by Fred McMillin
As a reward for clearing the waters of pirates, the Chinese ceded Macao to the Portuguese in 1557. The small piece of Chinese mainland became Portugal's major Asian economic outpost for 400 years. Since the colony has been returned to China this month, I must mention our introduction to Macao chow.
The cannon at the top of the old Macao fort pointed toward the scowling, rod-straight border guards of Red China. It was May 17, 1972, and my wife and I could feel the tension. POW, POW, POW, POW! We ducked for cover.
It turned out to be nothing more than exploding large firecrackers. Nevertheless, totally unnerved, we scurried away to the security of deft Chef Angelo's kitchen in the Hotel Bilboa (see photo), and the promised cooking lesson.
Since there were over 30 Chinese for every one Portuguese, the colony cuisine was Chinese. Which raised the question that I'm still asked today. What wine to pour with it? Let's turn to a current expert, Willie Gluckstern. In his Wine Avenger (Simon & Shuster, $11), he recommends a Riesling. Here's one of the best my tasters have met this year.
'98 Dry Johannisberg Riesling, Napa Valley
More about Sattui in WineDay
Whence the name of the colony? The local Chinese
had dedicated the bay to the goddess A-ma. The
Bay of A-ma was 'A-ma-gao," which became Macao.
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