Max Coane spent the last 13 years as a record producer and songwriter, drinking wine in his spare time. But while traveling through France he had a revelation: wine was his passion. Since then he's spent two years as the head sommelier at Saison, a three-time Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco. At his favorite BYOB restaurant, he demonstrated versatility of Bordeaux wines.
Yank Sing has been a San Francisco institution since 1958, and when I first moved here the Sunday, day-off dim sum brunch quickly became an important part of maintaining my sanity. After a busy week you need a little personal time. Some people play golf, others run marathons; I eat dim sum.
Needing to keep my blood soy sauce level high, I headed over to Yank Sing for some dim sum and brought along a bottle of Château Haut-Bergey 2010.
Located in Pessac Leognan, Château Haut-Bergey has a long history dating back to the 15th century. Usually clocking in around 80 percent Sémillon and 20 percent Sauvignon Blanc, the wines are vinified in oak and aged for 12 months in about 30 percent new wood.
To me, a great Bordeaux Blanc combines fresh fruit and acidity with its classic grassiness, which makes it perfect for the complex flavors of dim sum. The Haut-Bergey delivers in spades with notes of grapefruit, oak, and a slight oiliness that lends itself well to pairing with pork soup dumplings.
When ordering dim sum I stick with my usual suspects, har gow and xiaolongbao. Rice noodles with pork, shrimp and chive dumplings always work their way into these meals, too, as well as the requisite pot of oolong tea.
We tasted the Haut-Bergey 2010 with a number of dishes, but there was a clear winner: xiaolongbao. The tender dumpling skin explodes with porcine broth, and it's all set off by that acid trip, vivid, red vinegar laced with ginger. Not something one might think to pair with a white Bordeaux.
The crispness of the Haut-Bergey takes the broth and vinegar interplay into overdrive, finishing long and clean but with a deep, porky goodness.
Bordeaux Blanc isn't just for oysters and asparagus anymore.
Chateau Haut-Bergey Blanc 2010
Blend: 80 percent Sémillon, 20 percent Sauvignon Blanc
Tasting notes: Notes of grapefruit and oak with a slight oiliness.