Have You Tried Bordertown Winery’s Wines with Indian Cuisine?

Copper Chimney Indian Grill & Bar and Bordertown Cider & Winery
Copper Chimney and Bordertown Winery

Copper Chimney Indian Grill & Bar has been serving up tasty Indian food in downtown Vancouver for several years.  I have had the pleasure of eating at Copper Chimney before and was recently invited to a food and wine pairing event.  This event though was extra special as the dishes being served are dishes that Chef has created for their upcoming menu.  I and others that attended had a sneak peek for the dishes and could provide Chef with our feedback.  The other thing that was special for this event is we were able to taste several of the latest wine releases from Bordertown Vineyards & Estate Winery from Osoyoos in the South Okanagan.  All the wines made by Bordertown come from their own vineyards and their wines are all VQA.

Our Tasting Menu

Chef’s Amuse Bouche paired with Bordertown’s Dry Riesling 2018
Onion and Farmer’s Cheese Layered Bread with Spiced Butters

Spinach Pakora Chaat with tamarind and sweet yogurt paired with Bordertown’s Pinot Gris

Oyster Duo with Indo chimichurri and five-spices paired with Bordertown’s Cabernet Franc Rose

Goan Fisherman’s Stew with rice noodles and tomatoes, paired with Bordertown’s Chardonnay

Tandoori Lamb Chops Hariyali, roasted heirloom carrots, and shallots paired with Bordertown’s Merlot and their Living Desert Red wines

Mango Cardamom Rice Pudding with kulfi ice cream paired with Bordertown’s Gewurztraminer

My Wine Tasting Notes

It is a little difficult to take detailed tasting notes when you are at a dinner like this as the lighting is subdued for dining, tablecloths are generally not white so it is hard to determine wine colour and clarity, and the delicious aromas of food are all around you to make it difficult to pick out nuances in the wine.  That being said, you can still pick out the major aromas and flavours of a wine, and also have a fun time deciding how the wines pair with different dishes.  Here are my notes for the Bordertown’s wines we were served.

Bordertown Dry Riesling 2018 – A bright lemon colour in the glass. Nice lemon-lime nose with a touch of petrol and stonefruits.  Medium-plus body with tart citrus and stone fruit flavours along with petrol and some minerality.  Medium-plus length and medium-plus acidity. 4 stars

Bordertown Pinot Gris 2017 – A deeper lemon colour.  It has ripe peach and other stonefruit aromas.  It is off-dry with a medium-plus body.  Tropical fruit, ripe pears, pear skin, and apple skin on the palate. Peaches on the finish.  Round thicker mouthfeel. 4 stars

Bordertown Dry Riesling 2018 and Pinot Gris 2017
Bordertown Dry Riesling 2018 and Pinot Gris 2017

Bordertown Cabernet Franc Rosé 2018 – Medium intensity Alberta rose blossom colour.  It has a nice fresh strawberry nose.  Dry with a medium body and acidity.   Very flavourful with fresh BC fruits; red fruits, in particular strawberries.  Some acidic prickle and peppery spice.  A very bright and fresh wine.  I was really taken with this wine.  A definite buy! 4.5 stars

Bordertown Chardonnay 2016 – Medium-plus intensity bright lemon in the glass.  It has a medium intensity nose of apples and vanilla. Very elegant.  Medium-plus body with higher acidity leading to some prickle on your tongue.  Rich tropical fruit and butterscotch flavours.  Very flavourful.  Light oak.  Medium-plus length. 4.5 stars

Bordertown Cabernet Franc Rosé 2018 and Chardonnay 2016
Bordertown Cabernet Franc Rosé 2018 and Chardonnay 2016

Bordertown Living Desert Red 2015 – a blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  This wine has a deep garnet colour.  Capsicum, coffee, and ripe black fruit aromas.  The wine is dry, full-bodied with medium acidity.  Semi-round mouthfeel.  Ripe black fruits with light tannins and a peppery finish. 4 stars

