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Wine with a curry? Advice/Help sought.

evelyn's picture

Still working on possible menus for that cooking show I'm going to be on. This week I'm testing a thai-inspired chicken curry and pilaf recipe I created for a contest a few years back. If I go with it, the theme of my dinner will be 'around the world in 3 courses'.

My problem is what wine do I serve? When guests arrive, I will be offering them Kir Royales made with Freixenet Brut sparkling, and I will bring the Brut into the first course of the salad with fried camembert.

Now the second 'tricky' course - the curry. Most sites I've visited have suggested either beer or a sweeter wine, like a Riesling or Gewurtzraminer - both wines I really do not like. I don't want to change over to a beer...so...I was thinking...Freixenet also does a demi-sec sparkling (I love their wines!). Do any of you wine experts out there think that would be sweet enough to balance the spicy heat of the curry?

The added advantage of the demi-sec sparkling is that I can then bring THAT wine over into the dessert course.

Help!

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
MadMom's picture

(post #38017, reply #1 of 49)

I'm no wine expert, but I share your distaste for Riesling or Gewurtzraminer - they're both cloyingly sweet to me.  Normally with a curry, we'll have a pinot noir, but who knows whether that's right or not.  Listen to someone like ashley or Glenys.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Glenys's picture

(post #38017, reply #2 of 49)

First, don't forget that you can't paint all Riesling and Gewürtz in one broad stroke, and especially with those two and curry, the marriage is made when you taste the food with the wine; discounting the choice by simply tasting the wine won't work.
If the curry has coconut milk, it can also work with a buttery Chardonnay; if it's spicy and complex it can work with a Viognier or rosé. You can also continue with bubbly. As with the Riesling and Gewürtz, it's about finding the right fit, not the right grape.

evelyn's picture

(post #38017, reply #3 of 49)

you're right of course...just remember too many people ordering Blue Nun or Liebfraumilch in my serving days and that has made me most unobjective.

What do you think of the possibility of the demi-sec sparkling? I will be doing a tasting on Wednesday, so I may pick up a Riesling and/or Chardonnay, as per your suggestion.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
Syrah's picture

(post #38017, reply #5 of 49)

You know, not all Rieslings are the same. The Clare Valley makes some lovely ones that are not overly sweet.

I second Viogner as a suggestion though, and even a verdelho can be a good compliment.

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be obtained."
-Marie Curie
My perseverance will be rewarded.

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be obtained." -Marie Curie

evelyn's picture

(post #38017, reply #6 of 49)

Now, why didn't I have you pegged as a wine connoisseur...I guess I should have seen that coming with your handle. ;-)

Thanks, Claire! Not sure what Australian wines I can find here (definitely some)...I'll keep a look out.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
Memsahib's picture

(post #38017, reply #10 of 49)

Can you recommend one or two from the Clare Valley? We have curry at least once a week so I'd love to hear your suggestions. Thanks.

To one who shares food it is sugar


To one who eats alone it is a toad


Punjabi Proverb

To one who shares food it is sugar

To one who eats alone it is a toad

Punjabi Proverb

Syrah's picture

(post #38017, reply #14 of 49)

I will have a think and get back to you. I'm not examining wine lists at present. The most widely known that I can think of is Annie's Lane.

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be obtained."
-Marie Curie
My perseverance will be rewarded.

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be obtained." -Marie Curie

Memsahib's picture

(post #38017, reply #17 of 49)

I've made a note to check around for Annie's Lane and look forward to any other suggestions you can make. Many thanks.

To one who shares food it is sugar


To one who eats alone it is a toad


Punjabi Proverb

To one who shares food it is sugar

To one who eats alone it is a toad

Punjabi Proverb

Glenys's picture

(post #38017, reply #7 of 49)

As usual, I'm looking for a good mouthfeel, so the weight of the curry on the palate doesn't make the wine seem thin and pale. So many Prosecco are lovely as apertivo sippers but feel thin with a plate of something. I'd go with a still wine.

evelyn's picture

(post #38017, reply #8 of 49)

Understood.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
ashleyd's picture

(post #38017, reply #9 of 49)

On the other hand that Freixenet does have a good sweetness/acidity balance and bubbles never hurt. Personally I thought your original plans were better than a curry, it is difficult to bring individual elegance and style to a curry unless you are really familiar with the cuisine, and even if you can pull it off I'm not sure randomly selected guests are going to go for it. To do well in this competition you have to be slightly different (as well as very good, but that's a given in your case), but a Thai curry might just be too different.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

evelyn's picture

(post #38017, reply #11 of 49)

I made the meal I told you about on Sunday and it was just TOO rich - even with major cuts in all fats used (seriously!).

