This recipe is loaded with exotic spices and textures typical of North African cuisine, and the great thing about these dishes is that it’s not hard to find great kiwi wines that match. One of my favourites right now is the Woollaston Estate Mahana Pinot Gris 2010
($28), because not only is it chock-full of white peach, nashi pear and poached quince flavours, it oozes sexy spices and has a succulent, juicy texture. The wine does one very important thing in that it lets all the lovely, tangy tomato, cumin and coriander flavours shine through; sometimes with strongly flavoured dishes we tend to want to drink strongly flavoured wines which can actually overpower the food and have a clashing effect in the mouth. Other things to think about if you’re planning to eat something containing a lot of chilli like say a beef vindaloo, is not to open a bottle of bold, gusty red wine (which is so often the case because people think ‘red meat’ they think ‘red wine’) because the astringent tannins and high alcohol levels will just nuke your tastebuds. It’ll be nasty. So maybe think about choosing something lighter, a hint of sweetness is great, and you’ll find the wine and the food will do the tango on your tongue.