kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

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A German white wine from South Africa at an Indian restaurant...

Last evening, I attended a "Mad About Mangoes" press dinner at Rasika, where all the drinks and dishes contained the fragrant Indian mango. Last year was the first for the luscious fruit to be imported into the U.S. Its short growing season, coupled with the time-consuming importation process, makes it elusive, expensive, and that much more delicious.

Chef Vikram Sunderam crafted many amazing mango-inspired dishes. My favorites were the mango shrimp with ginger, coriander and mint chutney; and the Aam Murgh, a chicken curry of sorts with mango, cashew nuts and cardamom. The mango and saffron kulfi--Indian version of ice cream--was also tropical and creamy.

Several wines were paired with the dishes, and my favorite was a 2007 Cederberg Bukettraube--the first time I have ever tried this grape. This white varietal is all but extinct, with a really small amount of plantings left in the world. Originally a German grape, it was then brought to South Africa (the origin of the wine I had), and its short shelf life means that it's rarely exported long distances. I absolutely loved it. Similar in acidity to a Sauvignon Blanc, it had some honey and peach notes, and then hit me with flavors of passion fruit and papaya--which explains why it paired so well with the mango dishes.

Not sure where I can get this rare wine, but it, like the Indian mango, is definitely worth the search.