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COMPASS MAGAZINE > December 2013

the wine connection

Kris Love Pairing Indian dining and wine

By Kris Love
Translated by Angel Pu

Pairing Indian dining and wineI recently was asked a tricky question that I've been asked many times before: Which wines go with curry? To clarify, we're talking about Indian curries, not Thai or Japanese styles.

Curry can be pretty overpowering, especially when it comes to aromas and when it is spicy, like I prefer it. However, if you're prepared to sacrifice some heat and focus on something more subtle that you can have some wine with, I'd go for something like a Korma or Butter Chicken dish. Some wines which work pretty well with these milder, creamier type curries are:

1. Gewurtztraminer--This grape variety is mainly grown in the Alsace region of France with some also found in Germany, Italy, Argentina, Chile, thePairing Indian dining and wine United States and New Zealand. My favourites tend to mostly come from Alsace. "Gewurtz" in German means "spice" and these wines often have a floral (rose petal), sweet spice aroma to go with a full body and often a slightly oily texture. They range from very sweet to dry, but are usually quite low in acidity and often have a disctinctive lychee and citrus flavour.

They are also great value in Taiwan if you can find them. They come in pretty unfashionable, tall, thin German-style bottles, like almost all wines from Alsace, which has hurt their sales in the past. Look out for Schlumberger, Trimbach and Pierre Sparr as very reliable producers. If you see the words "Vendage Tardive" on the label, they will be sweet, dessert-style wines and most likely delicious.

Pairing Indian dining and wine2. If you are having a beef or lamb dish, try something from the Dao or Douro Valley (where grapes to make Port are grown) in Portugal. These wines often have a rich sweetness to the fruit flavor (if no actual sweetness in the wine) and some oak ageing that adds a savoury complexity which goes well with heavily spiced (not chili) meats. These wines are very underrated and great for many different dishes. Portuguese red wines were one of the original ingredients in the now-classic Vindaloo ("Vin" referring to wine) Indian dish. This was created by locals to replace the red wine based stews that the Portuguese in Goa were used to. Look for wines from Sogrape or Quinta do Crasto.

Enjoy your curries!

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