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The Athlete Wine Drinker - Pairing Wines with a Sweet Potato Vegetable Curry

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Continuing with the idea of pairing wines with healthy meals for athletes, over the weekend I decided to cook a sweet potato vegetable curry and offer a selection of wines to accompany this delicious dish. 

Vegetable curries are great for athletes: they are easy to make and can be frozen for future meals. Rich in fiber, carbs, protein, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, this meal offers numerous sources of energy needed to support an active lifestyle. This curry also has a relatively low glycemic index, which is important if you are monitoring your blood sugar level. I made slight modifications to Matt Frazier's recipe from "The No Meat Athlete" by substituting chickpeas for tofu.

The recipe is as follows:

Home-made sweet potato curry

Ingredients for 3-4 persons: 

1 cup of uncooked brown basmati rice;

1 pound of peeled diced sweet potatoes;

4 baby bok choy, cut into half-inch slices;

1 can of light coconut milk;

1 cup of water; 

3 tsp of Thai red curry paste; 

1/2 cup of slightly chopped cilantro;

2 cups of cooked chickpeas; 

4 shallots, thinly sliced;

1 lime;

1 tbsp of oil of your choice; 

a few tbsp of soy sauce; and

salt.

 

Cook the rice in water and salt. While the rice is cooking, heat the coconut milk with the cup of water, and add the curry paste, cooked chickpeas and peeled diced sweet potato to the liquid. Lower the heat and cover for about 15-20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked. Add the cilantro in the last minutes to avoid overcooking it. Heat another skillet over medium heat with a little bit of oil, add the the shallots and a splash of soy sauce. Sautée the shallots until lightly caramelized. In another small pot, simmer the bok choy in some salted water for 3-5 minutes. 

2015 Tessier Phil' en Bulle

Put some rice on each plate, add the vegetable curry, and garnish with the shallots and the bok choy. Sprinkle with some fresh cilantro and salt, and add a little squeeze of lime juice.

You will note that this curry is quite balanced and does not have any added sugar. This is an important factor to take into account when pairing wines with a meal.

Because of the inherent sweetness of the sweet potato and the spiciness of the curry, I like to accompany this curry with bright acid floral white wines, such as Riesling, Viognier, Albillo or Romorantin. Riesling sekts and Chenin-Blanc pet-nats are great companions too. The wines can be dry or slightly off dry with this recipe. My wine was a 2015 Tessier Phil' en Bulle Pet Nat made from 90% Romorantin and 10% Menu Pineau. If you want a red wine with this curry, pair it with low tannin light bodied red wines, such as Pinot Noir, Grolleau, Ploussard or Grignolino.

I have gathered a list of delicious fun wines to pair with this curry. Enjoy and see you riding or running! Caroline Coursant  

 

 

Falkenstein, Hofgut 2015 Saar Riesling Sekt Brut

Tasted moments after I arrived at Hofgut Falkenstein on a sweltering day in July, I failed to get notes down on any sort of paper. I do remember being very pleased with the fresh intensity of the mousse, brightness of the acidity, notes of green and yellow stone fruit with a refreshing citrus zestiness and stony minerality...a delightful, dry sparkling Riesling (tasted again back in the states, this all still holds true)! Pair with cheese and salty appetizers, rich pâtés, vegetable gratin, turkey or ham! Cari Bernard

  • white sparkling
  • 14 in stock
  • no discount
  • $29.99

Haart, Julian 2016 Mosel Riesling 1,000 L

‘1,000L’ is a reference to the capacity of the traditional barrels (Fuder) of the Mosel. Year in and year out, this wine dangerously easy to drink. Right now there is still a wisp of sulfur still on the nose, but it comes through along with notes of pollen and green apple. The palate is crispy and angular with notes of green mango, white cherries, apricot, with a stony minerality and electric acidity. This is a prime example of a crisp, dry-tasting Riesling from the Mosel. Cari Bernard

