Hit & Miss: Golan Heights Gilgal 2016 Rosé with Aloo Gobi & Chicken Tikka Masala

Wine: Golan Heights Winery Gilgal 2016 Rosé Upper Galilee $15
Origin: Upper Galilee, Israel

Taste: More red wine than rosé, this wine is weighty on the palate. It’s not a rosé to toss back poolside. There are lots of fleshy, almost syrupy fruits in the red plums, bruised cherries and warm watermelon flavors. Then, the solid finish blasts full-on Syrah characters with dry-aged steak, game and black olive. This is a beast of a rosé!

Expectation: This is a bold, even swashbuckling, rosé (as Syrahs tend to be when made into varietal rosés – perhaps one reason they are rare to come across) that, if served in a black wine glass, would smell, taste and feel like a red wine to most sippers. Foods that would work with a light to mid-weight red with no to little new oak – say, cooler climate but New World Pinot Noirs, juicy Gamays or easy-going Grenaches – should be a hit here! Indian food tends to pair well with these wines, especially if the hot spice level is kept in check.

(Amazing) Hit: Aloo Gobi
The heartiness of the potatoes matched the breadth of this rosé on the palate. The earthy tones of the wine mingled merrily with the cauliflower and garlic, and the array of spices nicely matched the cracked white, red and black peppercorn chimes of the Syrah. And finally, the tomato cooking liquid marries nicely with the cherry flavors in the rosé. Definitely jazzy!

Miss: Chicken Tikka Masala
Living in a city that thrives on Indian take-out and having a dear friend whose father was instrumental in the development of Chicken Tikka, I had to give this a go. Yet, I’m not surprised it fell flat. Chicken Tikka has varying levels of spice, and it’s almost de rigeur to be able to chose your spice level anywhere in New York City. I embrace spicy food, but I went light here. Alas, between the oily component of the masala and the very light dab of acid in the wine, there was zero refreshment in this combo.