MADRAS CAFE AND A SICILIAN ROSE (Yeah, I know it rhymes)


My wife and I and François ate us some curry from Madras Café yesterday and pared it with a rose from Sicily. Yes, a rose. And it was good. Madras Café is on second Ave between 4th and 5th street on the west side of the avenue. It is vegetarian and vegan friendly and I love them for it. I am neither of those but my wife is and François once was. I love all forms of cooking and veggie and vegan is just as fun and challenging as any cuisine because when you get it right the flavors are rich and delicious. Madras café is rich and delicious and it would go well with all different kinds of reds (the possibilities are racing through my head like a Tokyo drift (pretty cheesy reference, I know but it was there and I went for it; my apologies). But it was a hot and suffocating day like it has been every day for the past two weeks so red was kind of out of the question for curry with a bit of heat.

We also weren’t feeling that diverse that day so we all got the same dish but in the end it all worked out because the wine paired well and we all looked each other and nodded in agreement of that fact. The three of us took three orders of the “Nine Jewels” which an awesome fresh vegetable curry with Sliced veggies such as carrots, peas, cabbage potatoes and strings beans sautéed in a savory yellow curry sauce. It is mild with a subtle heat and even with rice it still doesn’t fill you up too much and is not too heavy. All this is why we decided on the 2007 Di Giovanna Gerbino rosato di nerello mascalese from Sicily made from one of the country’s indigenous varieties. This bottle has what everyone wants in a rose. It has the dryness for those who don’t like it too sweet. It has the fruity roundness for those who don’t like it too dry and the herbaceous qualities that Keith likes. Yeah that’s me. I love a rose that I don’t have to think about but has those subtle peppery flavors and aromas that break up the dry and fruit and put them in their own corners of the ring. This rose has all of that. As we ate the curry and spoke of life and love and the pursuit of happiness the wine slowly disappeared. After a bit and without thinking I grabbed the bottle in mid conversation and…it was empty. We stopped, looked at the bottle and let out a collective sigh. The moment of silence passed and we were off on our verbal journey once again scrapping the last bits of curry from our plates.

My wife and François were vibing and getting deep about education in France versus The US and I kind of faded away thinking of what just happened. It hit me. We had just seamlessly enjoyed a meal with a refreshing and un-intrusive rose that washed the food down and paired well with the flavors. That is it. No need to wax on and off about phenolic compounds and depth of flavor or malolactic this or that. It just worked and that is what I believe rose should be. Quaffing (I love that word. If you come to the shop you’ll notice it’s my new word for 2008) and conforming. It is easy to drink and not too much of one thing.

So if you need some curry and don’t want to be bogged down with too much meat protein on a hot-ass day (don’t get me wrong I love me some steak. Skirt steak form In Vino anyone? Memo and Luis do it up right) come on by and grab the Gerbino for $14.25 and hit up the Madras café. The “Nine Jewels” is seriously good but so are the Dosas. And the Nan, oh, the Nan. Oh and by the way this rose is organic. Cheers!

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