Tasted: Indian Cuisine & Wine

By / Wine + Drinks / November 6th, 2014 / 5

The easiest method to match food and wine is to pair the geographic origins of your dish to the place of origin of your wine. It won’t always be a match made in heaven but more often than  not, the pairing will work well. After all, the wine of any specific region has its roots planted in the local cuisine.

In the case of Indian food, this quick pairing method doesn’t work, as wine is not a traditional libation in India. So, what does pair well with Indian Cuisine? Let’s start with what we shouldn’t drink with the spicy, traditional dishes of India; anything that is heavily oaked, high in tannin or high in alcohol. Try and avoid those big, bold reds…but a light, fruity or spicy red (lightly chilled) would work well. The go-to choices (and what you will most often find on a wine list at an Indian restaurant) are usually off-dry Rieslings or Gewürztraminers. This is because the residual sugar in both balance the spiciness of the food. The palate cleansing acidity of Pinot Gris make it a good choice and bubbles, especially those sparklers made with Syrah and Pinot Noir, will rarely disappoint.

He are a few of our choices for your next Indian feast.

Lamberti Santepietre Pinot Grigio 2011

Reviewed by: Rick VanSickle
Editor Rating: Very Good
$13
Veneto, Italy

Review Summary:
A nose of bright stone fruits, melon and flowers. It’s quite fresh on the palate with peach, melon and citrus fruit notes in a clean, crisp style. A nice pairing with white fish and chicken or simply as an aperitif.

Cave Vinicole de Hunawihr Pinot Gris Grand Cru Rosacker 2005

Reviewed by: Ron Liteplo
Editor Rating: Outstanding
$21
Alsace, France

Review Summary:
I’m not a huge PG fan, but this one blew me away. It is clear, the colour of yellow Chartreuse. The nose has hints of watermelon and candy floss, but it mainlines warm baked apple. Very full-bodied, sweetish but still mouth-watering flavours of tropical fruits, peaches, and a bit of rhubarb. Serve with simple vegetarian fare and let the wine be the star.

Pondview Gewürztraminer/Riesling

Reviewed by: Evan Saviolidis
Editor Rating: Very Good
$14
Niagara, Canada

Review Summary:
This blend is 65% Gewürz and 35% Riesling, making for a persona of flowers¸ peach, honey and lime. The palate is spicy and there is a lingering finish.

Henry of Pelham Reserve Off-Dry Riesling 2009

Reviewed by: Evan Saviolidis
Editor Rating: Very Good
$16

Niagara, Canada

Review Summary:
This is a great follow-up to the fabulous 2008 Reserve. It is light- to medium-bodied with a punchy nose of lime, lemon peel, minerals, grapefruit and peach. The length and acidity work as one, making for a long and tangy finish.

Montes Cherub Rosé of Syrah 2010

Reviewed by: Harry Hertscheg
Editor Rating: Very Good
$15
Colchagua Valley, Chile

Review Summary:
This deep watermelon-coloured rosé exhibits a rich Tavel-like heft. The seductive strawberry and cherry aromas turn to more exuberant dark fruits on the dry palate. Long spicy finish satisfies. Can handle roast turkey with all the fixings.

Coyote’s Run Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé 2009

Reviewed by: Evan Saviolidis
Editor Rating: Excellent
$30
Four Mile Creek, Canada

Review Summary:
This is Coyote’s first sparkling … and it is a home run! Made in the traditional method, it was aged 30 months on the lees and bottled with a crown cap. It exudes a profile of caramel, brioche/toast, strawberry, cherry and mushroom. There is excellent length and concentration with a creamy texture rounding out the experience. Drink over the next 4 years.

Reserve de Sours Sparkling Rosé NV

Reviewed by: Ron Liteplo
Editor Rating: Very Good
$19
France

Review Summary:
A blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon made in the méthode traditionelle, it is described as “brut” but actually has a touch of sweetness. The colour is medium-deep peach, with a moderate quantity of bubbles. The scent is of orange and banana with a bit of red-berry bite. Tastes of ripe strawberries, with a bit of minerality and refreshing acidity. For immediate drinking.

Jean-Paul Brun Terres Dorées Morgon 2010

Reviewed by: Rick VanSickle
Editor Rating: Very Good
$29
Beaujolais, France

Review Summary:
Brun farms from some of the highest altitudes in Beaujolais and ages half the juice for this wine in older oak barrels. Such a rich and inviting nose of field raspberry, strawberry, violets and game and barely a hint of spice. It’s not refined at all, but rather wild in its presentation on the palate, with raspberry-cherry fruits migrating to darker berries, roasted meats and light garnishing spices. A wondrous wine.

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