Ravasqueira ‘Coutada Velha’ Signature Red Blend 2020

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Being open-minded with food and wine matching can take you to places you never thought you could reach. The idea of ‘sticking to the norm’ or rigidly adhering to the ‘right’ matching can be somewhat narrow.

Goat curry is one of those dishes not often found in an Australian diet. Having spent time working in establishments with many Indian chefs over the years, I’ve developed a significant appreciation for it. The tenderising of the meat is key and proper preparation can take up to 48 hours.

Portuguese wines offer an array of blends from their native varieties. ‘Coutada velha’ translates from Portuguese as ‘the beautiful hunting ground’ and the label design reflects this concept. The wine is made of Aragonez, Trincadeira & Cabernet Sauvignon. It combines intensity, freshness and structure. The addition of Cabernet Sauvignon gives back palate intensity, which is necessary to balance the up-front fruit impact of the native varieties.

The dish is intensely aromatic, spicy and complex. I made sure to request a mild level of spice, to ensure an accurate assessment of the interaction with the wine. The mix of crushed cloves, chilli, turmeric, paprika, garam masala and tomato sauce is nothing short of amazing. The goat meat is barely holding onto the bones – a clear sign that this dish has been masterfully prepared.

The wine is open-armed from the word go, displaying aromas and flavours of clove, cinnamon, blackberries, plums and truffle. As it interacts with the goat curry there is a great synergy, as many characteristics are found in both elements of the matching. The combination of food and wine result in a deeper finish, enhancing the Cabernet Sauvignon attributes. The obligatory homemade yogurt condiment dip brought out extra complexities and enhancement.

This exotic food and wine matching exceeded my expectations. I hadn’t anticipated so many similarities within the interaction. Additionally, I never expected to experience more complexity to emerge from a simple yogurt dip. This was a pure discovery, and a very spicy one. The persistence of flavour and overall airiness after a great curry are really hard to match. Even more so with an exotic wine match.

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