Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Indian Food Paired with Bulgarian Wine

Indian food paired with Bulgarian wine, everyone's go to combination, right? Well, seeing as my post on Pairing Wine with Indian Food written way back in 2006 is still consistently one of my most viewed posts, I know there's a a lot of interest in the subject. So when I'm enjoying Indian food, I am also on the lookout for good wines to go with it. In the process, I've even found a red wine I enjoyed with Indian fare. But this time, it was back to white.

This pairing started with the wine. Earlier this year, Pairings Wine and Food has a tasting focusing on "interesting" wines that exposed us to new regions and countries, including wines from Georgia and the Ukraine. But it was the Bulgarian Targovishte Muscat Ottonel that piqued my interest the. At the tasting, I noted this wine worked well with pineapple chipotle salsa, so I thought I'd get a bottle to try with some Indian cuisine.

Last week we had a chance to test out the pairing. Our family, led by our 7 year old who loves mango juice and "Indian bread", headed for the Ambassador Indian restaurant in Woburn, which allows you to bring your own wine. We ordered a chicken curry and aloo palak (potatoes in a creamy spinach sauce). The Muscat Ottonel featured pear fruit, and a bit of minerality in the backdrop. I'd describe it as medium bodied, a nice balance for the food. Though it is labeled as a "dry" white, I tasted a bit of sweetness that was refreshing with the spices in the food.

I didn't know much about Bulgarian wine or Muscat Ottonel before trying this. Apparently this grape is one of many varieties of Muscat, often used in dessert wines in countries such as Austria. This dry verson comes from the Targovishte winery located in Bulgarian's Black Sea region. And most importantly for this blogger, it pairs well with Indian food!