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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

Reconstructed lad TIM ATKIN MW used to indulge in the 'Vindaloo Challenge' while at university: 'Six of us went to an Indian restaurant and ordered the hottest curry on the menu. We then placed an ice bucket full of cold beer on the table and started eating. The first person to reach for a sip of lager paid for the meal.' Joking aside, Atkin points out that very few of the 8,000 curry restaurants in the UK 'have decent wine lists', and that a common listing is Piat d'Or, 'which tells you all you need to know'. After chatting to a number of sommeliers, he admits that the next time he braves a Vindaloo Challenge, 'there'll be a bottle of German Riesling Kabinett in the ice bucket'.