If historic recreations are not your thing, than another great way to celebrate Christmas this year is savoring Shanghai cooking with the increasing number of quality Chinese-made wines.
A properly prepared Shanghai-themed Christmas dinner is sure to please even the most discerning of Chinese and Western epicureans. The abundance of heavy and flavorful dishes in Shanghai cuisine makes this style of cooking perfect for the cold weather during Christmas holiday and there are a plethora of synergistic dish and wine pairings to work magic on your palate.
Classic cold starters like salted chicken and cooked seafood favorites like stir-fried baby river shrimp, steamed reeves shad and stir-fried river eels in brown sauce are lovely companions to what is perhaps the best Chinese white wine, the Symphony Muscat.
This dry Muscat white wine is a joint venture between the Spanish company Torres and Grace Vineyard in central China's Shanxi Province and offers bountiful yellow fruit and floral qualities with firm acidic backbone that's perfect for the salted chicken and seafood.
Taya's Reserve Chardonnay, also from Grace Vineyard, would be another nice Chinese-inspired choice.
When the classic Shanghai meat dishes like stewed pork in red sauce and lion's head meat balls appear on the table, it's time to serve red wines.
Some of my favorite Chinese red wines are Grace Vineyard's Tasya's Reserve Cabernet Franc, a hearty red with slightly herbaceous notes, and Chairman's Reserve, a Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc blend with rich dark fruit flavors and soft tannins.
Silver Heights is another top domestic producer. On the eastern slopes of Mount Helan in the Ningxa Hui Autonomous Region, the vineyards of Silver Heights are located at an altitude of 1,200 meters, providing a beneficial combination of bright sunny days and cool evenings during the growing season.
The Family Reserve and The Summit are both Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Gernischt and Cabernet Franc blends from Silver Heights that feature good concentration, structure and persistence.
All four of the aforementioned Chinese red wines are excellent examples of the potential of China to make very good wines.
They, along with the two whites from Grace Vineyard, are also the perfect wines to serve at your Shanghainese feast this Christmas Eve or Day.