Wednesday, March 3, 2010

#46 - Tilapia Curry With '05 Alsatian Muscat

Boned up on our chopstick skills last night.

Like a gaggle of monkeys humping a football, it was quite a scene with flaky tilapia.

We haven't had many Alsatians but that will be changing soon.

To be frank ("Who's Frank?"), I know absolutely nothing about wines from Alsace. I know they make pinot gris, riesling, gewürtztraminer and various other whites. I know they have more minerality, complexity and are dry-ish. I know it's cold in Alsace...

...aaaaaand that's about it.

I think I've had five total bottles.

And hey, Alsace is the only French region that puts the grape variety on the label. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.

Food: Spicy tilapia curry with rice cakes and pea shoots with ponzu and pickled ginger on the side

Thin spicy curry over tilapia with Trader Joe's rice cakes (covered before here) dizzled with ponzu sauce. Pea shoots on the side, eaten last in the curry juice.

The curry tried alone had the spice sneak up on us. Pretty big kick. With the fish, it mellowed out while retaining enough heat.

Very clean meal. Very good meal. Usually, I could take or leave tilapia (having served it so much, the smell has a waiting tables nightmare feel). This was good stuff as a great vehicle for the curry paste mixed with coconut milk.

Still trying to figure out why I love pea shoots so much.

Wine: 2005 Frey-Sohler Muscat ($10 - WDC)

Severely discounted at Wine Discount Center during one of their semi-annual sales probably because it was seen as being past its prime.

Maybe it was. Haven't had it before.

Alone, very soapy, perfumed and floral. Dry. Fruit only far in the background which might be why it was perceived as being done.

With the food, it took off. Fruit came to the fore with grapefruit and apricot and a slight and very pleasant oil note on the palate. The floral notes were still aggressive but lessened to a point where everything really came into balance. Muscats usually tend toward sweet. No sweetness on this one at all. Very nice dryness.

Finish was a wee bit short but that didn't detract in the least.

It's one of those wines that proves perusing the discount rack is worth the time. Might have slipped through the cracks when someone tasted it without food and thought it was all soap after four years. Usually priced in the low $20 range, we got it for $10.

Pairing: Yep, just fine

The spice opened this one up!

Great balance that worked nicely with everything, even with the ponzu which tends to become somewhat difficult with wine at times. A bit of fruit, a bit of flowers, a bit of oil and not too much of anything.

Refreshing all around.

More Alsatians will be bought tout suite (Hey, I speak French.).

Pre-dinner 375ml of NV Gaston Chiquet Brut Tradition ($26 - WDC) was surprisingly subtle and refined. Very alive, minerally, sneaky fruit and plenty of brioche notes. Fancy and elegant with a spectacular balance. Pretty Champagne and worth every dollar.

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