Fiona Quells the Spices

There is a strong argument that the best alcoholic accompaniment to Asian food is beer or perhaps sake. The mighty


 wine industry is not hiwever happy to permit millions of consumers from  Malaysia to China, (in addition to some millions of Westerners who enjoy Asian food), to become exclusive customers of the brewers, and so there has, for many years been a sustained effort to match Eastern foods with Western wines.
 I am not too sure that the campaign has been a success and personally I usually opt for a Tiger beer or its equivalent in an Asian restaurant.
 Fiona Beckett is on the other hand, a devotee of matching Asian foods with complementary wines and as a renowned food-matching blogger, she knows what she is about.
It was fascinating therefore to taste her wine choices with the splendid Asian cuisine of  Ananda restaurant in  Dundrum, Dublin, as part of the Febvreuary wine festival.
Choosing exclusively from the Febvre wine list, she offered a Deutz champagne and the superb Lawsons Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough with Aloo Goat Cheese Tikki and Papdi Chaat which had flavours of coriander and cumin.
Next up was a little  fish and crab ball that was so delicious that any accompanying wine was almost superfluous. However Stump Jump White from D'Arenberg, McLaren Vale, did nicely as did a Grenache rosé from Domaine Pierere in the Southn of France. 
Viognier was certain to make its appearance at a tasting like this and sure enough Fiona opted for Triennes Viognier 

Saint Fleur to accompany a wonderful Zafraan Malai.  Another option here was a Brouilly 2013 from Henry Fessy. 

We were back to Lawsons Dry Creek, this time the multi award-winning Pinot Noir to complement a Duck Tikka and Plum, but the second wine offered, a Gewurztraminer from Gustave Lorenz, semed a more satisfactory companion.
The wine matches were logical and interesting with the choice of  two wines with each dish stimulating animated 
And a very big accolade to the Ananda kitchen brigade who managed to serve five complex dishes to more than  30 diners in a tight schedule, while also cooking for the restaurant's 'Early Bird' clients.
-Frank Corr



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