I thought of the curry to get a different element in there. I created the recipe, and it's far from authentic thai. Have a look. The pilaf I made to go with it is wonderful (I really must enjoy patting my own back, but these were both very successful recipes, I think).

http://www.recipezaar.com/Curried-Chicken-in-Coconut-Pumpkin-Sauce-161394

http://www.recipezaar.com/Coconut-Raisin-Rice-Pilaf-161393

Sometimes introducing people to an 'unexpected' they enjoy gives you a major edge.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
ashleyd's picture

(post #38017, reply #12 of 49)

I have no doubt that they're delicious, and introducing the unexpected can give you the edge. Snag is if only one of your guests thinks it's a step too far then bang go your points. That's why the competition is fascinating, you have to cater to a fairly low taste level, but do it incredibly well.


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

evelyn's picture

(post #38017, reply #13 of 49)

On Sunday I made this filet recipe I found of Gordon Ramsay's. Dead easy. Timing was perfection. Rich! Rich!! Rich!!! Duchesse potatoes on side with caramelized onions layered between, and a simple saute of cherry tomatoes and zucchini. It was just too much.

Gordon Ramsay’s Filet of Beef with Mushroom Gratin

Serves 4

This is one of my favourite ways to serve tender fillet steaks. 
You do need to get thick cuts of steak from a good butcher, though. To prepare ahead, make the gratin and sear and cool the steaks. Just before serving, simply top the steaks with the mushroom mixture and finish off in a hot oven.

800g fillet of beef, from the thick end
4 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

400g mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 tbsp dry white wine

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Handful each of chopped parsley and chervil
100ml double cream
100g mascarpone
1 large egg yolk

2 tbsp parmesan, freshly grated


1 Trim the fillet into a log of even thickness, removing any tough sinews. Wrap tightly with clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes to set the shape.

2 Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the shallots until soft and translucent but not browned. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the mushrooms and cook over 
a high heat, stirring frequently for 6-8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced and the pan is quite dry. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, season well to taste and stir in the chopped herbs.

3 Whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the mascarpone, followed by the mushroom mixture and the egg yolk. If you are preparing the topping in advance, cover the bowl with clingfilm and chill.

4 Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7. Using a sharp knife, cut the fillet into four evenly sized steaks, about 4cm in thickness, then peel off the clingfilm. Brush the meat with the remaining olive oil and season on both sides. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan until you feel a strong heat rising when you hold your hand over 
it and cook the steaks for 2-3 minutes, turning them to sear on all sides. Remove from the pan and place on a shallow baking tray. Pile the mushroom mixture on top and sprinkle over the grated parmesan.

5 Bake uncovered for 5-7 minutes, until the mushroom gratin topping is bubbling and golden. Transfer to warmed plates and serve immediately with roast potatoes and green beans or a light salad.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
ashleyd's picture

(post #38017, reply #15 of 49)

Can't fault the individual components but all together, I agree, too much. Ramsay's serving suggestion is good, simple roast potatoes and a bit of greenery, salad or green beans, that gives good contrast of textures and something relatively light against the very rich meat component. There is a tendency, which we all suffer from, to think that a good side dish will go with anything, but what works with fish will not necessarily go with red meat, what matches your chicken doesn't do the same for game birds (which is why I hate those restaurants that serve "vegetables of the day/season" with every entree). Your sides would work really well with a simple grilled steak, but add the richness of the topping and instead of working together the flavours start fighting and overwhelming each other. We can probably get away with this sort of stuff at home but when put in a competitive situation with your guests looking at ways to mark it down, it becomes very tricky indeed!


Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

Age is unimportant unless you’re a cheese.

evelyn's picture

(post #38017, reply #16 of 49)

yep, it's trickier than I thought.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.

In life, learn the rules so that you know how to break them properly.
MadMom's picture

(post #38017, reply #18 of 49)

Okay, I know this is a stupid question, but are you baking individual dishes or combining it all into one dish?  How big is the filet before you cut it?  I'm hopeless at guessing what 800g would be. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Gretchen's picture

(post #38017, reply #20 of 49)

800gm. is about 2#--a good chunk of meat.

Gretchen

Gretchen
MadMom's picture

(post #38017, reply #21 of 49)

I get all confused when going from grams to pounds.  Isn't a kilogram about two pounds plus?  So, you would be about right.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Canuck's picture

(post #38017, reply #22 of 49)

A kilogram is 2.2 pounds. One pound is 454 grams (often rounded to 500g).

MadMom's picture

(post #38017, reply #23 of 49)

I keep thinking that a kilogram is half a pound, and for someone who is usually good at math, that is a puzzlement!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Canuck's picture

(post #38017, reply #25 of 49)

Metric's been drummed into me since grade school, so I know that conversion. Maybe you're thinking of kilometres (8 km = 5 miles)?


I also know that you're a lot better at math, so I'll cherish the fact that I could tell you something number-related. :)

Marcia's picture

(post #38017, reply #26 of 49)

I believe in the Easter Bunny, but not in metrics. ;-)

Canuck's picture

(post #38017, reply #27 of 49)

We have no choice here. Many food ingredients are labelled in both systems but everyone of my generation knows temperatures equally well in both systems, height and weight in imperial only, and gasoline prices only by metric measurement. It keeps us on our toes.


I can see that metric makes perfect sense, and if a decision had been made to go one way or the other, we'd all have adjusted. But now we're into another generation of this; my kids would agree with all the things I mentioned above.

Marcia's picture

(post #38017, reply #28 of 49)

We were supposed to convert to metric over twenty years ago -- there were even classes being given all over the place, but there was so much resistance that it somehow died out.

DH is a whiz at math as well as metrics. If I need to know, I just ask him. It's very convenient, but it hasn't helped me learn a thing!

roz's picture

(post #38017, reply #35 of 49)

OMG, it is very confusing here! We have metric for nearly everything, then there are some signs in miles, people still refer to their weight in terms of stones (a stone equals 14 lbs.) My home scale is in kilos and stones! So confusing!

ITA with Risottogirl, everyone should think in terms of metric...it's so much easier.

Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Do your best. Don Miguel Ruiz
Canuck's picture

(post #38017, reply #36 of 49)

Funny to think of a modern scale in stone, which must be an ancient measurement. 


Are your fruits and veg measured and priced in metric? Ours are, but we all refer to a "pound of grapes" instead.

Maedl's picture

(post #38017, reply #39 of 49)

In Germany, which measures weights by grams and kilograms, you can still ask for a pound (well, ok, a Pfund) of something. You get a half kilo or 500 grams.

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com

Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
Canuck's picture

(post #38017, reply #40 of 49)

Funny how so many of us can work both systems. Besides the Americans, is there any country that uses only one system?

Maedl's picture

(post #38017, reply #41 of 49)

"Pfund" as a measure of weight goes way back--probably to the Romans. But the term Pfund came into German during the Carolingian period (800AD) and for several hundred years meant different weights in different cities--i.e. a Pfund in Nuernberg may have weighed 400 grams and a Pfund in Berlin may have weighed 500 grams. (Measures of length varied from city to city as well--I have seen measures on city walls that provided the standard for the particular city.)

When Germany (or perhaps I should say proto-Germany) adopted the metric system in the second half of the 19th century, I suspect that the term Pfund, since the weight was so close to a half kilo, was simply carried over into the language and gradually adopted a new definition. From what I've read, Germany went through a period a dual measurement systems when the metric first was adopted, but I can't think of any remnants of the earlier system that still survive. And, Pfund is used only when measuring some sort of food, and usually only in speech.

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com