Wine and Food Matching Notes From Imbibe Magazine


Imbibe is a UK bi-monthly targeting the on-trade wine and drinks market. It is not really the type of magazine we cover over on Paper Palate but I thought there are a couple of interesting wine articles that deserved a wider audience.

Over on The Spirit World I’ve covered the magazines Vodka Tasting but it was the Indian food and wine matching I wanted to explore here. Sadly the recipes are not included but the starter of Tandoori Swordfish with King Prawn followed by Smoked Rack of Lamb with Rajasthani Cream Sauce sound delicious.

The Swordfish has been marinated in ginger, garlic, yoghurt and chilli powder. It was noted that both main ingredients “still very much retained their own personality, however vibrantly they carried their spice”. While the prawn was sweet and meaty, the swordfish was far more fishy in flavour and oily in texture.

“It was the weight in the mouth and attractive yet understated fruit flavours of the Yalumba Viognier that carried it to second place and the same went for the Tokara Oak Aged Sauvignon Blanc, which took third spot”

But the Cullen Semillon-Sauvignon ‘ticked every box’.

“It had plenty of Semillon richness, but also a freshness of structure that was lacking in both of its nearest contenders and which allowed the food to really sing…. the spices in this dish were merciless, picking up any slight imbalances in the wines and magnifying them, so to be successful a wine had to be flawless. The Cullen Semillon-Sauvignon was certainly that”

As with the starters the rack of lamb had been marinated in ginger, garlic, yoghurt and chilli before being cooked in the tandoor. The sauce featured garlic, onion, coriander and chilli. In other words ‘not short of big flavours’ which required a weighty wine in return.

The winning wine hid its tannins away within a soft, fruity body.

“Strictly speaking the Parker Cabernet should have been too big for this dish - it didn’t so much match with the food as envelope it in a warm cassis duvet. What it did so successfully was stand up to the flavours and soften the spice without creating any mouth-burn”

The wines:

  • Cullen Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc, 2005, Margaret River, Western Australia
  • Yalumba Eden valley Viognier, 2005, South Australia
  • Tokara Oak Aged Sauvignon Blanc, 2005, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Parker Terra Rossa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2003, Coonawarra, South Australia
  • Tasca D’Almerita, lamuri Nero d’Avola, 2004, Sicily, Italy
  • Mount Horrocks Clare Valley Shiraz, 2004, South Australia

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