with whiskies from our Light & Delicate flavour profile.
The good thing about whisky pairing with food is the versatility of whisky – you seldom come across bad matches. That means you can easily use two or three different whiskies in a typical nine-course Chinese banquet, without having to worry about what goes with what.”
Get in the mood for Chinese Year of the Pig at our Members’ Rooms in Edinburgh, with a special promotion at 28 Queen Street from Tuesday, 5 February until the end of the week, with Chinese dumplings special and Chinese beer for £10.95.
At The Vaults there will also be a Chinese food special from Tuesday, 5 February until the end of the week.
Xīn Nián Kuài Lè!