Posted on 5th October 2021 by JN Wine
It’s probably fair to assume that most of us reach for a cold lager when we are having Indian, and there definitely isn’t anything wrong with that. However, there are a few tips and tricks if you do fancy enjoying a glass of wine with your curry.
Spicy foods require a wine with a bit of Residual Sugar (RS) to tame the heat. Sweetness helps to neutralize the burn of chilli heat, so if you’re having something like a Madras or Jalfrezi, an off-dry Gewurztraminer or Riesling is going to work well. On the other hand, if you’re having something milder, like Korma or Pasanda, you can go a little bit drier; think oaked chardonnay with the creamy Korma, or a chilled Provence Rosé with the slightly richer Pasanda. Super dry wines, as well as very sweet, dessert wines are best avoided; to dry and the heat will become amplified to an unpleasant degree, while too sweet will make the food taste strange and unbalanced.
Some red wines have a natural affinity for spice. Although tannins are not the best compliment to spice, certain reds, such as those with ripe, round fruit can be the perfect pairing. Tikka Masala served alongside a medium bodied Syrah is almost always a delicious, if unorthodox, combination, while a rich, spicy Zinfandel from California is an excellent foil for lamb Bhuna. You’ll want to steer clear from anything that’s overly oaky or high in tannins or alcohol; Bordeaux, Barolo and Cabernet’s are best avoided.
Bubbles are a great palate cleanser, especially for full flavoured dishes like curry, although you’d probably want to leave the Grand Cru Champagne in the cellar and opt for something a little bit more value driven, like a good prosecco or crement. These will work in a similar way to beer, the carbonation cleansing the palate after each bite and the chill of the wine refreshing and cooling the tongue and throat.
At the end of the day, the best wine to drink is the wine you want to drink!