Thursday, March 28, 2013

Indian Wine

When you think India, you don't tend to think wine.  In fact, I spent 5 weeks traveling through India and only had 2 bottles of wine.  Which, if you know me, is absurd.

India didn't grow up with wine like Europe did (although there was some to be found), and as such the cuisine isn't very wine friendly.  Indian food tends to involve layers and layers of spices, complex flavours, and different levels of depth.  Wine pairing is no easy task, my friend.

Last night we decided to pair some of our new wines with some of the fine food at our favorite Indian haunt; Corner 90.  Corner 90 is our go-to with out of town visitors or VIP guests.  The food is always spot on fantabulous, so we thought it would be fun to invite some of our friends along.  If you're in Kwun Tong, I highly recommend you pop in for some papadam!

Welcome drink:

Mercat Cava Brut

I love this Cava!  I was on a Prosecco kick, but this wine has turned me right round.  Crisp and lean with nice nice bubbles. 
Fist Course:

Fish Tikka/chicken Tikka/  Veg Samosa

The sparkling wine worked well, particularly with the samosa.  It was refreshing and palate cleansing given the grease and spice. 

The fish!  The chicken! The Samosa!  All really wonderful, and with a little dab of mint sauce, totally fresh and vibrant.
Wine Pairing:

AOC Pouilly Fuisse 2011

Pouilly Fuisse was fresh enough to match this course.  An oaky Chardonnay from Meursault, would not do, but this light wine cut through some of the oiliness and worked well with the spice on the chicken and fish.  And since the flavors were clean and light, there was no competition.  Food first!

choice of

Tandoori Lamb

I tried some of Julia and this was just wonderful.  Thick, juicy layers of tandoori spice!

Butter Chicken Masala
I tried Kirsty's to my left, and loved this!  You can't go wrong with butter chicken. Ever.

Tandoori Salmon
This was my main and it was taaaaasty.   Fish over parantha and onions with a mint dipping sauce.  Delicate seafood this was not.  I think a Meursault would have gone beautifully with this!

Wine Pairing:

La Font de Loup 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape

Everyone agreed that perhaps this wasn't the best pairing with the chicken or the fish.  With the lamb it worked, although not perfectly with all of the spice.

Being 10 years old, the tannins had softened, but fruit still remained, making this perfectly drinkable all on its own. 


Kesar Pista Kulfi (handmade Indian ice cream flavored wit saffron and pistachios)

LOVED LOVED LOVED this.  This was certainly a love it or hate it dish, but fortunately for me, I was in the former.

Wine Pairing:

Carlin de Paolo Moscato d'Asti

This wine works beautifully with anything.  Anything.  Always.  Give me a Carlin Moscato any day, with anything, and I can make it work. 

Easter Challenge- Moscato and Cadbury Cream Eggs.  Who's in??

Lessons learned
Indian food is hard to pair!

There's no one wine that will go with all Indian (which is probably true of all cuisines, eh?)

Chateauneuf du Pape isn't ideal

Fresh lively whites do well with a variety of dishes

(I should qualify; fact from Wikipedia)
Litres/year of consumption for adults +15 years old

Luxembourg drinks the most wine per capita of any country with 8.16
France comes in 2nds with 8.14
USA pales with only 1.36
and India's not even on the board with a mere 9 mm/year

There are 1.2 billion of them.....

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