Off-Dry Whites Work Well with Thai Massaman Curry

2016-03-12 18.33.37We tried Madhur Jaffrey’s version of Beef and Potato Massaman Curry,  a Thai dish.

Pieces of beef skirt are fried with coconut cream, bay leaf and Massaman curry paste, which is made from red chillies, white peppercorns, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon, shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, curry powder and shrimp paste.

Fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar, potatoes and water are then added and the curry is simmered.  Fried shallots are sprinkled over before serving.

We attempted to pair the meal with a bottle of Villa Maria Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014, a New Zealand white from Costco.  However, more sweetness was needed, so we set it aside in favour of a bottle of Awatere Pinot Grigio 2013, an off-dry New Zealand white from Tesco.2016-03-12 18.29.26

We tasted tropical fruits with a pineapple sweetness and grapefruit sharpness. This wine was a reasonably good match with the food.

We tried a bottle of Houghton Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, an Australian white from Costco, with the leftovers a couple of days later and thought this was also a good match.  See here for a another good food pairing for this wine.

New Zealand Sauvignon Great with Burmese Chicken Curry

We tried Burmese Chicken Curry from Madhur Jaffrey. An interesting mix of Indian and Thai flavours.

Cubes of chicken are rubbed with hot curry powder, garam masala and salt. Onions, garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper and paprika are blended into a paste and the chicken is stir-fried with the paste, tomatoes, fish sauce and lemongrass. Water is added and the chicken is then simmered.

We served the curry with boiled rice, poppadums and a side dish we found on the Saveur website called Myanmar-Style Long Bean Salad (Pei Daunt Shay Thoke). This was a tasty combination of green beans, shallots, chopped roasted peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and salt.2016-01-09 18.09.17

We opened a bottle of Mahau Sound Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a New Zealand white from Sunday Times Wine Club, previously enjoyed with a chicken Korma.

We detected a grassy nose and the food pairing brought to the fore intense citrus lemon, tropical fruit flavours with a tangy grapefruit finish. A very good match with the curry.

Which White Wine with Rick Stein’s Moghul Chicken Korma?

We tried Rick Stein’s Moghul Chicken Korma.

Chicken pieces are marinated in a spice paste containing ginger, garlic, water, cinnamon, cardamon, coriander, nutmeg, yoghurt and salt. The chicken is then simmered with fried onion paste, ground almonds and more water.  Green chillies, ground poppy seeds and saffron rosewater are then added and the dish is finished with double cream.  We served with pilau rice.

We opened a bottle of Mahau Sound Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a New Zealand white from Sunday Times Wine Club. We detected freshly-cut grass on the nose, followed by citrus, pineapple, grapefruit, gooseberry tropical fruit flavours, with a creaminess and a tangy finish.  A very good match with the Korma.

 We had the leftovers the following day and wondered whether a slightly drier wine would work even better.  We tried a bottle of Villa Maria Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014, a New Zealand white from Costco.  It was not as good with the Korma, so we set it aside in favour of an off-dry wine, Houghton Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, an Australian white, also from Costco. We tasted zesty lemon, gooseberries and tropical fruits.  This was the best match of all three wines.

A New Zealand Sauvignon is Good with Aubergine Curry

2015-08-28 18.10.57We were looking for a recipe for some aubergines we had been given and decided on Rick Stein’s Aubergine Curry with Tomatoes, Ginger and Fennel Seeds. This dish is from Bangladesh and the aubergines are cooked in a curry made from ginger, garlic, green chillies, cumin, fennel seeds, coriander, turmeric, tomatoes, salt and pepper.  The dish is garnished with fresh coriander and mint. We served this very tasty curry with pulao rice.

We paired the curry with a bottle of Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011, a New Zealand white from Tesco.

We thought the flavours were somewhat muted for a New Zealand Sauvignon, but we thought the pairing with the curry was good.  It brought the wine’s grapefruit and tropical fruit flavours to the fore.

New World Whites Work Well with Peanut Butter Chicken Stew

Last month we cooked Caribbean Peanut Chicken and particularly enjoyed the peanut butter flavours.  We were entertaining guests and fancied trying another recipe with similar ingredients and chose Peanut Butter Chicken Stew from Supercook.

This is a West African dish that we served with boiled rice and sweet potato.  Chicken pieces are cooked with onion and a paste made from chicken stock, salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, cumin and chilli powder.  Tomatoes are added later and the dish is garnished with parsley. Delicious and even better than the previous recipe.

We opened a couple of wines to pair with the meal – Lions Gate Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon 2011, a South African white blend from Tesco and Wairau Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2013, a New Zealand white also from Tesco. Both these wines went well with the meal, with the New Zealand wine having the edge.

We had the leftovers with a bottle of Bleasdale Langhorne Crossing Verdelho/Sauvignon Blanc 2014, an Australian white blend from the Wine Society.

This was crisp, fresh, slightly off-dry with grapefruit and tropical fruit flavours.  The wine was a good match with the chicken.2015-06-14 19.11.01

German Rieslings Work Well with Sri Lankan Cashew-Coconut Chicken Curry

We cooked Chicken Curry with a Cashew-Coconut Sauce, a Sri Lankan dish from Madhur Jaffrey.

Chicken pieces are rubbed with coriander, cumin, fennel, cayenne pepper and salt.  A little rice is fried with coconut and then ground with cardamon pods, cloves and cashew nuts.  Water is then added to make a paste.

