Wine for a cause | Maovember dinner at TRB Hutong

Posting has been light of late as November means Maovember and our annual charity campaign, one that combines fun activities such as beer pong, corn toss tournaments and the annual Dog Pub Crawl with food and drink deals, all to support Library Project and its mission to set up reading rooms in at-need rural Chinese schools.

This year, several restaurants generously donated tables for our mission, the first being the much-loved TRB Hutong. In addition to TRB’s menu of seven courses, each with a wine pairing, I brought over 11 Chinese wines, including some unique ones I’ve been saving.

The menu from TRB Hutong was top-notch, with my favorite dishes being the tender seared foie gras, its richness smartly balanced against a fun mix of ingredients, and the succulent wagyu beef paired with Australian Shiraz and Chinese Shiraz and Tempranillo.

I tried my best to pair the Chinese wines, matching grape varieties where possible. For whites, that meant Treaty Port Muscat from Shandong, Kanaan Riesling from Ningxia, and, one of my favorites of the night, Nine Peaks ‘Qi’ Chardonnay, also from Shandong.

We matched the first course, a caviar-based one, with Grace Vineyard ‘Angelina’ Sparkling 2012, a crowd-pleaser with all those toasty nutty aromas.

For reds, we tried ‘Interval’, a new Shiraz from Grace Vineyard’s Ningxia winery and Shi Bai Pian Tempranillo from Hebei with that wagyu beef.

And to wrap things up, Cailonglin Vidal Icewine 2013 from Liaoning for dessert, one of the best sweet wines made in China.

Before we started eating, we did a mini tasting of four red wines: three won medals at the 2015-2017 Ningxia Winemakers Challenge. I’ve been saving that trio and it was fun to try them nearly three years after the contest finished to find all were fresh and special–and delicious–in their own ways.

The fourth was Grace Marselan 2017, as our guests included two people from Jing-A Brewing, which is making a Marselan beer with fruit from Grace — look for an event featuring both beer and wine in a few weeks as well as two upcoming Maovember fundraising meals with Grace. And more details on the wines we tasted at TRB Hutong. It’s been a busy busy month but I’ll catch up sooner or later!

Thanks again to Ignace Lecleir and the TRB Hutong team, especially as we were the last table to leave and slightly tipsy. His support of Maovember is very much appreciated.

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