So far this season, Vancouver has been typically and notoriously rainy. There have been a few years recently when winters have been uncharacteristically sunny and dry, but we’ve certainly been honouring tradition as of late.
With the rains come a desire to stay in once the work day’s done, and tuck into something warm and comforting for dinner. While it’s tempting to lean towards a rich pasta or meaty stew to sate such cravings, I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier as of late (knowing that it’s all going out the window as we get into the holiday season). Plus, with the free shipping deal from Lunessence Winery & Vineyards that's on right now, their wines are the perfect match for comfort food.
I’ve found what I think is pretty much the perfect dish for days like this while flipping through my copy of Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley’s The Art of Eating Well. Their popular tome is an ode to balanced, nourishing, nutrient-rich food free of grains, gluten and refined sugar, and I’ve found the recipes are easy to follow.
The dish in question is their Malaysian Lentil and Squash Curry. The recipe is vegan, but you don’t have to share that with any dinner guests who may be afraid when they hear that. I promise, it’s a rich, warming, well-balanced and – most of all – delicious dish.
Much of the warming complexity comes from a generous spice mix of green cardamom, yellow mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel seeds, cinnamon, chilli flakes, and ground cloves. Having all those spices permeate the curry of butternut squash, ginger, lentils, coconut milk, garlic, onions and more results in a truly satisfying meal that will comfort you on the rainiest, or snowiest, of days.
One of the best things about curries of this nature is that it’s almost hard to find a wine that doesn’t pair well in one way or another.
In the spirit of this, let’s take advantage of the current offer from Lunessence Winery of free shipping when you order six bottles or more, and you can feel free to mix and match!
For a background on the winery in general, check out Michelle Bouffard’s recent profile of them here.
I’d venture the most obvious pairing for this dish would be the Lunessence 2015 Quartet, a cheery, aromatic blend of Gewürztraminer, Orange Muscat, Riesling and Viognier. The floral, citrus and stone fruit components of those varieties would be a great compliment for the dish, while the well-balanced acidity would cut through the richness with ease. You could also go with a bolder white like the Lunessence 2015 Chardonnay Reserve; it’s touch of oak ageing would cradle all those spices darn well.
You could even get super wacky and give this curry a whirl with the Lunessence 2014 Merlot Icewine Reserve. The sweetness of the wine would provide a fine balance to the dish’s saltier side and kiss of heat.
Hop to it to take advantage of this offer, it’s around for this week only. Once you get your wines, chill ‘em down right away and get cooking!
Kurtis Kolt is a Vancouver-based wine consultant, writer, competition judge and enthusiast. Track him down at KurtisKolt.com, or on Twitter and Instagram @KurtisKolt.