Wine in Vietnam !!??? …. what, where, how ?
Colour: cherry red with hints of salmon hue
Aroma: red fruits, hints of grass (herbaceous notes) with some sweet spices
Palate: off dry red fruit nuances, pleasant and has an extremely short finish
Further research into this confirms that table grapes are used but the region does have some other fruits like mulberry as well. Apparently Vang Dalat also produces a peach cooler which tastes like Champagne (interesting!).
I tasted this wine 3 years ago while hosting our first ‘house warming’ here … albeit our stay was only for 6 months. It was a Wintry evening affair, so my local shopping for wine made me pick this wine, which we were all too eager to taste ….. it troned among the proud French, Australian and Chilean wines. Its first taste hit me with surprise ! I was waiting for an almost medicinal chinese wine sort of taste. Lo ! instead it was a tangy fresh explosion of berries with a sweet honey tinge and lingering warmth. Just what I wanted to feel on that cold night.
And it grew on me … us.
What better legacy the French could have left apart from the wonderful architecture and the baguette … and yes the 12 accents of Modern Vietnamese writing !
Vietnam’s hill resort of Dalat is a horticultural wonderland. The cool tropical microclimate endows its market with the best of both worlds: tropical fruits from the lower hillsides combined with more European fare from the cooler climes. Fresh strawberries sit alongside avocadoes, artichokes, beetroot and dragonfruit; with vendors keen to foist strawberry jam, cashews and the grim local grape wine upon me. Where local markets tend to be the feature that orient me in any town, Dalat’s apparent lack of clear equatorial seasonality is bewildering.
Next time on the rice wine …. rocket fuel as Anthony Bourdain calls it !