The chicken pieces are cooked with cinnamon, fenugreek, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, water and pandanus leaf. (We cannot buy this locally, so we used a bay leaf and some dried basil). The spice paste is added and also coconut milk towards the end of cooking. We served the curry with rice.

We decided on a bottle of Peter & Peter Riesling 2013, a German white wine from Tesco.2015-04-11 18.47.31

This was slightly off-dry, with creamy, tangy lemon and melon flavours and was a good match.

The following day we had the leftovers and tried a bottle of Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc, a New Zealand white from Sunday Times Wine Club.  A superb wine, but it didn’t work with the food, so we set it aside.

We returned to a Riesling and this time opened a bottle of Ruppertsburger 2012 Riesling Kabinett, a German white from the Wine Society.  There was some sweetness, a creamy smoothness, with citrus fruit flavours, minerality and a slightly tangy, but sweet finish with pineapple hints.  A very good wine and a much better match than the Peter & Peter Riesling.2015-04-12 18.42.15

Two Oaked Whites Very Good with Chicken and Chorizo Rice Pot

2014-10-29 18.49.32We discovered an interesting recipe by James Martin on the BBC Good Food website.  It’s called Chicken and Chorizo Rice Pot and is described as an alternative to Paella.

Chicken pieces are cooked with onion, red pepper, garlic, chorizo, tomato purée, thyme, white wine and chicken stock.  Rice is stirred in.  A very tasty and enjoyable meal.

We opened a bottle of Navajas Rioja Blanco Crianza 2010, a Spanish white from the Wine Society.

The wine is heavily oaked and this was evident in the strong creamy vanilla flavours throughout with hints of pineapple.  We thought the Rioja was a very good match with the meal.

We stayed with oak for the leftovers a couple of days later, but this time went for a bottle of Wither Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2011, a New Zealand white also from the Wine Society.

We detected pineapple on the nose and buttery, creamy pineapple flavours with a lingering slightly sharp grapefruit finish.  The wine was another very good match.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs Shine with a Chicken Vindaloo

2014-08-16 17.33.42Vindaloo with Chicken is one of our favourites from Supercook.

Apparently, this recipe is a variation from Mumbai. Chicken pieces are rubbed with salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.  They are cooked with onions, turmeric, chicken stock and a blended spice paste of red chillis, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and vinegar. We served the curry with rice and breads.

We opened a bottle of Hunter’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012, a New Zealand white from the Sunday Times Wine Club.

We tasted intense citrussy grapefruit and tropical fruit flavours with a subtle creaminess. We thought this superbly complex wine was a very good match with the Vindaloo.

We decided to stick with a New Zealand Sauvignon with the leftovers of the curry and opened a bottle of Villa Maria Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 from Costco.

This was drier and crisper than the Hunter’s with gooseberries and citrus tropical fruit flavours.

The wine was very enjoyable but not quite as good. However, it was still a very good match with the meal.

We tried the Hunter’s Sauvignon a few weeks ago with Maluwe Poulet, a spicy West African chicken dish.  Interestingly, the pairing brought out flavours of gooseberries, lemon, pineapple, grapefruit and melon.  This subtle and complex wine was also a good match with that meal.

A New Zealand Chardonnay Preferred to a Spanish Red with Casseroled Pork Loin

We tried Loin of Pork with Garlic and Vegetables from Supercook.

The pork is braised in stock with potatoes, tomatoes, thyme and garlic and finished with a rich sour cream sauce. We served the pork with green beans and a jacket potato.

Initially, we decided on a red wine and opened a bottle of Monte Rojo Rioja 2009, a full-bodied rich Spanish Tempranillo from the Sunday Times Wine Club.2014-07-13 19.22.13

This smooth red with a hint of vanilla oak was a near miss with the dish, so we set it aside.

We opted for a bottle of Brancott Marlborough Chardonnay 2013, a New Zealand white from Costco.2014-07-13 19.31.05

This was fresh, creamy, buttery with flavours of melon, pineapple and nectarine.  A good match with the meal.

Spanish and New Zealand Whites Just Right with Pimiento Chicken

We cooked Pimiento Chicken from Supercook.  Chicken pieces are cooked with onion, pimientos or red peppers, tarragon, chicken stock, white wine, beurre manie and double cream.

The dish has a Spanish feel to it so we served it with Spanish Potatoes from the BBC Good Food website.  Small chunks of potato are mixed with tomato purée, smoked paprika, garlic, lemon juice and parsley and then roasted.

We thought a bottle of Sendero des Santos Albarino 2012, a Spanish white from the Sunday Times Wine Club would make a good pairing.

We found the wine smooth and creamy with flavours of summer fruits especially peaches and nectarines. There was a tangy lemony finish.  We thought this quality wine was a very good match with the meal.

We had the remainder of the chicken a few days later and decided to try a Chardonnay. This served as an object lesson on why its important to to get the oakiness right when choosing the right pairing.  At first we thought oak might be a problem so opted for a bottle of Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay from Costco.  Nothing wrong with the wine, but we knew straight away more oak was needed and set it aside.

We chose a bottle of Wither Hills Chardonnay 2011, a New Zealand white from the Wine Society. Decidedly more oaky and we tasted peaches, sweet melon and plenty of creaminess with a touch of citrus on the finish.  This delicious wine was superb with the chicken.2014-05-30 18.58.00