Wine and Curry

The Tasting Barn at Connoisser Estates

For a long time people have thought that the only drink to enjoy with curry is beer. Either that or they order the same wine that they normally drink with other less spicy foods and as much as we enjoy Prosecco, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Rioja at other times, they really don't work that well as partners for the full flavoured spicy foods of India and Bangladesh.

So we set ourselves the challenge of tasting a range of curry dishes (all from Waitrose) with some of the excellent wines that can be bought direct from the supplier at Connoisseur Estates.

The Tasting Barn is a wonderful tasting venue in Forest Road, Binfield who runs a number of innovative and exciting tastings throughout the year - check them out for a great evening with friends.

The evening was hosted by Andrew, Helene, James and myself and consisted of six courses of different curry dishes, each paired with an excellent wine from Conniosseur Estates.

Bombay Mix with Grenache Rosé, Saint-Peyre, 2017
The crispness and subtle fruity sweetness of the traditional Indian snack was complemented by this elegant grenache rosé. It is a delicate salmon pink colour with aromas of red fruit. It has a rich, soft palate of red berries and peach and you can taste the sun-drenched coast with close proximity to the water.

Vegetable Samosa, Onion Bhaji and Spinach Pakora with Sauvignon Blanc 'Tectonia' Bodegas Volcanes de Chile, 2013
The subtle spices of the three Indian street food snacks were paired well with this Sauvignon Blanc which is vibrant on the palate, made from grapes which fully express the most extreme land, produced by volcanic eruptions. This wine is bright greenish-yellow in color. Notes of lime, grapefruit, lemon peel, white flowers and minerality on nose, with hints of white pepper and herbs. Revealing a fresh and nervous mouth, with delicious acidity; this wine is very fruity, flavorsome and elegant.

Chicken Korma with Unoaked Chardonnay, Oldenburg, 2016
Tender marinated chicken in a mild, creamy coconut, almond & cashew nut sauce with cardamom. The delicate, creamy texture and rich spiciness of the Korma was perfect with this fresh and vibrant Marlborough Chardonnay. It displayed pure primary fruit aromas of tropical melon, ripe nectarine and bright citrus; with underlying complex aromas of butterscotch and hazelnut gained from both extended time on lees and full malolactic fermentation. On the palate this wine is full bodied with fresh flavours of peach and tropical fruit balanced with finely integrated acidity. Complex and mouth-filling with subtle creaminess and great length, this wine leads to a smooth, fresh and focused finish. 

Keralan Chicken Fry with Torrontés Estate, Gauchezco Esatate, 2017
Fried marinated chicken breast pieces and chargrilled red peppers with a spiced onion, tomato and coconut sauce was definitely our favourite curry of the night and it was truly excellent with this 100% Torrontés. Attractive golden yellow in colour. Intense and delicate, there were white rose petals and honey notes on the palate. It was zesty in the mouth with a good balance of acidity and freshness and a persistent length. 

Chicken Tikka Masala with Fleurie, Château Gaillard, 2017
Chicken breast pieces in a hot tandoori spiced cream and tomato sauce needed a soft fruity red and this was in the form of this top quaility Beaujolais made from 100% Gamay grapes. Full of raspberry, strawberry and black cherry mixed with a twist of black pepper with silky smooth tannins. Well-structured yet light and easy to drink, this wine is very food friendly.

Lamb Rogan Josh with Ventoux Reserve, Saint-Dominique, 2017
Tender marinated lamb in a spiced tomato sauce with coriander & cardamom meant that a spicy full-bodied red was required. This was delivered with this 100% Grenache blend from the Julia Moro Vineyards in the Rhone Valley. Deep ruby in colour with glints of purple, there is intense cherry and raspberry on the nose and black fruits with spices and thyme in the mouth. Full bodied and complex. 

Any of the wines above can be bought direct from Connoisseur Estates (01344 862230) at exceptionally good prices as it is direct from the importer.