What to 'B' to Sigiri

Every week or so in 'What to B When You BYOB' we ask a local wine shop to recommend a few good wines under $20 to pair with the food at a nearby BYOB restaurant.

This week, we talk to Kerin Auth, a partner at Tinto Fino, the Spanish wines boutique in the East Village, about what to bring to their Sri Lankan neighbor, Sigiri.

"We have a whole section for under $15 that we consider an important part of being right next to Sigiri. It includes six reds, six whites, and no less than four roses," says Kerin, adding: "Truthfully, probably about ten customers a night come in for Sigiri. On a slow night."

Casa Castillo 2007, Jumilla ($12) "This is 100 percent Monastrell, which is a grape from southern Spain, so it's plummy with lots of dark, juicy fruit. It's jammy and rich without a lot of oak, which is the key to pairing reds with hot foods--stay away from oaky wines. It's just too much for the palate."

Zuazo Gaston 2006, Rioja Alavesa ($12) "This Rioja is one of the best values in my shop. It's rustic with a bit of oak, but the tannins are soft. It has good acidity, which is a good match for spice."

Sumarroca Dry Muscat 2006, Penedes ($14) "This peachy, aromatic wine smells like it's going to be sweet, which goes great with spice, but it's actually dry, crisp, and beautiful. There's a bit of sugar there, but it's mostly ripened fruit, which is just what you need to balance spiciness."

Muga Rose 2008, Rioja ($15) "Rose is hot these days and people are drinking a lot of it. This has really lush strawberry fruit, but it's one of the crispest and driest roses out there. When pairing, it's important to balance fruit, spice, and acidity, so when dealing with spicy food, I think the best way to go is bright, juicy, fresh, almost sweet. This rose has lots of acidity and a strawberry sweetness to go with the heat of the food at Sigiri."

Gessami Gramona 2008, Penedes ($21) "This one is more than $20, but we just got it and it's so pretty. With a touch of sweetness, this Muscat-Sauvignon Blanc-Gewurztraminer blend is lush, perfumed, and feminine. Gessami means jasmine, and you really get the jasmine flower finish. It has a floral, almost soapy sweetness. But in a good way."

Have a great BYOB recommendation? Let us know!


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