3 Wines That Go Great With Indian Food

Posted on: 23 May 2018

Do you always opt for beer when dining out at an Indian restaurant? While India undoubtedly produces some of the best and most popular lagers and ales around, beer isn't the only drink that pairs well with a curry. Wine is also a great choice, albeit often overlooked. If you want to try something new and impress your family or co-workers next time you're out for Indian food, take a look at these great wine and Indian dish pairings.

Riesling With Hot Curries

Sweetness and spiciness may not seem like an obvious pairing at first, but the residual sugar in Rieslings makes them pair very well with hot curries. While many people are put off by the idea of sweetness in wine, a well-balanced Riesling has the right amount of acidity to counteract its sugars. As a result, you likely won't feel like you're drinking a 'dessert' wine. Instead, a sip of a sweet, low-alcohol Riesling after a mouthful of madras, balti or vindaloo will counteract the heat of the spice so you can enjoy the rounded flavours without too much of a chilli punch. Given how well it pairs with hot curry, Riesling is unsurprisingly available at most Indian restaurants. However, if it's not available, Moscato and Sauvignon Blanc are similarly great choices.

Pinot Noir With Tandoori Dishes

Are your go-to Indian dishes the smoky options like chicken tikka or tandoori lamb chops? These meals get their full-bodied flavour from the smoke of the tandoor (clay oven) they're cooked in. Generally, when it comes to smokiness, you'll want to avoid high-tannin wines. Tannins are molecules that give you a dry sensation in your mouth, and tandoori dishes gain tannins when they're smoked. As a result, the combination of tandoori food and tannin-filled wines like Bordeaux can be overwhelming. A better wine option is Pinot Noir, a low-tannin red wine variety. The fresh, ripe flavour and subtle oakiness will complement the tandoori taste without enhancing it too much. As Pinot Noir doesn't have too high of an alcohol content, it also won't intensify the spicy heat of your meal. Another delicious choice is the fruity, juicy Beaujolais variety, also known as Gamay.

Zinfandel With Creamy Sauces

With their mouth-watering texture and buttery richness, it's no surprise that creamy dishes like butter chicken and korma are such popular choices in Indian restaurants. If you want to enjoy the flavour of these dairy-based dishes in all its glory, you'll need to pair them with a wine that won't overwhelm your palate. Next time you order a meal with a cream sauce, ask your server if there's any Zinfandel on the menu. Thanks to its acidity and moderate tannin levels, Zinfandel has a dry flavour that won't make your meal feel too heavy. As the fat in these curries cuts through the spiciness, you won't have to worry that Zinfandel's higher alcohol content will bring out too much heat in the dish. Zinfandel wines also have a fruity, spicy taste that enhances the flavour profile of a cream-based curry. You may also enjoy pairing your butter chicken or korma with a rosé or Syrah.