Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sweet or Tart with Hot, Spicy Foods?

At Sprout Artisan Bistro in downtown Kalamazoo only a few wines (and a larger number of beers) are offered to accompany the spicy Asian-oriented food. I chose a 2006 St. Christopher Rheinhessen Riesling for my South Indian vegetarian curry; Donna, a 2007 Joel Gott California Sauvignon Blanc for the "family" curry, featuring sweet peppers, Asian greens, lentils and beef. And we were pleased with our choices.

The off-dry Rheinhessen Riesling, in my view, was perfect as a foil to the Asian spices, and it blended well with the flavors of the carrots, sweet potatoes and red skins. It was reasonably plump on the palate but with a zesty fruit presence that kept me coming back for more.

The Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc was a bit tart when tasted against the carrots and potatoes of my dish but worked well with the broader flavors of the lentils and beef. Sourced from vineyards in Monterey County, the Russian River Valley, Lake County and warmer regions of Napa, it touched all the bases for Sauvignon--green peppers, peaches, melons and citrus. It's more like a New Zealand Sauvignon than one from France's Loire Valley, but at around $10 to $12 retail, it's a wine I will look for in the shops.

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