Thursday, February 03, 2005

Gewurztraminer and Curry :
Myth, Match or Magic?

No wine is more fun to drink than a great gewurtz. Aromatically, it is both sweet and complex, and with a phenomenal richness and density of flavors in each glass. The problem is finding food that can benefit, and not be buried, by a wine this opulent. The classic is cumin-laced münster cheese, and building on this cumin theme, Asiatic and Indian cuisine has often been recommended as a worthwhile pairing. I love cumin and cook with it often, but usually drink a slightly aged, dry Jurançon, or white Chateauneuf, wines that tend towards mild oxidized flavors.
So, in dutiful service to blogdom and with a Thai-style chicken curry on the table, out pops the cork of one of my favorite gewürztraminers, and so begins the study.

Gewurztraminer 2001, Clos des Capucins, Cuvée Théo, Weinbach ($45…saq)
A solid yet elegant Gewurz, the Théo is the result of both organic and bio-dynamic farming. It is classic gewurz: a beautiful copper hue, notes of lychees, apricot and pineapple confit, with just a hint of residual sugar and a finale of zest of burnt oranges. But it’s the dense, heady aromas that is the beauty of the gewurz, almost like walking into a flower shop. My curry, laced with cumin, coriander and ginger worked well with the aromas but had a tough time defending against the weight of the flavors. I found myself spending a lot of time sniffing the wine and then my plate, and then back to the wine.
I would call it a match, not quite made in heaven, but definitely worthy of more study.
Your dutiful blog servant


Nilay Gandhi said...

Gewurtz also does quite well with butternut squash. For curry dishes, I've had a lot of success with bone dry chenin blanc -- the Foreau sec comes to mind.



caveman said...

agreed, as long as it is the 'stinkier' type of Chenin, and usually that means older. I'll try it with the sqaush (maybe with a touch of curry).
Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like there's too much going on in both the wine and the dish for a great match. Curries are by nature complex, difficult to match I find. I've found Gewurz good with simpler Asian dishes, where you have the mix of salty, sweet, spice, unami thing going on, but less aromatic, the flavors being more one teriyaki or miso. You taste the soy, rice wine, ginger and coriander, maybe a little seaweed or mushroom in the background, but all in one
line, you know what I mean? I like it with ginger and coriander though.

Warren Edwardes said...

I used to drink GWT but found it a bit sickly after a 2 glasses.

My own "Rani Gold" is 50% Muscat, and 50% Cava Mix - Macabeo Parellada and Xarel.lo. This adds crispness to the wine.

And then I introduce another layer of refreshing zest by a second fermentation to produce a naturally and refreshingly semi-sparkling wine.



Warren Edwardes
CEO Wine for Spice