From Mexico to India, the Wine Way

by Dave

The New York Sun

“My first introduction to Indian culture was ‘In Light of India’ by Octavio Paz,” Mr. Barrera said, referring to the book-length rumination about India by the Mexican writer and poet, who was his country’s ambassador to India between 1962 and 1968. “He deduced that moles” — the traditional Mexican sauces that date back centuries — “are actually derived from curries in India. At the time, India and Mexico had a lot of exchange, cultural and commercial. The basic mole, it’s ground spices mixed into a sauce. If you look at it in a very simple way, that’s what a curry is.”

another commonality between Indian and Mexican cuisines is that, in the popular imagination, they both match up best not with wine, but with beer. “People don’t see this as a wine destination because of the perception of beer going with the food,” Mr. Barrera said. The restaurant’s ardent regulars, however, know better. When Mr. Barrera began work last October, he was surprised at how many of his patrons realized a German Riesling was just the thing to go with rice-flaked halibut served with watermelon curry, or a Shiraz was perfect to wash down a pulled-lamb sandwich served on nan bread.

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