  • white
  • 46 in stock
  • $19.99

Precedent 2014 Borden Ranch Chenin Blanc

Precedent is the personal project of Nathan Kandler, winemaker at the excellent Thomas Fogarty estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains. If you've never had California Chenin Blanc or you're never been thrilled by one, Precedent is a pure rendition of the grape from 32 year-old vines planted on pink granite and silica-rich quartz soils in northeast Lodi; foot trodden and whole-cluster pressed (with a portion undergoing a few hours of skin contact), then fermented with native yeasts in used French oak. Fresh aromas of lemon blossom, golden fruit, and peach, with a clear, tingly,  mineral palate of orange citrus and stone fruit, pineapple pith,  chamomile, and a hint of beeswax. Broad yet delicate, distinctive and delicious. Unfined and unfiltered with minimal sulfur additions. Ariana Rolich

  • white
  • 11 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Low Sulfur

Venus La Universal 2015 Montsant Dido La Solucio Rosa

Priorat natives Sara Perez and Rene Barbier Jr. balance freshness with great complexity in all of their wines for Venus La Universal. Upon first sip of "La Solucio" rosé, we were hooked! A blend of red and white grapes from the Montsant -- Garnacha, Carignan, and Syrah, plus Macabeu, Garnacha Blanca, and Garnacha Gris -- are pressed all together, co-fermented, and aged for approximately 10 months in very old barrels before bottling. Pale, twinkling, rosy coppery peach in the glass, with orange peel, cherry, and watermelon; textured with tender tannins and lots of length, supporting sultry apricot, wild berries, bitter citrus, creamy florals, and salty mineral and earth tone. It will only get better with some age, so don't be afraid to stock up. Ariana Rolich

  • rosé
  • 12 in stock
  • $25.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur
  • red
  • 11 in stock
  • $17.99

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Brand 2016 Pfalz Pet Nat Blanc

Daniel and Jonas Brand are fifth-generation wine makers in the northern Pfalz, currently with 18 hectares in the family. Soil types in the northern Pfalz range from clay and loam, to loess, and limestone at different states of erosion. For a region that gets most of their rain in winter, the soil plays a vital role in holding water for the vines. They began experimenting with converting their vineyards to organic farming in 2011 and will be fully-certified with the 2018 vintage. A pét-nat made from 30-year-old vines of Silvaner and Weißburgunder (Pinot Blanc) grown on scant soil over limestone, the palate is linear, saline, and crisp with notes of yellow nectarine, white stone, lemon juice, underripe pineapple, and green apple skin, boasting a great mousse, a touch of lees and fresh acidity. Cari Bernard

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $27.99

  • Organic
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Giol 2015 Prosecco Sur Lie (organic, no so2)

Giol’s Sur Lie Prosecco is consistently one of my favorite bottles of bubbles. Its organically farmed, vinified without sulfur, dry, and very refreshing, not to mention the fact that it costs well under 20$. Some people might be put off because the wine is fairly cloudy in the glass due to never being disgorged; but, the nose is bright and lemony with a slight salty note. The palate is bone dry with a refreshing mousse and tart green apple notes. It is lifted and very clean, well suited to food with its slightly bitter finish. Try it with oysters on the half shell, bacalao on toast, olives and cheese, or with eggs for brunch. Andy Paynter

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

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Geschickt NV Vin d'Alsace Obi Wine Pet Nat (Pinot Auxerr

There are a slew of delicious Pet-Nats emerging from Alsace, as younger generations experiment with the newly popular "methode ancestrale." The Geschickt version is 100% Pinot Auxerrois, and will be an instant hit with fans of saisons and farmhouse ales, and an eyebrow raiser for wine aficionados. It's totally dry, and a bit opaque, but clean and direct. There's a hint of pineapple on the palette, and perfect acidity carrying the fine bubbles. The mouthfeel is soft and gentle and finish is subtle. Just an all around fun wine and the new kid on the block for all you thirsty pet-nat drinkers.   **fun note: there is apparently also a pet nat made by Jean Ginglinger called the "Dark Nat" that is part of a funny joke between Geschickt and Ginglinger - to me it was a look into how awesome the winemaker community is in Alsace. **  Eben Lillie

