Pairing Wine With Curry
Asian and Indian food is dominated by an incredible mix and richness of spices and flavours, which totally dominate the meat that they are working with! Therefore in this case, ditch the suggestions above, and focus on the spicing; the wine needs to be able to cope with the intensity of the spices, and the heat of the chillies. Spice and heat will kill light delicate whites, and will bring out the worst in structured, tannic reds.
For the hottest vindaloo, lager is still probably the best solution, but for all other spiced dishes, there is a decent wine match. If in doubt, or your chosen dish, doesn’t match any of the ones described below, opt for fruity, juicy, New World Rose wines – with flavours full of ripe, berry fruits and natural sweetness, these are some of my fail-safe and favourite options.
Mild curries – these work well with a fruity rose, fruity, aromatic white similar to those for the prawn or fish curry, and also juicy, fruity reds, such as Pinot Noir, Grenache and young Tempranillo.
Medium curries and red meat spicy dishes – one of the very best matches for spicy red meat is the Chilean Carmenere, with its naturally sweet, spicy edge. Other reds to try would be Pinot Noir, and New World merlot or Shiraz. Aromatic whites and Roses are always other options, and cope well with the intensity of the spice and heat.
Thai curries – the sweetness of coconut and coriander, calls for a ripe, aromatic white – the best are Alsace or New World Riesling, with their intense lime freshness, yet honeyed style.
Prawn and fish Asian and Indian dishes – it’s a real skill to balance the strong spicing, with the delicacy of the fish – in terms of wine, opt for zesty Sauvignon blanc, fruity Viognier, or elegant Riesling.