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3 Trendsetting Drink Pairings

Wine menus? So 2014. Chefs these days are getting more creative with their food and drink pairings, finding new ways to tease nuance out of both. By Diana Hubbell.

Published on Sep 24, 2015


Don't get us wrong: we love a well-matched Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc with dinner. But, as it happens, other likable libations are edging their way to the table. For a pop-up back in January and February 2015, Noma, that slavishly exalted trendsetter, paired its intricate tasting menu at Mandarin Oriental Tokyo with juices. Sure, diners could choose vino, but many opted instead for elixirs such as pine-infused apple with kabuso, or turnip juice with black current shoots and yuzu, each matched to a course by the Danish sommeliers. It's a clear sign that something is up when René Redzepi enters the fray. So, while we may not give up the grape entirely, it makes sipping sweeter to know there's a wealth of options out there. Single-malt suppers or even coffee-fueled haute cuisine? We'll be waiting for you with baited breath.

1. Get Juiced

If you still want to get your fruity fix with fantastic food, head down to Sydney, where David Changs brazen, brash Momofuku Seiōbo offers a tasting menu paired with house-blended juices like apple and fennel, or celery and pear.

2. Cocktail Hours

In Singapore, an edgy craft cocktail bar is offering omakase with a twist. At DSTLLRY, the food menu changes daily and the drink menu... well, don't even bother looking for one. Stop by in the evening and let Taiwanese mixology fiend Red Chuang match an 11-course tasting menu of small plates—think Alaskan king crab in crustacean "umami" broth—with tailored potions perfect for your palate.

Red Chuang
Red Chuang whips up a cocktail. Andrew Lum.

3. Higher Tea

Spring Moon in Hong Kong is offering a special five-course Cantonese meal paired with four rare teas, such as the delicate osmanthus white peony and the coveted Keemun super black tea. Chef Frankie Tang's especially elaborate dishes allow the subtleties in these brews to shine.


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Red Chuang whips up a cocktail. Andrew Lum.
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