Bordertown Merlot 2016 – Deep garnet coloured.  It has a light floral nose.  It’s off-dry with a medium-plus silky body.  Ripe black fruit flavours.  Lower acidity and soft tannins. 4 stars

Bordertown Gewurztraminer 2015 – A Gewurztraminer with some age!   This one has a bright lemon colour.  A nice nose showing roses, lychee, and lemon.  It is off-dry, has a lighter body and higher acidity.  Orange peel and lychee flavours.  4 stars

Bordertown Living Desert Red 2015, Merlot 2016, and Gewurztraminer 2015
Bordertown Living Desert Red 2015, Merlot 2016, and Gewurztraminer 2015

My Pairing Notes

The Onion and Farmer’s cheese layered bread was lightly spiced and lightly chewy, served warm.  It has nice flavours of green onion, green pepper, and black mustard seed.  Adding the spiced butter to melt on the bread added nice moistness and butteriness to the bread.  The sweetness in the Bordertown Dry Riesling (yes a dry Riesling can have some residual sugar) complimented the bread as well as the acidity of the wine pairing with the butter.
The Spinach Leaf Pakora Chaat is a gluten-free dish.  Spinach leaves were dipped in a chickpea flour batter then deep-fried.  The leaves were crispy thin.  I liked the tart tomato and cumin spice flavours.  The Bordertown Pinot Gris’  tropical fruit flavours were a complementary pairing but did not add any extra dimension to the pairing for me.
Onion and Farmer's cheese layered bread and the Spinach leaf pakora chaat dishes
Onion and Farmer’s cheese layered bread and the Spinach leaf pakora chaat dishes
The Oyster Duo consisted of two oysters on the half shell.  One was raw topped with Indo chimichurri sauce and the other cooked with five-spices.  The raw oyster had nice bright flavours and paired very nicely with the strawberry flavour of the Bordertown Cabernet Franc Rosé wine.  The raw oyster with the Rosé wine was one of my favourite dishes.  The cooked oyster had a sweeter sauce on it which was a bit too strong for this wine.
The Goan Fisherman’s Stew was quite nice.  There was a wide range of seafood including salmon, clams, and juicy prawns.  It had a Green curry coconut-based gravy.  It was very flavourful without being overly spicy.  The Bordertown Chardonnay was the suggested pairing, which was complimentary but nothing stood out.  I kept some of the Cabernet Franc Rosé wine and the flavour pairing was superb!
Oyster Duo and Goan Fisherman's Stew dishes
Oyster Duo and Goan Fisherman’s Stew dishes
The Tandoori lamb chops Hariyali had richly flavoured lamb chops plus deep flavours from the roasted carrots and shallots.  The lamb chops had mint, cilantro and ginger flavours.  The Bordertown  Merlot was rounder and softer, and initially, I thought was a better pairing with the lamb, but then the Bordertown Living Desert Red with its brighter red fruits and acidity won me over as the better pairing.  But both were very good pairings.
Our dessert, the Mango Cardamom Rice pudding had a nice creamy texture and flavours of roses and lemongrass.  The Bordertown Gewurztraminer was a complementary pairing but did not stand out. I was pleased to see that we were trying a Gew that has 4 years of age on it.  People tend to be scared of drinking a white wine that has some bottle age.  I’ve tasted some really nice Gewurztraminers and other aromatic white wines that have 4 or more years of bottle age.  Try it if you can.
Tandoori lamb chops Hariyali and Mango Cardamom Rice pudding dishes
Tandoori lamb chops Hariyali and Mango Cardamom Rice pudding dishes


This was a wonderful food and wine experience.  Many times people may worry that Indian food is too spicy and difficult to pair with wines, but this is not the case.  I encourage you to visit Copper Chimney to try their new menu when it is released and to pick up some bottles of the Bordertown Vineyards & Estate Winery to celebrate the upcoming holiday season.  Enjoy.
Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.