Every so often a meal, an accompanying wine and the moment come together and exceed expectations. This was one of those.
Firstly, the weather was warm and sunny and so barbecued food eaten in the garden was a must. We had been looking for an opportunity to try an Oriental barbecue dish from Rick Stein – Turmeric Marinated Chicken Wrapped in Lime Leaves. This is a Vietnamese dish that Rick recommends trying on a sunny evening. The chicken pieces are marinated in turmeric, lime juice, fish sauce, chilli and shallots. They are then wrapped in kaffir lime leaves. After grilling on the barbie, the chicken is served with Nuoc Cham, which is a Vietnamese dipping sauce containing lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, ginger, chilli and garlic.
We served the meal with rice noodles and opened a bottle of Vina Tarapaca Sauvignon Blanc 2009, a Chilean white from the Sunday Times Wine Club. We last drank this wine with Jerk Chicken (see 9 April 2012).
We thought the wine might be challenged by the fragrant, fishy, sharp, limy and salty flavours, but the combination accentuated its tropical fruits and sharp, acidic grapefruit flavours. It was a very good pairing.