Tuesday, 30 July 2013
First of all, a huge thanks to all of you who wrote in congratulating me on the ad appearance. I am overwhelmed and loving my lil blog family even more. I will definitely post the ad on the blog and make sure none of you miss it :)
I was sent two bottles of Loire wines- the Muscadet and Rose d'Anjou- for a blogger challenge wherein I had to match the wines with food of choice. I only recently started this whole pairing business and even though I'm not an expert, I kind of have a few favourites I'd like to pair with the food we have. Now that summer is in full swing, the white and rose wines were gladly accepted and we put them to good use.
Before we go into my food selection, here is a bit about Loire Valley wines. The region, mostly central France, is situated along the Loire river and is home to some great wines. There are 65 appellations that include all types of wine- red, white, rose, sparkling, still, dry, sweet and so on. As opposed to other wine growing regions in France, the wines here are thoroughly affected by the Loire river and are lucky enough to benefit from the minerals matured by the clay minerals in the river. This results in wine that is truly distinct with a lot of intensity and variety.
I love a good white once in a while. From preferring the really sweet ones to the dryer ones, I think my taste in wines have kinda improved with time. The cool thing about Muscadet wine is that it is left to age all winter to bring out as much flavour from them as possible and it sure didn't disappoint us. The wine is very light in colour and I was sure it was gonna be dry, but then one sip you take and its one of the sweeter wines...something I wasn't too thrilled about, but then I decided to pair it with some spicy chicken malai tikka kebab and I thought we had a winner. You smell the wine and its like summer in a glass. Crisp and delicious with some fruity flavours (I definitely got citrus, but I cant really pin point the other flavours present). The husband thought it was more floral and agreed that the spring-like tones of the white wine was definitely brought out by the strong masala's used in the chicken. Contrary to usual pairings of the Muscadet with seafood, I picked chicken tikka because it is something we regularly have at home and to find wine that would match food that you are so used to is the winner for me.
The Rose d'Anjou with its pretty pink colour was too good to resist and so that's the bottle we devoured first. I preferred the medium sweet flavours of rose with the spicy chicken malai tikka. It completely broke down the oiliness of the tikka and replaced it with sweet fragrant taste of berries. After a few sips we realised it would have been great with dessert as well. So after glugging down half a bottle we kept the remaining to test with dessert. I made some cherry clafoutis tarts and decided to serve with the wine. It wasn't too bad, especially because the tarts were not cloyingly sweet and so didn't over power the subtle sweetness from the Rose d'Anjou. More than anything, I'm a sucker for rose wines as its the first type of wine I got familiarised with. Sweet memories (no pun intended) ;)
Both the wines were thoroughly enjoyed and they are perfect for the summer days, especially for those barbecue parties where you have a lot of grilled meat and vegetables. More than anything, its a pleasure to know that fabulous wines like these are not exorbitantly priced, and at 8.99 (Muscadet) and 7.99 (Rose d"anjou) a bottle, they make a bloody good deal. I served the light meal of chicken malai kebabs with cous cous salad (thanks to Nupur for the fabulous recipe) and washed it down with the wine. The white would be a good after meal aperitif as well, the husband says as an after thought. But I'm absolutely happy with the pairings I figured out :)
Recipe for the chicken malai tikka kebabs were adapted from Soma's eCurry- a recipe I've tried so many times and has never failed me. I followed it to the dot, except for the red food colouring which I didn't add. The cherry clafoutis tart recipe can be found here. I made it for the Great British Chefs website to celebrate National cherry week :)
With thanks to Loir wines for the sample bottles.