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  • white sparkling
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Celler La Salada 2016 Penedès Pet Nat Tinc Set NO SO2

Tinc Set is organic and biodynamically farmed Xarello and Parellada, two of the great local grapes of Penedès. Calcareous and clay soils speak loudly through tiny firm bubbles, with vibrant flavors of golden pear, green apple skins, crisp peach, salty yeast, and crunchy mineral length.  Exuberant and fresh, with creamy, earthy underpinnings, vinified and bottled with no added SO2. Tinc Set is a perfect holiday apéritif, alongside grilled oysters and charcuterie, or to keep spirits bright throughout long holiday feasts! Ariana Rolich 

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  • $19.99

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Barou 2015 VDP Collines Rhodaniennes "La Bonne Etoile" Viognier

The 2015 'La Bonne Etoile" Viognier shows ripe, complex aromas of peach, citrus, mango and lime-flower. The palate is lush and dense with peach, pineapple and pear - a cornucopia of ripe fruits framed in firm stony acidity. Just delicious! Not for oysters perhaps, but a beautiful aperitif, and perfect with patés, seafood, Asian cuisines and goat cheeses.

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Maldivinas 2015 Combate Albillo

Albillo Real is the great white grape of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range, west of Madrid. Floral and big-boned, with moderate acidity, Albillo is often compared to Rhone whites like Viognier or Marsanne. The comparison is useful, since lovers of Rhone whites will also enjoy Albillo. In most cases, however, Albillo is more aromatic than Marsanne or Roussanne, the fruit and florals and less cloying than Viognier's, with intense earth and mineral expression across terroirs. On to Combate! Guillermo and Carlos, the team behind Maldivinas, harvest their Albillo in mid-August, from 60 year-old vines on granitic sandy soils at 650m in San Martín de Valdeiglesias. A pale, brothy gold in the glass, with subtle, minerally aromas and a cool, stony palate of spicy pear, peach skins, invigorating citrus rinds, tingly ginger, honey, bitter herbs, and crunchy, salty, mineral length, redolent of granitic terroir. A special white wine to build a meal around, Combate Albillo is perfect for fish, poultry, pork, seafood, and goat cheeses. One barrel produced. Ariana Rolich

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Frenchtown Farms 2016 Sierra Foothills The Pearl Thief

The talented and tireless team of Cara and Aaron Mockrish have somehow managed to both take over farming prime slopes of Renaissance in North Yuba (Sierra Foothills)  and combine Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier -- two of the wine world's most misunderstood, yet potentially lovely, varieties -- into something we can all agree on. Pearl Thief is irresistibly refreshing, flavorful, and textured, driven by tangy acidity and firm minerality (thanks, Renaissance!).  Crisp stone fruits, fresh green herbs, honey-lemon and lemon balm intertwine with richer notes of sweet cream, pineapple, and intense apricot, on the way to a long, strongly mineral finish. A perfect accompaniment for curried vegetables and fish! Ariana Rolich

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Fresche (Domaine du) 2016 IGP Val de Loire Rouge Gorge

50% Pinot Noir and 50% Grolleau grown by Alain and Christine Bore, the sixth generation on their organic estate in Anjou. This unusual blend of Pinot Noir and Grolleau is sensational in 2016 showing a bright red/black color and lush aromas of ripe blackberry aand raspberry with dark chocolate, violet, brown spice and citrus. The palate is supple and juicy with deep berry fruits backed by bright acidity - a great combination of ripeness and bright refreshment. The finish is long and lush. Serve this super-delicious wine quite cool with charcuterie, mild cheeses, chicken and pork dishes - just about anything. Drink happily over the next 2 years, highly recommended!  Did we mention that it's a fantastic value?  DL

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  • $11.99

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