Although lagers and ales me be the immediate and easy choices for most, NCW, which kicks off today (12 October) and runs until 18 October, is an opportunity to boost wine sales and show consumers it can be the perfect accompaniment to a curry.
“NCW is a wonderful opportunity to discover new flavour combinations by pairing some of the world’s most exciting dishes with award-winning wines,” said McCombie, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge.
“We want to enhance people’s enjoyment of wine, and finding the perfect partner for your favourite curry is just the start.”
Here are McCombie’s wines for the top curries in Britain:
Chicken korma: The Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2014
Nothing enhances a cream chicken korma like a fragrant white wine, McCombie said. This wine, which is available in Aldi for £6.99, is produced by South Australian winery Wakefield and has ripe lime and fragrant tea leaf aromas
Chicken korma also pairs well with Semillon, in particular Gravestone Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2013, which is produced by the Man O’ War winery in New Zealand, he added.
“This tipple is available online from Amazon for £22.25. Its rich, ripe nectarine, apricot and yellow stone fruit aromas with hints of bell pepper helped it strike Gold at this year’s competition.”
Lamb Madras: Chilean Carménère
This rich red will bring out the flavours of any well-prepared tender lamb madras, according to McCombie.
Prawn Biryiani: Domaine de Vedilhan Viognier 2013
A classy French white like Domaine de Vedilhan Viognier 2013 is the perfect partner for a prawn biryiani, according to the expert.
The wine is moderately priced and produced by Boutinot in France and blends light honey flavours with aromas of peach and flowers.
An alternative to Domaine de Vedilhan Viognier 2013 is Viognier 2014, which is also produced in France, but in the Languedoc Roussillon region. It features a mix of white and floral notes.
For something lighter, then try a South African Viognier, particularly Flagstone Word of Mouth’s, which features apricot flavours, ripe peach and citrus aromas.
Beef Jalfrezi: Marsanne-based whites or light reds, such as Valpolicella
White wine fans will appreciate a Crozes Hermitage Blanc, 2013, which is the perfect partner for a spicy jalfrezi, McCombie said. This white is made in the Rhône region and has ripe nectarine and yellow plum flavours.
Another white, but from hotter climates, is an Australian Tahbilk Roussanne Mersanne Viognier 2013. This favourite from down under has a blend of intense fruit, melon, lemon, quince and peach flavours.
Red wine fans will enjoy a signature Valpolicella Ripasso 2012 (sold in Morrisons).
It comes from Northern Italy’s Cantina Di Soave region near Venice and has red berry aromas with red cherry and hints of raspberry flavours.
Vindaloo: Vinho Verde
“Vindaloo comes straight from Goa and its name originates from the Portuguese ‘carne de vinha d’alhos’, which means ‘meat with wine and garlic’,” McCombie explained.
It would only be fitting to pair this dish with a Portuguese white, such as The Society’s Vinho Verde 2014, he added.
The wine, which is produced by Adega de Monção blends the delicate chamomile flowers with zesty citrus fruits, delivering a classic fresh Vinho verde.
Vindaloo also works well with Sauvignon Blanc, particularly with the Spy Valley’s Sauvignon Blanc 2014, which is smoky and intense with a touch of vanilla.
Lentil Dhal: Dominio del Plata
Intense lemon and floral aromas are produced by Marks & Spencer’s Dominio del Plata by Susana Balbo Terroir Torrontes 2014, according to McCombie.
Alternatively, an Argentinian Torrontes Chardonnay from 2014 would also work well with its light and elegant hints of melon and rose water.
Or go for a Chablis from the French winery Union Des Viticulteurs De Chablis. The 2013 has a blend of delicate cream, yellow fruit and almonds, he added.
Mango sorbet: Riesling Auslese
McCombie said: “Mango sorbet and sweet dessert white wine are a match made in heaven, so end your Indian feast in style with an IWC winner. Try Silver medal winner Dr. Loosen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 2013. This ethereal sweet white has white peach and honeysuckle aromas set to match your sorbet like no other.”