When I told my Jura-expert and vimpressionist friend Didier that I was invited for a homemade curry for dinner he instantly claimed “well you know what you have to drink then !?”. While I then thought of Riesling he responded that the best possible match with curry is a wine from the Jura region of France, you know, these Savagnins which are slightly oxydized.
I decided to give it a go. And since I didn’t have any Vin Jaune at home, I opted for the lesser oxydized version, a Côtes du Jura, by famous producer Macle from Chateau Chalon. I also thought this “compromise-version” of a Jura wine should be the better choice with respect to my non-wine-geek-friends, who might be turned off by a white wine smelling like a concentrated mix of nuts and vinegar. That said, I was also sure this bottle would be enough of a challenge for them, still being opposed to the fresh and fruit-driven white wines they are used to drink.
I have to admit, I as well was rather sceptical about this pairing. But you know what, Mister Jura was right. It worked perfectly well. While any other white wine would just have countered the spicy Chicken Masala with soothing chill, while losing its flavours, the Côtes Du Jura was an opponent at eye level, and despite it being served at room temperature.
In fact, you could taste both Vincents delicious Chicken Tikka Masala as well as the intense nuances of this Savagnin. It was even such, that the curry attenuated the oxidative aspect of the wine, letting it appear a tad more charming, with a hint of fruit. Also its slight nut aromas complemented well with the almond and coconut that were included in the curry. Mysterious spices meet mysterious spices would be another possible title to this blog post.
It actually struck me how these 2 components which are equally intense, but in their very own way, didn’t reject each other. As if the 2 poles of a magnet would actually attract each other. Somehow the wine manages to mirror the deep spice aromatics of the curry dish. Again: fascinating.
Also, with its 13%, this Côtes du Jura is a wine with definite power, showing enough weight, substance and presence on the palate to balance out the curry, and its long lasting finish goes hand in hand with the curry’s spice as well. Very convincing.
This match truly achieves a level of complexity that is probably hard to obtain with any other type of wine. And if you’re not scared too much about unusual wines, I warmly recommend to replicate this experiment for yourself to see. So thanks a lot Didier for this hint. I will never ever again drink Rosé or Riesling, or even a Pinot Gris with my curry. Jura wine will be my eternal choice! ;=)
And of course I’d like to thank Chef Vincent for cooking this excellent dish! The recipe he followed can be found here (in German).