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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Prawn Curry + 2022 Ancestral Pétillant Naturel

This is one of the bottles from the American Wine Project that I sourced for an event about wines made from hybrid grapes.

2022 Ancestral Pétillant Naturel

This is another single varietal made from the hybridized Brianna grape. And with only 176 cases produced, it falls into the 'small batch' category in my mind. I definitely need to look up the true definition of a small batch wine.

Brianna is a fairly new and relatively unknown white grape variety bred in 1983 in Wisconsin. Due to its vigor, it has been planted in the Upper Midwest states of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska.

While there are many, many sparkling wines made in the States, I tend to learn towards 'Pét-Nat', short for Pétillant-Naturel, is an ancient method of making sparkling wine. In contrast with the méthode champenoise in which a finished wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle with additional yeasts and sugars, Pét-Nats are bottled before the primary fermentation is finished. This produces a much more rustic sparkling wine that is often cloudy and bottled with a crown cap - like a beer - instead of a cork.

The Pét-Nat process seemed to be the perfect style for highlighting the playful flavors of the Brianna grape. Undisgorged, the wine pours a cloudy delicate color of poached quince. On the nose, I noted tropical aromas of passionfruit and guava. On the palate, the wine was bursting with tropical flavors that matched the nose. But there were also more subtle layers of yeasty bread and white flowers.

Prawn Curry

I knew that the Pét-Nat would pair beautifully with a prawn curry and I was inspired by the colorful artwork on the label (picture above on the right) and decided to go with a curry that had bright purple sweet potatoes, orange carrots, and grass-green celery.


  • 1 pound prawns, peeled and devined

  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 Tablespoon-sized chunks

  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1-1/2 cups)

  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger (you can omit, if you don't have any, but we love the fresh ginger in this)

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup purple sweet potato, diced

  • 1 cup carrots, chopped

  • 1 cup celery, chopped

  • 1 cup red bell peppers, diced

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder

  • 3-inch stick cinnamon

  • 1 cup tomato sauce

  • 1 cup seafood stock (you can use chicken stock)

  • 1 cup organic coconut milk

  • cooked rice for serving

  • fresh cilantro for serving

In a large pot, add a splash of oil and 3 Tablespoons butter. Add in the onions, sweet potatoes, carrots, and celery. Cook until the sweet potatoes and carrots are fork tender, approximately 15 minutes. Stir in the bell peppers. Add in the remaining butter and melt. Stir in the curry powder and add cinnamon stick. Cook until fragrant.

Add the prawns and turn to coat with the seasonings. Pour in the tomato sauce and vegetable stock. Whisk to combine. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes - until the sauce is beginning to thicken. Pour in the coconut milk, whisk to combine, and simmer until that it thickened to your liking.

Serve garnished with cilantro over cooked rice. Enjoy!

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