Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indian Food and Wine: A White Blend That Works

As regular readers know, pairing Indian food with an appropriate wine is something of an obsession of mine. And even though I love Gewurztraminer and Riesling, even I get tired of always pairing this flavorful and aromatic cuisine with these choices.

I've just discovered another white wine that works with spicy Indian food: the 2007 Hayman & Hill Interchange. (MSRP $14; find out more information here about this relatively new release) This wine is ideal for pairing with Indian food, because it gives a slightly off-dry impression without being sweet. It also has a slightly heavier mouthfeel than Riesling or Gewurztraminer, so its ideal with richer curries like chicken korma, shrimp tikka masala, or lamb pasanda.

The 2007 Hayman & Hill Interchange is a white blend made from 47% Chardonnay, 34% Sauvignon Blanc, 7% Muscat Canelli, 5% Malvasia Bianca, 4% Semillon, and 3% Gewurztraminer. The result is a wine with creamy, floral, and orchard fruit aromas. These are followed up with flavors of honey, peach, and a touch of smoke from the six months that the wine spent in small, French oak barrels. The combination of richness and freshness was interesting and appealing.

We had the wine with creamy shrimp tikka masala, and it was perfect for the meal's combination of spicy, but rich, flavors. The sweet impression the wine gives meant it didn't clash or compete with the spices, and it also brought out the sweetness of the shellfish. And the heavier mouthfeel was a nice complement to the coconut milk in the sauce. I think this wine would be excellent with yellow Thai curry, or even a spicy General Tso's chicken because these dishes also combine spicy and sweet notes.

Full Disclosure: I received this bottle as a sample.


Anonymous said...

OMG! Where have you been all of my life? I friend took me to eat Indian for my birthday and I didn't have a clue what wine to drink. Also I have a fetish for cheap wine. I love it. Thank you for this post! I found your site through twitter.

jodiNYNJCO said...

I recently made a slightly spicy chicken curry dish with coconut milk and cashews. I found a recommendation to pair a Chenin Blanc with this type of dish and it went perfectly! Dry Creek Chenin Blanc, to be specific. BTW, love your blog!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorites to pair with Indian is this Bodega Pirineos Mesache Blanco, the '05 was a blend of 35% late-harvested Macabeo, 35% Gewurztraminer, and 30% Chardonnay. Hoping K&L gets some more soon!

Amy Atwood said...

Nice addition to my go to spicy food and wine matches.
Thai dishes are my favorite and this wine would be a refreshing alternative.

Dr. Debs said...

thanks for the positive comments, folks. Chenin Blanc is great with Indian food, and like JodiNYNCO I like the Dry Creek Vineyard bottling. Never had a late harvest Macabeo, Jason. Will have to get my hands on some. Thanks for the tip.

Andy said...

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it smile I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.