Which wines go pleasant with tagines and sweet spicing?
The international locations of North Africa have a long winemaking culture courting from their respective French occupations, so it’s unexpected how few of the region’s wines you can discover within the UK – far fewer than from Lebanon, say. According to Jancis Robinson’s Oxford Companion to Wine, grape manufacturing in Algeria and its neighbors, Morocco and Tunisia, accounted for two-thirds of the international wine trade inside the 1950s, whilst it was extensively used to pump up weedier burgundies and Bordeaux.
Most of the more astonishing examples are still made with French information, inclusive of the dependable Tandem Syrah du Maroc 2015, which is produced with the aid of Domaine des Ouled Thaleb Benslimane with input from famous Rhône winemaker Alain Graillot, who reputedly got here throughout the proprietors on a cycling journey in Morocco (for this reason the wine’s name). Two Bordeaux winemakers, Gérard Gribelin and Philippe Gervoson, fell for the vineyards at Domaine de la Zouina close to Meknes and the sector historical past website of Volubilis, and Gribelin’s son Christophe now makes two cracking little wines beneath the Volubilis name, each of which can be stocked via the enterprising Buon Vino near Settle in Yorkshire: a light, fruity, Provençal-fashion rosé made, strangely, from marshland and calvados, and an attractively ripe red based on cabernet sauvignon, with a few syrahs, mourvèdre, and Tempranillo, that have to be spot on with a tagine.
The other option is to appearance east to the opposite aspect of the Mediterranean, where Lebanese, Georgian, and even Armenian wines work with a similar register of spices. A right example is a highly enticing Armenian white that comes, particularly notably, from realistic, center-of-the-street Booths and that you can drink with the type of Moroccan fish dishes you discover in Essaouira at the coast.
Another – usually cheaper and more convenient – alternative is to turn to the wines of the south of France on which North African wines are commonly modeled. Provence’s pale rosés are wonderful with a couple of salads and vegetable dishes that kick off the standard Moroccan meal, whilst hearty southern Rhône and Languedoc blends of syrah, grenache and mourvèdre are perfect for tagines. Spanish and Portuguese wines are also properly bets for Moroccan food’s gentle spice, particularly aged Spanish reds from Valdepeñas and older riojas. Or, for slightly brighter fruit, test out the nicely-priced Agenda Dão below, a blend of the neighborhood alfrocheiro pre to, Tinta for and Touriga Nacional.