Curried beef brisket is cooked slowly with spices to ensure flavourings permeate the meat. There are many possible spice blends and each cook has a different recipe, so it's impossible to suggest a wine that will match every version. These wines taste good on their own, but what's also important is even though they're complex they won't dominate the beef's spicy taste. The brisket is often cooked with beef tendon, which gives a rich, sticky texture that should be taken into consideration when matching it with a wine.
Louis Latour Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru 2005, Burgundy, France
This wine goes best with the versions of curried beef brisket made with sticky tendon, while its sister premier cru, the Chassagne-Montrachet, is better with meatier versions. Both wines have enough complexity to sit alongside the curry spices. The key link for seamless flavours is the turmeric sweetness of the curry and the wine's malolactic creaminess.
Available for HK$474 from Maxxium (tel: 2845 5995)
Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2006, Marlborough, New Zealand
This pinot noir is useful on the Cantonese table: it's delicious with salt and pepper seafood, Chinese roast meats and goes especially well with black bean sauce and oyster sauce. Marlborough pinot noirs are filled with pure cherry and soft red fruits thanks to the strong New Zealand sunshine. This Cloudy Bay pinot is the perfect match with aromatic, rather than spicy, beef curry. The dish's fragrant nature means it has a wide selection of spices that will nicely carry the wine's many flavours. Serve the wine cool to the touch.
Available for HK$399 from Moet Hennessy Diageo (tel: 2976 1888)
Inniskillin Gold Oak Aged Vidal 2006
Pairing an ice wine with curried beef brisket seems an unlikely thing to do, but it's one of the most delicious and stimulating matches I've ever tasted. Inniskillin was one of the first serious producers of ice wine. While some producers use machines to freeze the grapes, Inniskillin grape pickers brave icy temperatures and strip the vines of frozen fruit, making this ice wine the perfect match with curried beef enriched with sticky tendon. The wine's liveliness gives the tendon freshness, while the oak fermentation notes link up with the ginger and turmeric flavours in the curry.
Available for HK$790 (375ml bottle) from Sinolink (tel: 2408 9338)Topics: Japanese Cuisine French Wines Burgundy Wine Inniskillin