Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

Beverages to Go With My 'Children of Heaven' Iranian Dinner

I always like to serve a good wine or beer with special dinners, and my 'Children of Heaven' Iranian dinner is no exception. Although all alcoholic beverages have been banned in Iran since the revolution of 1979, in which the Shah was deposed and the Ayatollah rose to power. However, some of the earliest historical records of wine production and consumption, dating back as far a 6000 B.C, were found around the Caspian Sea and in Mesopotamia, near present-day Iran.

An ancient legend tells the tale of a Persian princess who inadvertantly discovered wine. In a state of anguish over a dispute with her father, the king, she attempted to poison herself with grapes she believed had spoiled while stored in an earthenware jar. Instead, she became intoxicated and soon fell into a deep sleep. When she awoke the next morning, she remembered the euphoria she'd experienced the night before, and returned to the jar for a second helping of this newfound elixir. Thereafter, her disposition improved so dramatically that the dispute with the king was forgiven and the gift of wine was introduced to his royal court.

With my Iranian dinner, I will probably serve a full-bodied Chardonnay, and perhaps a red wine such as Cabernet, Merlot, or my favorite... a nice rosy Pinot Noir.