The right wine choice can really complete a meal, bringing out unexpected flavours and adding to the gamut of tastes you experience. Choosing the right wine can be a fine art, particularly with Indian cuisine where you already have bold and controlling flavours to begin with!
As many of you know, we have a “bring your own” policy when it comes to drinks at The Spice Club. Some guests have found selecting the right wine to bring and match with Indian food a little bit tricky and understandably so..walking down the wine aisle of a super market can be confusing when there is so much variety available on the shelves nowadays.
I also used to feel a little confused about choosing wine until I took a few wine tasting classes (which contributed as credits to my undergraduate degree may I add!). These classes cut through the “snobbery” that is sometimes associated with drinking wine and cut straight to the chase so at the end of the course I had (what I considered) a pretty decent understanding of pairing wine with food and most importantly, establishing the sort of wine I liked and didn’t like.
To help you in your wine pairing journey, I thought I would clear the choice-fog with some personal suggestions and also the recommendation from wine expert, Omar from Didsbury Wine Club (a great wine club that holds regular wine tastings in Didsbury).
My personal favourite wine to drink with Indian food is a German Riesling. It’s quite sweet white wine which I find compliments the spiciness of Indian food really well. Also, it goes well with vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes which works quite well as an all rounder at our supper clubs as we serve a diverse range of dishes. I also love Gewurztraminer-this is another German white wine. (It’s names apparently translates as “spice traminer”). Again being fairly sweet in taste, I love how this wine cuts through the spices in Indian food. Also, I always think Gewurztraminer tastes like lychees (I heart lychees) which is just another reason that is is one of my favourites!
So enough of what I think, let’s see what our wine expert’s suggestions are…
Omar says: For meatier dishes, I would suggest Shiraz because it is a red that goes very well with spicy bold dishes. It is in itself slightly spicy and tannic and so compliments the spice and heat in the dishes..Shiraz is always a good choice as it works well with Indian food without overpowering the food or being overpowered whilst enhancing the dining experience. Champagne or a good Cava is also great paired with Indian food as their texture just works brilliantly with a dishes with complexity and varying levels of spice!
I hope this has helped you a little bit and guided you a little bit in the right direction. If you have any questions about wine or upcoming supper clubs, feel free to drop me a line.
This Saturday we will be hosting our “Road to Rajasthan” themed supper club. I have been to India over 18 times (see the holiday snaps below!) and out of all of the states I have visited so far, Rajasthan is my absolute favourite. My Mum was born and brought up in Jaipur, the capital of the state and I feel lucky that I have had the chance to view and roam the city from a tourist and a local’s perspective. Known for its beautiful palaces, rich culture, art & jewellery and Royal history (Rajasthan translates as “Land of the Kings”), you get that feeling of never wanting to leave when you’re there.
But let’s be honest, there is obviously another reason why I love this place..can you guess what it is? Yep that’s right..because of the FOOD. Rajasthani food is famous all over India and rightly so because it is delicious! Consisting of spicy dishes made to nourish during the harsh dry Summers in Rajasthan, the cuisine has been made up of delicious mouth watering dishes that immensely satisfy the appetite.
My Mum and I have been looking forward to hosting this supper club for a while now and we have carefully crafted a lovely menu for our guests to savour and enjoy. Without further ado I present our royal Road to Rajasthan Menu…
If you’re joining us tomorrow evening-we look forward to meeting you! For more information on this beautiful state, read my lovely friend’s blog on her recent visit there. Her photos are also amazing: http://la-concordia.co.uk/http:/la-concordia.co.uk/rajasthan-revisited.
I think I need to start this blog with a little apology as it has been far too long since I last posted. My reason (not excuse) is that we have been incredibly here at The Spice Club over the last couple of months! In March we had 3 supper clubs events which were really enjoyable and we got the oportunity to meet over 70 new lovely guests! We also had a great time hosting private events in March; from catering a dinner party at a guest’s house to planning a private customised cookery class and even hosting an office party supper club! We have also been taking part in a new project called the “Smarter Living Challenge” hosted by the Telegraph and Zurich which involved a film crew coming into The Spice Club for a weekend….I will be posting more on this very soon! (Apology accepted yet?)
Last weekend we hosted a Punjabi cookery class at The Spice Club . All the way from chopping onions for the masala to making dough for chappatis, we taught our students the fundamental skills to make a delicious, wholesome, classic Punjabi dinner! The menu consisted of:
A delicious, classic Indian lentil dish flavoured using a variety of traditional Indian spices
Jeera Pilau Rice
Perfect, fluffy pilau rice every time, complementing any Indian dish
A classic healthy accompaniment enjoyed in millions of Indian homes every day
A refreshing side dish made from yoghurt and ground roasted cumin
We had a lot of fun taking our group of students on a tour round the spice box and introducing them to the basics of spice blending. I managed to sneak a few snaps in as when I could! See below:
Punjabi Spice Box
This Saturday is our Indian Valentines dinner at The Spice Club. We have a very exciting menu planned made up of delicious, authentic Indian dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and a whole lot of love! We’re fully booked and are really looking forward to meeting our guests tomorrow evening. I’ll fill you in on how it goes very soon. In the mean time, have a look at the menu:
Last Saturday saw The Spice Club’s second supper club of 2012. Our menu featured some Spice Club favourites and some new dishes making their debut. We’re all about serving authentic, home-style Indian food at The Spice Club so we like to feature classic dishes that we eat regularly at home that you may not see at your local Indian restaurants. Fully booked, we set the table and looked forward to seeing some familiar and new faces to join us for our 5 course Indian feast. Check out the photos below for a glimpse into how the evening went…
Table set for our 24 hungry guests..
Since The Spice Club’s feature on the Hairy Bikers, we have been inundated with requests for our Shahi Kofta Masala recipe which was shown on the episode. This is a delicious vegetarian dish that is made from fresh lotus root kofta balls cooked in a Punjabi masala and peas. You can also add paneer which adds a lovely texture and takes the dish to the another level! Fresh lotus root is usually available at most Indian and Chinese grocery shops. (If you can’t get fresh you can also get it in a tin). We have made this dish at a few of our supper clubs and we always receive rave reviews. Many guests comment on the “meaty” texture of the koftas and are surprised that it is actually vegetarian! So without further a do, check out the recipe below. Comments are always appreciated and if you make it, tweet a pic to @thespiceclub!