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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

WBW2: Spanish and Indian, not for the faint of heart!

RuedaI just found out that today is Wine Blogging Wednesday 2 - well you know I've been sort of busy. This WBW is being hosted by my friend Alder at Vinography, so of course I had to participate. The only little problem is Wednesday is my usual Shalimar day. I have a few friends who are always at Shalimar on Wednesdays, and when I am in town I usually try to go.

For those of you not in the know, Shalimar is my favorite Pakistani naan/curry house in the Bay Area. It's still not the Tayyab, mind you, but the best I could get when I am not in London. It's also a complete dive – in the Tenderloin no less – but the delicious dishes after dishes of curries, tandoori, and bread that stream out of the open kitchen make it worth the risk to live and limbs.

So, the challenge for this WBW2 is finding a Spanish wine with enough residual sugar and enough complexity to fend off the heavy spices in Shalimar's food. Making my life even more complicated is the fact that I am not that big a fan of Spanish wines, and don't even have one in the cellar.

Luckily, Malik came to the rescue with not one but two – well one and a half – bottles of Spanish wine. The half bottle was left over from the dinner last night with Dave and Ally, a 2003 Nosis, a Verdejo based wine from the Rueda region made by Buil & Giné. And the full bottle was a 2003 Rueda by Palacio de Bornos.

Malik sent this blip about the 03 Nosis:
Wine Spectator (Thomas Matthews) gave it 86 points and says “This big wine remains lively, thanks to vibrant acidity and a touch of spritz. The flavors evoke gooseberries and fresh herbs. Drink now through 2005. 1,000 cases made.” It's currently available for $12 at K&L.

Needless to say the spritz was gone now that the wine was on its second day, but we were surprised to see that it stood up very well to Indian food. It was complex and still tasty even after many mouthfuls of curries. When we had this wine last night with a green salad and cheese (mainly chèvres), the most pronounced characteristic was the acidity. Tonight, on the other hand, paired with the heavily spiced Indian dishes, the wine's residual sugar surprisingly came through stronger than last night.

Ruedaback_1The second wine did not do as well. A note on the internet on this wine said “An appealingly fresh white wine made of 100% Verdejo. Cool fermentation techniques extract the maximum fruit intensity from the grapes, and careful handling ensures good acidity levels are retained throughout. Delicious served well chilled.”.

Perhaps this was true in other circumstances, but definitely not when paired with Indian food. Tonight the Rueda was completely washed out. It felt light and tasted not very much like anything. Definitely not recommended for Indian food.

Well, I have to blog about this before midnight, and I am way too tired to say very much about the food we ate. I can definitely tell you they were just delicious, but I don't even know what they are called! Just as I have my Fahro at the Tayyab, at Shalimar there are Malik and Raswan. I never order anything, I sit down, food appears, I am content. So, I will have to leave you with just a few pictures of the mouth watering dishes we had tonight. Bon Appétit.

Kebab Keema Dsc01455 Tandoori Dsc01453


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