Wines of the month - Paul DeRose
Asian Foods, Conundrum for Wine
Asian foods (Chinese, Thai, Indian, …) possess an exotic array of flavors, often combining spicy, sweet and herbal flavors in a single dish. Asian restaurants have become more and more popular and Asian spices and sauces are also becoming more commonplace in home cooked recipes. Unfortunately, wine pairings with these flavor combinations have proven difficult, causing many wines to taste bitter or acidic. This sensory culture clash has driven many wine lovers to stick with beer or just about anything but wine as a beverage with Asian food.
It was this conundrum that first inspired the making of a unique, off-dry white wine by Caymus Vineyards (CA) in 1989, called Conundrum. It’s a non-traditional blend of at least four different white grape varieties (the exact blend is kept secret and changes every year) that possesses an interesting combination of floral, tropical fruit and spice flavors with intensity. Not only is this wine unique, but it’s also delicious, being my favorite wine accompaniment with a variety of Asian foods (Chinese take-out, Thai curry, sushi, …). Conundrum has become increasingly more popular since its inception, but has not suffered in quality or increased significantly in price for it, a rarity in wine.