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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eat Fast/ Drink Cheap (Aka my write up for BigMacs and Merlot)

So Staci (aka @girljournalist) has started a blog called BigMacs and Merlot, in which she pairs fast food with cheap wine. Cheap being the price, not that it's bad wine, just very affordable wine.  While Staci was visiting Shanghai she thought it would be a good idea for all of us (Jay, Bob, Staci and me) to try out one of the fast food places and pick up some wine to go with it...and so we did.


The wine was purchased at a little store called "La Vie En Rose," in the little strip mall/food court area of our office in Shanghai.  They had a nice selection of wines ranging from 40RMB (about $8USD) in a small bottle to 650RMB (about $98USD).  Because it was lunch time and we didn't want to get wasted on wine and then go back to work we purchased two small bottles of a Chilean Pinot Noir, made in 2008 in Bio Bio Valley, by Porta.

The bottles were really cute and each bottle was 40RMB.   There's nothing classier than four Americans in a Chinese fast food restaurant in China, at lunch time, enjoying tiny bottles of wine with their lunch.  Classy.


Our fast food choice is a place that both Bob and Jay love.  I ate there once and thought I'd never go back because I thought it was less than satisfactory.  Anyway.....

We ate at Dong Fang Ji Bai, (in Chinese: 东方既白)(translated to English: East Dawning), which is a Chinese fast food chain owned by KFC.  They have a small variety of things ranging from breaded pork cutlets, to ramen, to curry dishes, and various other things.  Bob had the breaded pork cutlet with curry and I went with a noodle dish with shredded carrots, cucumber and other veggies in a tofu sauce of some sort.  We also had turnip cakes and pork dumplings.


I followed Staci's lead and opened the screw top bottle of tiny wine and took a whiff.  Smelled like wine, looked like wine, was likely wine.  The first sip was decent.  I'm not a wine expert by any means but I do know what I like and what I don't like. This wine was okay, I personally like things a little more fruity but this one was close enough to make me happy.  Unfortunately it did not pair well with my noodles dish.  The sauce for my dish had a lot of vinegar in it, and after I'd eaten some of the noodles the wine was really sour.  The turnip cakes were a better combo, although I think they actually dulled the flavor of the wine because they're so salty.  It seemed like I was drinking juice rather than wine because of the salt.  The pork dumplings were just bad, so there's no reason to even try to discuss their taste with the wine.  Don't order the pork dumplings, they're tasteless, bland and just blah.

Bob's review was: "I think that the curry overpowered the wine… it didn't really add anything but it didn't taste bad either."








Left to right: noodle dish, pork cutlet, turnip cup, and nasty pork dumplings don't get a photo because they were so bad.

I actually think the wine was pretty decent.  I would be willing to purchase it again and drink with even classier food, like Arby's.







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