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Who loves not women, wine, and song, remains a fool his whole life long - German proverb

This was the October meeting of the Google Wine Club. The theme was Wine, Spice and Everything Nice with a pairing of wine with spicy food. We had a selection of off-dry whites and rich non tannic reds from different regions of the world that we tasted with chinese, south asian and indian influenced dishes.

The white wines

The first wine we tasted was the 2002 Storrs Gewürztraminer Viento Vineyard Monterey from grapes grown in the Monterey wine region. The wine exhibited some candied fruit flavors but I hardly found the lichee and rose petal aromas so characteristic of the Gewürztraminer varietal. On the palate the wine seemed very sweet, almost sirupy. It was not the best wine to pair with our spicy cocoa-dusted game hen and our salmon with Thai curry coconut sauce. Our group thought that this wine would have worked better with a dessert dish, a fruit-based dessert for example, like a mango tart.

The second white we tasted was a Riesling from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer wine region. The 2002 Christoffel Erben Riesling Kabinett Urziger Wurzgarten had a pale yellow color, aromas of honey and minerals on the nose and on the palate, the attack was sweet but light-bodied (only 8% alcohol) with a crisp after-taste. I found this wine to be a very good representative of the German style of Riesling.

The third white wine came from Kremstal, Austria, one of the best wine region for Grüner Veltliner, the signature grape of the country.The 2002 Familie Nigl Grüner Veltliner Privat offered stone fruit and steely aromas, a dry, medium-bodied palate and a fresh and crisp finish. Our group found this dry and aromatic wine to be the most enjoyable white wine selection to drink with our food.

The red wines

Young full-bodied wines that are not too tannic are often considered to work well with spicy food. We had a selection of two Syrah and Grenache based wines.

The first of the red wines was the 2001 D'Arenberg D'Arry's Original Shiraz/Grenache, an australian wine from McLaren Vale, a region in South Australia well renowned for producing wines with immense depth of body, color and flavor. This wine exhibited a strong fruity nose and a full-bodied, dense but smooth mouthfeel. It was a very good wine to drink by itself but almost too rich for our food.

The second red wine was a grenache/syrah blend from Côtes du Ventoux, a small appellation in France's Rhône Valley. The 2001 Côtes du Ventoux Quintessence Château Pesquié offered a fruity, peppery nose. Full-bodied and flavorful on the palate with a nice peppery finish, it was very enjoyable with our chickpea curry dish. Our group thought that it was the best wine to match the spicy food that we had that evening.

See our other tasting reports.