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Chinese New Year 2018 – Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Chinese New Year is all about good fortune, good health ~ and good eats. Here's a plate of Dim Sum to usher in all the best!

Chinese New Year is all about good fortune, good health ~ and good eats. Here’s a plate of Dim Sum – “Little Treasures” – to usher in all the best!

Welcome back, my friends! Gung Hay Fat Choy – Happy Chinese New Year!

Whether or not you’re Chinese – and even if you don’t believe in astrology of any sort – you probably know your Chinese Zodiac symbol.

Represented by animals (even a Dragon – along with Tiger, Monkey, Horse and other earthly critters), the symbols parade through time in cycles of 12.
 

Yes, you can enjoy wine with Chinese food! Just choose something fruity and fairly light, and go easy on the spicy sauces.

Yes, you can enjoy wine with Chinese food! Just look for something fruity and not too heavy, and go easy on the spicy sauces.

This is similar to Western astrology. The difference, of course, is that the Chinese Zodiac is divided into years, instead of months.

You also probably know that Chinese New Year doesn’t begin on January 1st (or on any other fixed date).

Instead, it’s timed according to the moon and sun. (Based on a “lunisolar calendar,” and starting on the second new moon after the December solstice, Chinese New Year can fall anywhere from January 21st to February 20th.)
 

I love shopping at 99 Ranch Market, which features an incredible array of pan-Asian groceries. I'm often the only Caucasian in the place, and I have a great time asking other shoppers how they plan to prepare their fish, veggies, noodles etc.. Cool!

I love shopping at 99 Ranch Market, which features an incredible array of pan-Asian groceries. I’m often the only Caucasian in the place, and I have a great time asking other shoppers how they plan to prepare their fish, veggies, noodles etc. Cool!

Pre-holiday traditions include “cleaning house” both figuratively and literally, especially so that the Kitchen God, ruler of the hearth and home, could report favorably on the family to the Jade Emperor in heaven.

New Year’s Day itself kicks off two full weeks of celebrations, with family gatherings, friends new and old, gifts galore, and – it almost goes without saying – plenty of feasting.
 

Just looking at this pic makes my mouth water for the sweet, not-too-fatty Char Siu pork and the succulent, crisp-skinned five-spice roast duck. I always ask for extra juice to add to the noodles I cook up at home.

The BBQ case at my local 99 Ranch Market. Just looking at this pic makes my mouth water for the sweet, not-too-fatty Char Siu pork and the succulent, crisp-skinned five-spice roast duck. I always ask for extra juice to add to the noodles I cook up at home.

For my own Chinese New Year meals, I usually prefer to leave the real cooking to the experts.

Maybe I’ll go out for Dim Sum (assorted dumplings and more, served in small portions for sampling and sharing). Or I’ll cobble together an easy dinner at home, with some BBQ pork or five-spice roast duck from my nearby pan-Asian grocery, 99 Ranch Market, plus some Chinese greens and noodles or rice.
 

At home, I can experiment with wines all I want. Here I'm sampling a lovely Handley Cellars Pinot, which matches up with the "sweet" five-spice seasoning and tender duck meat, and an elegant, medium-weight Villa Ragazzi Sangiovese, which stands up to the dark, crisp skin. Fun to go back and forth!

At home, I can experiment with wines all I want. Here I’m sampling a lovely Handley Cellars Pinot, which works well with the tender duck meat and “sweet” five-spice seasoning, and an elegant, medium-weight Villa Ragazzi Sangiovese, which stands up to the dark, crisp skin. It’s fun to go back and forth to compare the two match-ups!

Guess it’s time for me to head out and pick up some provisions. Think I’ll see what looks especially good at 99 Ranch – and if I decide I just don’t feel like cooking a full meal (or at all!), there’s a terrific dim sum place right there to help me fill in with take-out.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little taste of Chinese New Year from the DrinkWineWithDinner.com archives. Gung Hay Fat Choy once again. And may this Year of the Dog be your best year ever!

Until next time, my friends,
Cheers and happy tasting,
Rosina

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Cheers once again,
Rosina