Korean Cuisine and Pinot Grigio
Pinot grigio is generally thought of as a quick quaffer. Usually, not much thought goes into buying a pinot grigio, as it tends to be easygoing, light, have a lot of lemon on the palate and not much else. Most of us don't give it much thought as we enjoy a glass on a Friday after work in the pub.
In actual fact, there are many pinot grigio options out there for you to choose from. Originally from Italy, pinot grigio is now grown around the world and one place it has found a home is Chile. Most would pair pinot grigio with fish or seafood because of its light body and crispness but Casillero del Diablo’s pinot grigio has a bit more body and weight to it, much more than the average supermarket bought pinot grigio.
I happened to stumble upon this wine one Friday night at a Korean restaurant in Central London, of all places. My friend and I were wandering around Centrepoint, home to a string of Korean eateries and settled on Assa, which seemed to be the busiest of the restaurants that line St. Giles Street.
Korean food is quite spicy with lots of ginger and chilli, and the wine list was limited, so I was unsure that there would be a wine that worked with such intense flavours! Casillero del Diablo pinot grigio was the house white and as we didn't want beer, we opted to try it. I was with my Japanese friend Honami who knows a lot more about Korean cuisine then I do so she ordered.
We had traditional spicy kimchee – a dish made with vegetables and variety of seasonings, bi bim bap – mixed vegetables and rice with a spicy sauce, squid with chilli, a Korean version of gyoza and Korean spare ribs. All the dishes were quite heavily spiced and at first I wasn't sure if the pinot grigio would stand up to the spices and chilli, however the wine had some great ripe pear and citrus flavours on the palate. It was fresh and vibrant with a clean and fruity finish. I was really pleased with how well the wine paired with the spicy food. It was a great match!
All in all it was an evening of lovely surprises - we stumbled upon a great little Korean restaurant in the middle of London and a Chilean pinot grigio that was such a good partner for spicy, fiery food!
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