Of all food and wine pairings, matching wine with curry is the ultimate challenge. Allan Mullins chooses three that rise to the task.
THE WINERY OF GOOD HOPE BLACK ROCK WHITE BLEND 2007
The ideal companion to a mild but still spicy Cape Malay curry, the Black Rock is composed of 73 percent 40- to 55-year-old Chenin Blanc vines, 22 percent Chardonnay and 5 percent Viognier – all from dryland bush vines in the Perdeberg-Swartland region.
Carefully wood-matured so as not to overpower the flavour of the individual components, it has a lime, melon and apricot nose and a good mouth feel, with none of the cultivars dominating.
KUMKANI VVS 2005
A great suggestion for partnering a hotter chilli-and-masala-based Indian curry, this wine is a unique blend of Viognier (40 percent), Verdelho (40 percent) and Sauvignon Blanc (20 percent).
The first two are wood fermented and matured while the latter – from the Darling ward – is fermented in stainless-steel tanks. The wine has a rich, honeyed character with flavours of peach, fig, honeysuckle and vanilla. The palate, meanwhile, is concentrated with ripe fruit and a long finish.
ALTYDGEDACHT DRY GEWURZTRAMINER 2008
The hottest curries, such as a vindaloo, are normally best enjoyed with cold beer, but a dry Gewürztraminer, such as this one from Durbanville, works equally well. "Gewürz" means spice and there is plenty of it in this wine.
The nose is packed with flavours of litchi, white flowers, Turkish delight and, of course, spices such as cinnamon and clove, while the palate is elegant with floral flavours, some minerality and an exotic melange of fruit.
GREAT CURRIES FOR YOUR WINE
Madras curry with coconut milk and pomegranate
Cape Malay lamb curry
Oven-baked lamb shank curry
Indian spiced chicken korma curry