Curry is complex, and any wine meant to stand up to it has to be dynamic in its own right — especially in an instance like this, where spice and sweetness come together. Here are three bottles up to the task: a white from Greece, a white from France and an “orange” from Italy.
CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD
Place 5 cups shredded cooked chicken (from leftovers or a rotisserie chicken) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger. Pour over the chicken. Scatter in 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped. Toss. Cover and chill. Just before serving, fold in 1 Granny Smith apple, peel on, cored, chopped, and 3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted. Makes: 4 servings
Recipe by Leah Eskin
Pairings by sommelier Alan Beasey, of The Purple Pig, as told to Michael Austin:
2016 Domaine Sigalas Santorini, Santorini, Greece: This fresh, vibrant white is made of 100 percent assyrtiko. The wine’s deep structure and fuller body will jell nicely with the richness of the curry, and flavors of citrus and green apple in the wine will pair wonderfully with the dish’s apple. The wine’s salinity will also bind the curry flavors together.
2015 Maison Pierre Sparr Pinot Gris, Alsace, France: Subtle sweetness in a white can enhance the sweet and spicy elements of a curried dish. This wine has honey and apricot flavors balanced by razor-sharp acidity. The salad’s ginger and apple will pop with each sip, while the wine’s smoky finish will complement the curried chicken.
2010 La Stoppa Ageno, Emilia-Romagna, Italy: This “orange wine,” a white that has had extended contact with skins and seeds, is a blend of malvasia, ortrugo and trebbiano grapes. It has aromas of sour apple, orange blossoms and black tea, and its nutty, fruity-potpourri flavors will make the salad’s apple, cranberry, ginger and almonds spring to life.
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