A Southern French Grenache Blanc is Very Good with a Sri Lankan Curry

2014-10-17 17.55.29We tried a Sri Lankan dish called Lamb Curry with Fresh and Dried Coriander from Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Bible.

The recipe requires grinding mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds and cloves and blending shallots, ginger, garlic, coriander leaves and chillies. The lamb is fried in cinnamon, cardamon, curry leaves and pandanus leaf.  Unfortunately nowhere local to us stocks pandanus leaf.  However, we read that bay leaf with a little dried basil can be used as a substitute.

The lamb is then cooked in the ground and blended spices together with water, turmeric and lemon juice.  Coconut milk is added at the end.  We served this delicious aromatic curry with naan bread.

We thought a slightly off-dry wine would work nicely and opened a bottle of Domaine du Bosc Grenache Blanc 2012, a southern French white from the Wine Society.

We tasted creamy peaches, a slight sweetness, citrus and a smooth finish.  The wine was a very good match with the curry.

South African and French Whites Both Good with Coriander Chicken

We revisited one of our favourite cookbooks Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Bible and tried Green Coriander Chicken (Dhania Chicken), a Kenyan dish.

The chicken pieces are marinated overnight in ginger, garlic and lemon juice and then cooked in a thick blended sauce containing green chillies, lots of coriander leaves and stalks, tomato purée and yoghurt.

We served with Naan bread and Basmati rice.

We chose a bottle of The Gooseberry Bush Colombard/Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a South African white from the Sunday Times Wine Club to pair with this delicious meal.2014-04-05 18.40.42

This was bone dry, fresh and crisp, with tropical fruit flavours.  We couldn’t detect the guava and figs mentioned on the bottle.

We thought this was a good match, but wondered whether we could do better with the lefovers the following day.

This time we went for a bottle of Heritage de Calvet Côtes du Rhône 2012, a French white from Tesco.

This Grenache Blanc is slightly off-dry and its tangy tropical fruit flavours had a better affinity with the coriander sauce.  An improved match.2014-04-06 19.09.22

A Southern French White is Good with a Sri Lankan Beef Curry

We enjoyed one of Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Bible recipes – Sri Lankan Red Beef Curry. It combines pungent spices with water and coconut milk, so there was a lot of cooking liquid.  This creamy, slightly sweet curry almost resembled a soup.  An off-dry Riesling would almost certainly been good, but we didn’t have one.  However, we did have a bottle of La Tour de Marrenon Reserve Côtes du Luberon 2010, a Southern French white from Tesco that we last had with a Malaysian curry (see 16 March 2011).  The wine is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Vermentino.  We detected floral aromas, citrus fruits, peaches and a pleasing creaminess.  The wine was good with the curry.  We must try this curry with a Riesling for comparison next time.

French White Blend Great with Kapitan Curry

We cooked Kapitan Curry, a Malaysian dish from Rick Stein, that we have enjoyed before.  The dish is chicken-based, but we intend to try it next week with prawns for some non-meat eating friends.  Last time we had Kapitan Curry we found McWilliams Hanwood Riesling 2007, an off-dry white, worked very well with the sauce that contains coconut milk.  However, we didn’t have any bottles of McWilliams this time, so Teresa scoured the shelves of Tesco looking for something suitable.  She found La Tour de Marrenon, Cotes du Luberon 2010 that the label suggests goes with Green Chicken and Coconut Soup.  The wine is a combination of  “ripe peachy Grenache Blanc and floral, aromatic and spicy Vermentino.”  It was fresh and citrussy, but at the same time there was a richness.  We both agreed it went very well with the curry.