A BIT OF GRAPES & HOPS FOR OCTOBER

Bélingard Bergerac Blanc Sec
Apologies to people who think all wine should be red. I want to review one more white before summer heat gives way to the cooler autumn. And this one’s a corker. Bergerac is just East of Bordeaux, and their white wines tend to be very Bordeaux-ish, but a little less austere, thanks to the addition of the magnanimous Muscadelle grape. The Bélingard, still a definite dry, is transformed by the honeydew melon fruitiness. So it’s not bone-dry like a Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc or even straw-dry like a Sauvignon Semillon mix. It definitely won’t go sour on you like a pure Sauvignon if you decide to share a bottle or two with a friend after hours. It’s nicely—and traditionally—packaged, too, so it’s a good one to bring to a dinner party if you want to enlighten your “red only” Chinese friends to the delights of a good French white. Chill it down first, though, and make sure you’ve got something light and non-spicy to accompany it. Prawns, boiled chicken—yay. Fatty pork, deep-fried in pork fat—not so much.

Available at Liquortown (298 RMB) or Aficionado (148 RMB)

 
Franziskaner Weissbier (Naturtrüb) Premium Hefeweissbier
Let’s go ghetto for this month’s beer. Among the many dodgy-looking wheat beers available in Dongguan, this is one of the more ubiquitous, and one of the better ones, as well. You can get it at your local convenience store in a scruffy-looking, half-liter can and drink it at the plastic table outside, like the temporarily embarrassed millionaire that you are. High-carbonation (I’m guessing at least 12 PSI) and a squeaky-clean taste, despite the residual sweetness you get with (almost) any wheat beer, make it refreshing and more-ish. At a modest, but adequate 5% and about nine yuan per can, that’s a good thing. Goes well with: barbecued meat, lazy afternoons, loud conversations and cheap cigarettes.

Available at disreputable corner shops all over Dongguan for about 9 RMB / 500ml can.