How to perfectly pair a Korean dish with Bordeaux wines
October 26, 2017

How to perfectly pair a Korean dish with Bordeaux wines

Korean food is perhaps best known for fiery heat and the funk of fermentation, but it is a deeply varied cuisine that encompasses a wide range of delicious specialties, from naengmyeon to sundubu-jigae. The national dish could be said to be kimchi, usually made from Napa cabbage that has been fermented in a brine of chilli peppers, ginger, garlic, scallions, and salted seafood. It is certainly an acquired taste, but those who acquire it just can’t imagine their diet without Korean delicacies.

Bibimbap is one of the best known Korean staples and is widely appreciated around the world. Although it likely arose from a utilitarian need to get rid of leftover food before the New Year, bibimbap is a much-loved and particularly well-balanced dish that incorporates starch (rice), protein (usually beef and egg), and vegetables – all together in a single bowl.

Not only is bibimbap delicious, it also happens to be quick and easy to prepare. Start with marinating a small amount of ground or chopped raw beef in soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and garlic. Then boil water for a pot of rice. Leave the beef to marinate and the rice to cook while you”re preparing the rest of the dish.

You’ll want an assortment of julienned vegetables for your bibimbap: cucumber, zucchini, spinach, mushrooms, bean sprouts, and of course kimchi – all work well here. Once your vegetables are ready, quickly sear the marinated beef over high heat. Topping off your dish with an (ideally runny) egg is optional, however adding it would be an authentic way to serve a bibimbap. Regardless of your choice of proteins, set each ingredient separately on top of a bowl of rice, douse with gochujang – fermented Korean pepper paste that is simultaneously spicy and sweet – and then mix everything together before eating.

For an ideal wine pairing, we suggest a Cremant de Bordeaux, such as Les Cordeliers Brut. Refreshing and effervescent, these sparkling Bordeaux wines exhibit creamy mousse and a touch of softness on the finish that provide a nice compliment to this spicy but well-balanced dish. Alternatively, try pairing your bibimbap with a dry white Bordeaux such as Chateau des Perligues Graves Blanc or Chateau Thieuley Bordeaux Blanc. These dry whites are crisp and refreshing, with lots of juicy citrus and stone fruit flavours to contrast with the spicy kick of the gochujang. Whichever wine you end up choosing, we hope you enjoy your Korean food with Bordeaux wine!


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