Rosewood Estates 2008 Süssreserve Riesling and 2008 Semillon

For this installment of pairing Rosewood Estates wines, we went for the 2008 Natalie’s Süssreserve Riesling.  Rated a (2) on the sugar scale, Neil immediately suggested an Asian or Indian dish.  We settled on butter chicken, one of our favourites.  I wanted to try a new recipe, and Neil wanted a curry of some sort to try out his homemade pear chutney.  Over to Neil for the wine portion of this post:

Generally, off-dry or sweeter white wines are a perfect match for the spices and heat of many ethnic foods.  While a nice beer goes incredibly well with a curry, if you’re in the mood for wine, Riesling or gewürztraminer are a good bet.  With Riesling, you need to be careful not to select something too dry.  This varietal has a beautiful range of styles, and can be very crisp and acidic.  Delightful; but at that end of the spectrum the subtlety would be destroyed by the heat of a curry.

This particular wine has some of the süssreserve – unfermented Riesling juice – added back to the wine just before bottling.  This provides added character, natural acidity and of course sweetness.  On the nose, heavy stone fruits predominate, with typical bright notes of lemon.  The mouthfeel is a little creamier due to the higher sugar content, and that slight “oiliness” plays off the Indian spices quite nicely.  The wine has an acidic backbone, so the sweetness stays balanced.  Typical of a cooler-climate region, the finish has a slight flintiness, with lingering acid.

How did the pairing work?  Very well – and the wine would work well on its own as an aperitif.  (As a bonus, the stone fruit married to the pear chutney and spices; so all in all, the four parts of this meal were most complementary.)

The dish we paired it with was Food Network Canada’s Cooking Club Challenge dish for September – No Butter Chicken.

For our next installment of pairing Rosewood Estates wines, we went for the 2008 Semillon.  Rated a (1) on the sugar scale, we wanted something that would marry with the off-dry nature of this wine.  I prepared one of our favourite “regular” dishes – lemon pasta with prawns.  The dish has a touch of spice, generous garlic; and of course lemon juice (and zest) and large prawns.

This is a gluten-free version, using brown rice pasta which worked fine – it was a little gummier than regular pasta but this meant the sauce stuck to the strands of spaghetti nicely 🙂  Over to Neil for the wine portion…

The Semillon, with the lively notes of lemon grass and slightly creamy mouthfeel countered the spice, while at the same time complementing the palate.  Playful on the nose with melon, white peach, wildflowers.  On the palate, a touch of minerality, but definitely medium-bodied with fruit and zest all the way.  The finish is long enough to sit well with some spice, and the lemon makes a natural fit for the prawns.

Thanks to the Rosewood Estates who were generous sponsors of mine, allowing me to attend IFBC this past August in Seattle.

Did you like my Round 4 Project Food Blog entry – a step-by step demystification of chicken tikka masala?  If so, I would appreciate your vote to go to Round 5.  I have a great idea for a “pizza remix” – you definitely want to see it.  Voting starts at 6AM Pacific Time on October 11th and run through 6PM Pacific Time on October 14th.  Simply click here to vote. You have to be a Foodbuzz member to vote but it’s a simple sign-up process. Once you’re signed up, click the red heart to vote.  Thanks in advance.

22 thoughts on “Rosewood Estates 2008 Süssreserve Riesling and 2008 Semillon”

  1. I like the sound of a sweet white with butter chicken if your pairing wine with it – the pear chutney looks awesome too, as does the lemon pasta with prawns, it’d be wonderful with a good Semillon – Love your choices guys.

  2. I am LOVING these wine pairing posts. Wish i could actually find the wines tho:( The damn no-butter chicken has sealed the deal on lunch today, i believe. Looks so good “I can’t believe there’s not butter”- hahaha- I am so funny. OK stopping right now before I reveal more of my deliriousness.

    • Salty, I must offer a mea culpa. In a previous commet it was suggested I provide more generic pairings for “global” readers that might not necessarily be able to get the specific wines we paired. I will try and remember to do that in future.

      From California I might suggest the Beringer Moscato or Alluvium Blanc. From Oz an off-dry Semillon or Viognier. Stay away from anything that’s spent much time in oak. (Too buttery, methinks.)

  3. i’m so glad i found your blog! i’m a Canadian living in Australia, and i see you’ve also been out here. gotta admit, i love Australian wine, but i miss having the international selection you get in Canada (and California zin. sigh…) looking forward to reading more 🙂

    • So funny, when I lived in France and when I was growing up in Australia, I was spoiled for choice in wine. Now, it’s much easier finding wines from around the world here in Canada but even better than that, Canadian wines are really coming into their own which is great – love to support the local economy!

  4. Yum! Love the look of that pasta. I eat pasta for practically every meal 🙂 My favorite fall pasta dish, though, is a pumpkin and goat cheese lasagna – I made it once and I’ve been hooked ever since!

  5. Those wine pairings are spot on. I introduced several of my Indian friends to wines that would pair well with foods from home. They loved it!

    I can also say as I winemaker it is really nice to know what styles work with food and set out to find the best source of grapes or juice to make them from. I make most of my wines now with food in mind. Some double as good ole drinking wines, but most shine when paired up with a home cooked meal. With 26 competition medals to our credit my wife and I are starting to think we are on to something.


  6. Neil,

    I was so exicted to see your reccomendation of the Beringer Alluvium Blanc in one of the comments. I bought a few bottles of that a couple years back and found it to be one of the most food friendly wines I had tried. I might just have to go order some more!

    Where did you go for your wine education?


  7. Wow what amazing dishes you have. Great creativity with the pictures, and i love the ingredients you use. Those herbs sound like your’re a healthy eater. Trying to get on the healthy side over here.


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