Getting past labelling ‘critter’ labels – North Shore News

This past week, the Hired Belly took in the HSBC Chinese restaurant
awards. It was quite the gala affair, held at the River Rock Casino in
Richmond — widely acknowledged as the epicentre of the great Chinese
dining scene that we all enjoy.

If there’s one minor deficiency
that occasionally discourages heading out for Chinese food it can be a
lack of interesting wine selections. Although, to be fair, the notion
of food and wine is not indigenous to Chinese cuisine or culture.
However, this is changing — especially with the arrival on the scene
of edgy newcomers, such as Chinatown’s funky Bao Bei — picked as En
Route magazine’s second best new restaurant in Canada.

Among a
veritable ocean of awards, the brasserie was the recipient of the award
for service in food and wine — well deserved, and a great incentive
to others. The award is sponsored by long-established wine agent Select
Wines; and the wines they chose to pour at the reception were
excellent examples of flexible and affordable drops that makes sense
not only for a "starter" Chinese restaurant wine list but are also
welcome additions to any home wine rack or fridge.

As Select VP
Werner Schonberger likes to remind us, Dr. Loosen "Dr. L" Riesling ’09
is the biggest seller in its category in Western Canada, and with good
reason. This very fresh tasting, slightly off-dry, fruity and limey
citrus toned wine makes for an appealing sipper, or obliging partner
with gently spiced Asian plates or, say, lemon chicken or pork
dumplings. Think Edam and Gouda, too. A great "starter" Riesling if
you’ve never tried one before. BCLS $18.99

We’ve long been a fan
of the even more affordable Little Yering Pinot Noir ’08 (Yarra
Valley). It’s still likely the best Pinot deal around: light to medium
bodied but quite mouth-filling, with appealing cherry, strawberry and
savoury with a touch of oak. It’s also a slam dunk for the likes of
mushroom-filled tofu dumplings. BCLS $14.99 BCLS.

Read more: