Well, this post totally breaks my New Year Resolution not to post or comment until at least 24 hrs have passed, but hey every rule has an exception!
So three of us went to this Korean/Japanese restaurant in Madrid, called "Los Palillos del Cardenal", which means 'The Cardenal's Chopsticks'. We reckon it's a good quality restaurant, because even though they have a reasonably priced set menu (€12), the place is always full of authentic Asian diners, as opposed to tourists or local office workers!
We ordered a glass of the house red (Rioja) so we could compare, and then I asked the waiter if we could have the bottle of my Airén 'Orange'. He was cool about it, but asked us to try not to let his boss see us!!! And he didn't charge us any corkage fee!
For the first course, two of us had tempura and one had hot spicy soup. The consensus was that beer (or soshu, or even water) would have been better with the soup and that any type of wine was wasted. More or less the same with the tempura, but with the Orange prefered to the red.
With the main courses (sushi, bimbimbar and chapchi) it was much better. With the sushi it was a hit! There was enough tannin and body to the Orange wine to stand up to the intense sushi flavours. We reckoned that a typical, standard, fruity type white wine wouldn't have worked. The red was too oaky and sweetish, and didn't really accompany well. The Orange also had a grapefruity, citrus-like bitter quality which worked very well.
I reckon that the flavour of orange wine is so unusual and different from a 'normal' red or white wine, that the surprise value is also significant.
With the Kimchi, I'm not sure. I think beer would have been better than any wine! It was a strong, intense and spicy Kimchi and I think it could overpower any wine! The worse is a red oaky wine.
Well, some food for thought there!